How Deng did it

Two mighty rhetorical questions conclude this enormous biography of Deng Xiaoping (1904-97): “Did any other leader in the 20th century do more to improve the lives of so many? Did any other 20th-century leader have such a large and lasting influence on world history?” The answers emerge from this comprehensive, minutely documented book, but not as predictably as Ezra F. Vogel, a Harvard University emeritus professor of social sciences, assumes.

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