Frank Dikötter

Frank Dikötter

Frank Dikötter is a renowned historian who has reshaped our understanding of modern China through his influential books and research.

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Frank Dikötter's Biography

Frank Dikötter is an esteemed historian, publishing over a dozen books that have changed the way we view modern China, which range from the classic "The Discourse of Race in Modern China" (1992) to "China before Mao: The Age of Openness" (2007).

Dikötter has become an influential voice in public discourse, frequently commenting on contemporary Chinese politics, society and culture, with an informed view of the past. His dedication to uncovering historical truths and commitment to the study of modern China have made Dikötter a figure respected throughout the field of history and beyond.

He is perhaps best known for being author of the People's Trilogy, a series of books that document the impact of communism on the lives of ordinary people – a study enhanced through his unprecedented access to archival material in China. The first volume, entitled "Mao's Great Famine", won the 2011 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, the UK’s most prestigious award for non-fiction. A second instalment, "The Tragedy of Liberation", was then short-listed for the Orwell Prize in 2014. Thereafter, "The Cultural Revolution" concluded the trilogy and was short-listed for the PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize in 2017.

"How to be a Dictator: The Cult of Personality in the Twentieth Century", published in 2019, explored more closely how eight dictators, moving from Hitler and Stalin to Mao, managed to both acquire power and hold on to it. After high acclaim, New Statesman, the Economist and the Financial Times all listed “How to be a Dictator” as one of the Books of the Year.

His most recent book, "China after Mao", examines in critical and compelling detail how China evolved from a reclusive agrarian economy into a global superpower.

Frank Dikötter is currently Chair Professor of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Before moving to Asia in 2006, he was acting Professor of History at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

Books

China After Mao Book by Frank Dikötter - CWG Speakers

China After Mao

The Rise of a Superpower

The Cultural Revolution Book Frank Dikötter - CWG Speakers

The Cultural Revolution

A People's History, 1962―1976

Mao's Great Famine Book by Frank Dikötter - CWG Speakers

Mao's Great Famine

The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-1962

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