China veteran Ian Johnson, author of China’s Underground Historians and their Battle for the Future (September 2023), announces he will leave as senior fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations and move from New York to Berlin. He will work as a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and work from Berlin starting on July 1, 2024, writing a new book on the misuses of religion in Xi’s China in the summer of 2024.Read More →

Foreign media too often focus on China’s crackdown on religion, but former foreign correspondent Ian Johnson, author of Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and their Battle for the Future, sees an opposite trend as China’s government started to support traditional faiths, in an effort to gain new legitimacy, he writes in the Council on Foreign Relations. Read More →

During the Cold War, authors from Eastern Europe and Russia belonged to household names among Western elites, but today translations of their Chinese counterparts failed to make it to Western bookshelves, says Ian Johnson, author of Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and their Battle for the Future. One of the reasons is the changed commercial business models of publishing houses, he says in an extensive interview in China Law & Policies.Read More →

Journalist and author Ian Johnson discusses his latest book, Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and their Battle for the Future, at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, on why and how he came to write his book. Questions are asked by Orville Schell is the Arthur Ross Director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at Asia Society in New York and Glenn Tiffert a distinguished research fellow at the Hoover Institution and a historian of modern China.Read More →

Book reviews of Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and their Battle for the Future by China veteran and Pulitzer prize winner Ian Johnson start to come in, rightfully, like this overview in Public Discourse by Robert Carle. “In Sparks, Ian Johnson tells the stories of people such as Lin Zhao and Hu Jie—Chinese journalists and filmmakers who explore the darkest episodes of Chinese communism, often at great risk to themselves.”Read More →

China veteran and Pulitzer prize winner Ian Johnson discusses his newest book Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and their Battle for the Future with Bao Pu at City Lights Live. First question: who are the underground historians? And how do they survive in China’s system and challenge the state’s efforts to whitewash its history.Read More →

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.Read More →

History called the communist party to save China, that is the way history is used by the party, says author Ian Johnson in a speech about his newly published book Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and their Battle for the Future in WorldOregon.  But the official history doesn’t remain unchallenged. “Ian Johnson explores 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,” says the website.Read More →

While the expectations for next week’s meeting between the presidents Biden and Xi are not high, there are four points to watch, writes China analyst Ian Johnson at the website of the Council on Foreign Relations. Those are Taiwan, fentanyl, the Israel-Hamas war, and Climate actions.Read More →