Deng Xiaoping was an extraordinary leader who set China on its current path, including opening, economic growth, and tight control over ideas.
Ezra F. Vogel is the Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus at Harvard. After graduating from Ohio Wesleyan in 1950 and serving two years in the U.S. Army, he studied sociology in the Department of Social Relations at Harvard, receiving his Ph.D. in 1958. He then went to Japan for two years to study the Japanese language and conduct research interviews with middle-class families. From 1961-1964 he was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard, studying Chinese language and history. He remained at Harvard, becoming lecturer in 1964 and, in 1967, professor. He retired from teaching in 2000.
In 1987, at the invitation of the Guangdong Provincial Government, he spent eight months studying the economic and social progress as it pioneered economic reform beginning in 1978. The results are reported in One Step Ahead in China: Guangdong Under Reform (1989). His Reischauer Lectures were published as The Four Little Dragons: The Spread of Industrialization in East Asia (1991). The Chinese edition of his book on Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China (Harvard U Press 2011) sold over 700,000 copies the first year after publication in China. He has visited East Asia every summer since 1958 and has spent a total of over six years in Asia. He lectures frequently in Asia, in both Chinese and Japanese.