WRITER: JESSICA SNOWDEN
CONTACT: LOIS GRAY
Iowa City IA 52242
Release: Oct. 18, 2000
Former BBC correspondent Philip Short to discuss legacy of Mao Oct. 25th
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The shadow of Mao Zedong looms large over contemporary
China. Former BBC correspondent and Mao biographer Philip Short will discuss
the legacy of the late Chinese leader and what it means for contemporary China
during his presentation Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. in Lecture Room II Van
Allen Hall on the UI campus.
The presentation is sponsored by the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies
Short spent the last seven years researching and writing "Mao: A Life."
His book, published earlier this year, has been praised in U.S. and European
reviews as the most detailed and illuminating history of Mao's life ever written.
Short will review the material he uncovered while conducting the research
for this book, as well as the difficulties he encountered in writing Mao's
biography. Most of this information, including memoirs, reminiscences, previously
secret archival documents and interviews with key participants, has only become
accessible in China during the recent decade.
Short will discuss how this new information has changed the understanding
of Mao and his place in Chinese history. In addition, he will look at how
the Chinese people and the present Chinese regime view Mao and what implications
this has for the future of the country.
His account of Mao's life is not the only life history Short has written.
He wrote "Banda" (1974), the biography of President Hastings Banda
of Malawi. He is also the author of "The Dragon and the Bear" (1982),
a comparison of the Soviet Union after Stalin and China after the death of
Originally from Bristol, England, Short began his journalism career in 1967
at Drum magazine where he worked in Johannesburg and Harare. From 1967-70
he worked as a freelance journalist for the BBC, Associated Press, Time magazine,
and The Financial Times among others while based in Blantyre, Malawi. He continued
to freelance for these news agencies and ABC Radio News while stationed in
Uganda from 1971-73.
In 1973 Short joined the BBC in London as a staff reporter. During his years
as a BBC correspondent he worked in Moscow (1974-76), Beijing (1977-81), Paris
(1981-90), Tokyo (1990-95) and Washington D.C. (1996-97).
Short came to the UI as a visiting scholar in the School of Journalism and
Mass Communications during the 1997-98 academic year. He was also the International
Programs' Distinguished Visiting Professional for fall 1997. He taught a course
on foreign corresponding and appeared a number of times as a guest speaker
Since 1998 Short has been pursuing his writing career. He will be touring
with his new book during October and November.
For more information about his Oct. 25 presentation, contact Scott Grau
at CAPS, 335-1305.
CAPS is part of the UI International Programs, which consists of a number
of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects
and services. Organized under the associate provost and dean for International
Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community
and promote global scholarship, research and training.