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Seeking the Origins of Reform

Mar 25, 2011

Hu Deping's latest book charts Hu Yaobang's intellectual legacy from the 1960s to the 1980s – and the decisive junctures in the debate over socialist policies during those periods

The new book by Hu Deping, "Why China Wanted Reform – Remembering My Father Hu Yaobang," is a compilation of essays written by the author in recent years. The book touches upon issues ranging from the 1960s all the way up to the 1980s and recalls Hu Yaobang's perspectives and ideological shifts toward reform.

The book begins with direct historical materials of Hu Yaobang, the former general party secretary of China, a renowned reformist, and probes the world of his thoughts, seeking the course of his thoughts on development. Especially important are his first steps from the ideological abyss.

In the 22 years since the death of Hu Yaobang, even after an era of daring and energetic individuals, we still cherish the memory of this reform pioneer. We cherish the memories of his immense contributions to the liberation of ideology, political rehabilitation of the unjustly condemned, liberation of productivity, etc. However, as history ever makes memory murky, very few young people know that once in the history of the ruling party, there appeared a CCP Secretary so dearly beloved by the people.

Zhang Lifan is a scholar on modern history.

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