Wednesday, February 10, 2021 | 8:00 PM EST - 9:30 PM EST

Zoom webinar | Graham Allison, Thomas Gold, Melinda Liu, Michael Szonyi

Professor Ezra F. Vogel (1930-2020), a specialist on modern China and Japan (and fluent in both languages), received his Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard in 1958, and was a professor there from 1967 to 2000, when he became the Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus. During a two-year leave from 1993 to 1995, he served as the National Intelligence Officer for East Asia.

Among many other books, Dr. Vogel wrote two blockbusters: the Japanese translation of Japan As Number One became a bestseller in Japan, and the Chinese translation of Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China was a bestseller in China. His most recent book, China and Japan: Facing History, was published in July 2019.

Professor Vogel was devoted to the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations as one of its earliest members, board member and vice-chair, and advisory committee member for the Committee’s Public Intellectuals Program since its inception in 2004.

The National Committee held a virtual program on February 10, 2021 with Dr. Graham Allison, Dr. Thomas Gold, Ms. Melinda Liu, and Dr. Michael Szonyi to celebrate and remember teacher/mentor/public servant/friend Professor Ezra Vogel.

Graham Allison

Graham Allison is the Douglas Dillon Professor of Government at Harvard University where he has taught for five decades. He is a leading analyst of national security with special interests in nuclear weapons, Russia, China, and decision-making. As Assistant Secretary of Defense in the first Clinton Administration, Dr. Allison received the Defense Department’s highest civilian award, the Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, for “reshaping relations with Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan to reduce the former Soviet nuclear arsenal.” Dr. Allison has written many books including, most recently, Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap? (2017). His first book, Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis (1971), is a bestseller with more than 500,000 copies in print. Dr. Allison received bachelor’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard (in history and political science, respectively) and bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oxford (both in philosophy, politics, and economics).

Thomas P. Gold

Thomas P. Gold, professor of the graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley, taught sociology there from 1981 to 2018. He also served as executive director of the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies at Tsinghua University, Beijing (2000-2016). He has written or edited five books, most recently, Sunflowers and Umbrellas: Social Movements, Expressive Practices, and Political Culture in Taiwan and Hong Kong, co-edited with Sebastian Veg. Dr. Gold became interested in China as an undergraduate at Oberlin College; after graduating, he taught English at Tunghai University, Taiwan, through the Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. (in sociology) from Harvard and was in the first group of Americans to study in China, spending the 1979-1980 academic year at Fudan University. Dr. Gold served on the board of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, and is a member of the Public Intellectuals Program Advisory Committee.

Melinda Liu

Melinda Liu, Newsweek magazine’s Beijing bureau chief, has reported on China for much of her career. Opening the magazine’s Beijing bureau in March 1980, Ms. Liu has lived and worked in Beijing since November 1998. She was based in Hong Kong as Newsweek’s Asia regional editor from 1983 to 1992, and is co-author, with photographers David and Peter Turnley, of Beijing Spring, based on their reporting in Beijing in spring 1989 before, during, and after the Tiananmen bloodshed. In addition to covering China’s post-Mao modernization, Ms. Liu has reported on the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and the fall of the Taliban, the liberation of Kuwait, and U.S. military interventions in Somalia and Haiti. In 2003, she was one of few American journalists in Baghdad to witness the U.S. “shock and awe” bombing of the Iraqi capital and the fall of Saddam Hussein.  She is a graduate of Harvard.

Michael Szonyi 

Michael Szonyi is Frank Wen-hsiung Wu Memorial Professor of Chinese History and director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University. A social historian of the Ming dynasty and the twentieth century, his books include The Art of Being Governed: Everyday Politics in Late Imperial China (2017) and Cold War Island: Quemoy on the Front Line (2008). He is the editor of A Companion to Chinese History (2017); co-editor with Zhao Shiyu of The Chinese Empire in Local Society: Ming Military Institutions and their Legacy (2020), and co-editor with Jennifer Rudolph of The China Questions: Critical Insights into a Rising Power (2018). Dr. Szonyi received his B.A. from the University of Toronto and his D.Phil from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He also studied at National Taiwan University and Xiamen University. He is a fellow in the National Committee’s Public Intellectuals Program.

In Memoriam: Ezra F. Vogel

It is with profound sadness that the National Committee marks the passing on December 20 of a treasured friend, renowned scholar, and one of the earliest members of the National Committee, as well as a board member and vice chair, Dr. Ezra Vogel. Read more.

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