In an in-depth account of his book Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and their Battle for the Future, author Ian Johnson explains how China’s rulers have been changing the country’s history to solidify their position. He quotes extensively the current generation of so-called underground historians, who use new technologies to reinstate their views on their history, for a talk at USC China Institute.
Author Ian Johnson recently published Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and their Battle for the Future, and discusses the dominance of women as underground historians with Jeffrey Wasserstrom at the Los Angeles World Affairs Council. Women are relative outsiders in China’s power structures which puts them in a good position to document the country’s history, he says.
China journalist, senior fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations, and Pulitzer prize winner Ian Johnson discusses his time as a foreign correspondent in China since 1994. He was expelled in 2020 but returned to finish his latest book, Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and their Battle for the Future, in 2023. At the Asia Society for the China Books Review Launch, he is interviewed by his former colleague Dave Barboza.
While fixing the dropping birth rate in China might be challenging, improving the current position of single mothers should be a no-brainer, says author Zhang Lijia in the South China Morning Post. Some provinces have started to deal with the Sishengzi, or “secretly born child”, as a growing number of women do not want to marry, but still want to have a child, she writes.
China veteran Ian Johnson tells how he got expelled from China and what he found when he returned in 2023 to Foreign Affairs—and discovered what had changed over the past three years with COVID-19 hitting the country. He found a country is in stagnation, he tells in a gloomy diagnosis, although he also discovered dissent was not wholly stifled.
Xi Jinping has put much effort into rewriting China’s history. China expert Ian Johnson, author of Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and their Battle for the Future, looks at underground historians, and how they oppose that trend. He discusses his discoveries at NPR. “There are still people who are keeping alive the idea of a more decent, humane China that confronts its problems of the past and thereby lays the groundwork for a better China of tomorrow,” Ian Johnson says.
Ian Johnson discusses at the Council on Foreign Relations his new book, Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and Their Battle for the Future, which describes how some of China’s best-known writers, filmmakers, and artists have overcome crackdowns and censorship to forge a nationwide movement that challenges the Communist Party on its most hallowed ground: its control of history.
China veteran Ian Johnson published earlier this month China’s Underground Historians and their Battle for the Future, “Based on years of first-hand research in Xi Jinping’s China, Sparks challenges stereotypes of a China where the state has quashed all free thought, revealing instead a country engaged in one of humanity’s great struggles of memory against forgetting―a battle that will shape the China that emerges in the mid-21st century.”
The China Speakers Bureau is happy to announce Alvin Wang Graylin is joining its line-up of speakers. Graylin is a thought leader on AI and the metaverse and is currently the China President at HTC. Graylin has over 28 years of business leadership experience in the tech industry, including 20 years in Greater China. He travels from Beijing.