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Could Russia Have Followed the Pattern of Chinese Reforms?

April 27, 2016 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Free

Alexander Pantsov, Capital University
107 Capen Hall (inside Silverman Library)

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The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 had an important consequence for historians of modern China: it opened up previously secret archives that reflect on the tumultuous relationship between the leaders of the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union. Historian Alexander Pantsov, who grew up in the USSR, has made use of Soviet and Russian archives to study China’s most powerful leaders: Chairman Mao, who led the Communist revolution in China, and Deng Xiaoping, who spurred China’s recent tremendous economic growth.

In this lecture, Pantsov will discuss why Gorbachev ended up presiding over the fall of the Soviet Union, while Deng Xiaoping was able to steer China on a path toward wealth even while retaining its Communist government.

Pantsov is a professor of history and the holder of the Edward and Mary Catherine Gerhold Chair in the Humanities at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. His publications include The Bolsheviks and the Chinese Revolution, 1919-1927; Mao: The Real Story; and Deng Xiaoping: A Revolutionary Life. In all of them, he makes use of Russian and Soviet archives to shed light on Chinese history.  

The talk is sponsored by the University at Buffalo Confucius Institute, with support from the Asian Studies Program, History Department, and Honors College. It is part of a broader initiative on China in the World, supported by a grant from the SUNY Networks of Excellence in Arts and Humanities. The grant has funded workshops at SUNY Geneseo, Fredonia, and UB, during which SUNY scholars from a range of disciplines have shared their research. The UB workshop will focus on China and the world in the 1950s and will take place on UB’s North Campus on Friday, April 29.