|Born||1961 (age 56–57)|
Stein, Limburg, Netherlands
|Alma mater||University of Geneva|
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
|Mao's Great Famine|
|Awards||2011: Samuel Johnson Prize|
Dikötter is best known as the author of Mao's Great Famine, which won the 2011 Samuel Johnson Prize. 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. 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 asserted the impact of the prohibition of opium on the Chinese people led to greater harm than the effects of the drug itself in Narcotic Culture and Patient Zero. These works have been poorly received by academics, with Chinese historian Kathleen L. Lodwick saying
Narcotic Culture appears to be one of the revisionist histories of which there have been several lately that have aimed at convincing us that imperialism wasn't all that bad, or at least that we should not blame the imperialists, in this case the opium traders who made vast fortunes from the trade, for the social problems they created. Closer attention to accuracy in the bibliography would have caught some errors, which appear more than once and so are not simply typos.
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.
List of works
- 1992: The Discourse of Race in Modern China
- 1995: Sex, Culture and Modernity in China: Medical Science and the Construction of Sexual Identities in the Early Republican Period
- 1997: The Construction of Racial Identities in China and Japan
- 1998: Imperfect Conceptions: Medical Knowledge, Birth Defects and Eugenics in China
- 2002: Crime, Punishment and the Prison in Modern China
- 2003: Patient Zero: China and the Myth of the Opium Plague
- 2004: Narcotic Culture: A History of Drugs in China
- 2007: Exotic Commodities: Modern Objects and Everyday Life in China
- 2008: The Age of Openness: China Before Mao
- 2010: Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958–62
- 2013: The Tragedy of Liberation: A History of the Communist Revolution, 1945–1957
- 2016: The Cultural Revolution: A People's History, 1962–1976
- "Mao's Great Famine wins Samuel Johnson Prize". BBC. 6 July 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
- "Professor Frank Dikötter". University of Hong Kong. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2011.
- Pankaj Mishra (20 December 2010). "Staying Power: Mao and the Maoists". The New Yorker.