Wakeman, Frederic Evans, Jr. 1937-2006

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Wakeman, Frederic Evans, Jr. 1937-2006
(Evans Wakeman)


See index for CA sketch: Born December 12, 1937, in Kansas City, KS; died of cancer, September 14, 2006, in Lake Oswego, OR. A retired professor at the University of California at Berkeley, Wakeman was an eminent authority on Chinese history who was also instrumental in bridging academic ties between China and the United States. He had an interesting childhood as the son of a novelist who took his family to various parts of the world, including Europe and the Caribbean. Wakeman attended Harvard University, where he studied history and literature, graduating in 1959. Initially, he thought of becoming a novelist like his father, and his first book was the novel Seventeen Royal Palms Drive (1962), written under the name Evans Wakeman. After attending the Institut d'Études Politiques in Paris, however, his focus turned to history. He earned master's and doctorate degrees at the University of California at Berkeley, joining the faculty there in 1965. He would remain at Berkeley for the remainder of his academic career, directing the Center for Chinese Studies from 1972 to 1979 and the Institute of East Asian Studies from 1990 to 2001. He was named Walter and Elise Haas Professor of Asian Studies in 1989. Acclaimed for his well-researched and well-written histories, Wakeman was most applauded for his two-volume study The Great Enterprise: The Manchu Reconstruction of Imperial Order in 17th Century China (1985). Fluent in modern Mandarin and classic Chinese, he was involved in a number of committees and government commissions, such as the U.S. Inter-Agency Negotiating Team on Chinese-American International Exchanges and the American Council of Learned Societies/Social Research Council's Joint Commission for Chinese Studies. He was also a senior advisor in Beijing for the National Academy of Sciences and chair of a scholarly commission with China from 1995 to 2000. Wakeman had worked with the Chinese government through the 1970s and 1980s to allow historians and social scientists from other countries to gain access to sealed archives. These efforts brought a renaissance in Chinese studies to Western universities. Among Wakeman's other publications are History and Will: Philosophical Perspectives of the Thought of Mao Tsetung (1973), Policing Shanghai, 1927-1937 (1995), and Spymaster: Dai Li and the Chinese Secret Service (2003).



Los Angeles Times, September 28, 2006, p. B10.

New York Times, October 1, 2006, p. A27; October 3, 2006, p. A2.

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Wakeman, Frederic Evans, Jr. 1937-2006

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