Frank Dikötter

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Frank Dikötter
Born 1961 (age 54–55)[1]
Stein, Limburg, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Alma mater University of Geneva
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Occupation historian, professor
Notable work Mao's Great Famine
Awards 2011: Samuel Johnson Prize
Website frankdikotter.com

Frank Dikötter (/dˈkʌtər/; Chinese: 馮客; pinyin: Féng Kè) is a Dutch historian who specialises in modern China. He is best known as the author of Mao's Great Famine, which won the 2011 Samuel Johnson Prize.[2] Dikötter is chair professor of humanities at the University of Hong Kong, where he teaches courses on both Mao Zedong and the Great Chinese Famine.[3] He was formerly a professor of the modern history of China from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

Dikötter's work has been described as 'Boldly and engagingly revisionist'[4] by Pankaj Mishra.

Dikötter argued the impact of prohibition of opium on the Chinese people led to greater harm than the effects of the drug itself in Narcotic Culture and Patient Zero. This was well received by academics, with Chinese historian Rana Mitter noting:

The authors provide a comprehensive and powerful account of drug consumption in China.[5]

Chinese academic William Jankowiak, writing in academic journal The Historian stated that:

This is a terrific book. It is an important correction to the China field's, and almost everyone else's, interpretation of opium's impact on Chinese society. The book is clearly written as well as insightful, and it offers a profound conclusion.[6]

He called for the rehabilitation of the history of Republican China between 1912 and 1949 in The Age of Openness. His most recent books Mao's Great Famine and The Tragedy of Liberation deal with the early years of the People's Republic of China and specifically the terror and famine associated with it.

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