• Professor of History Emerita, Boston University
  • mgoldman@fas.harvard.edu
  • https://www.bu.edu/history/people/emeritus-faculty/merle-goldman/

Research interests: modern Chinese history, including political reform and the struggle for political rights in reform era China; history of Chinese intellectuals and literary dissent.

Merle Goldman is the author of a number of books on modern Chinese history and culture. Her last two books, China’s Intellectuals: Advise and Dissent (1981) and Sowing the Seeds of Democracy in China (1994), were selected by the New York Times Book Review as among the notable books of their respective years. The latter book was also selected by the American Association of Publishers, Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division, as the best book on government published in 1994. She also has edited five books ranging from a discussion of Chinese culture in the early decades of the twentieth century to Science and Technology in Post-Mao China. Her latest research is on “From Comrade to Citizen in the People’s Republic of China: The Struggle for Political Rights in Post-Mao China.” She has published over fifty articles for scholarly journals and also has written for the New York Review of Books, New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, and The Boston Globe. She has received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Social Science Research Center. She was a member of the United States delegation to the UN Commission on Human Rights (1993-94) and a member of the Presidential Commission on Establishing Radio Free Asia. In 1982, she received the Radcliffe Graduate Award for Distinguished Achievements.

Chinese Name: 戈德曼

戈德曼教授出版了一系列关于中国历史和文化的学术书籍,其中最近的两本《China’s Intellectuals: Advise and Dissent 》(1981)、《Sowing the Seeds of Democracy in China》 (1994)被纽约时报书评选为年度优秀出版物之一。戈德曼教授曾担任联合国人权理事会美国代表团的一员(1993–94),以及总统自由亚洲电台建立委员会的一员,并于1982年荣获拉德克利夫学院卓越成就奖。


Literary Dissent in Communist China, Harvard University Press, 1967; Atheneum paperback, 1970

China's Intellectuals: Advise and Dissent, Harvard University Press, 1981*; paperback, 1987

Sowing the Seeds of Democracy in China: Political Reform in the Deng Xiaoping Decade, Harvard University Press, 1994*; paperback, 1995

China: A New History. Enlarged Edition, coauthored with John K. Fairbank, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1998

From Comrade to Citizen: The Struggle for Political Rights in China, Harvard University Press, 2005 *Selected as "notable books" by The New York Times, 1981 and 1994.

Edited Books
Editor, Modern Chinese Literature in the May Fourth Era, Harvard University Press, 1977; paperback, 1985

China's Intellectuals and the State: In Search of a New Relationship in the People's Republic of China, a Conference Volume, edited with an introduction, "Uncertain Change," Council on East Asian Publications, Harvard University, 1987

Co-editor, Science and Technology in Post-Mao China, Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1989

Ideas Across Cultures, Essays on Chinese thought in honor of Benjamin Schwartz, coedited with Paul Cohen and introduction written with Paul Cohen, Harvard University Press, 1990

Fairbank Remembered, co-edited with Paul Cohen, Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, 1992

The Paradox of China's Reforms, co-edited with Roderick MacFarquhar, Harvard University Press, 1999

Historical Perspectives on Contemporary East Asia, co-edited, Harvard University Press, 2000

Intellectual History of Modern China, co-edited, Cambridge University Press, 2002

Changing Meanings of Citizenship in Modern China, co-edited, Harvard University Press, 2002

Grassroots Political Reform in Contemporary China, co-edited with Elizabeth Perry, Harvard University Press, 2007


"Hu Feng's Conflict with the Communist Literary Authorities," Harvard Papers on China, vol. 11, published by the Center for East Asian Studies, Harvard University (December 1957). Reprinted in The China Quarterly, October-December 1962.

"Re-educating the Literati," Survey, #28, April-June 1959.

"Writer's Criticism of the Party in 1942," The China Quarterly, January-March 1964. Two biographies: Chou Yang and Hu Feng, for Project on Men and Politics in Modern China, Columbia University.

"The Fall of Chou Yang," The China Quarterly, July-September 1966.

"The Unique Blooming and Contending of 1961-62, The China Quarterly, JanuaryMarch 1969. Reprinted in John Lewis, ed., Party Leadership and Revolutionary Power, Cambridge University Press, 1970.

"The Aftermath of China's Cultural Revolution," Current History, September 1971.

"Leftist Criticism of the Pai-hua Movement," in Reflections on the May Fourth Movement: A Symposium, edited and with an introduction by Benjamin I. Schwartz, Harvard University Press, 1972.

"The Role of History in Party Struggle," The China Quarterly, April-June 1972.

"The Chinese Communist Party 'Cultural Revolution' of 1962-1964," in Ideology and Politics in Contemporary China, edited by Chalmers Johnson, University of Washington Press, 1973.

"China in the Wake of the Cultural Revolution," Current History, September 1973.

"The Anti-Confucian Campaign of 1973-1974," The China Quarterly, September 1975. Reprinted in Chinese Communist Affairs Monthly, vol. 18, no. 16 (Dec. 5, 1975).

"China's Dissident Intellectuals," Hearings of the Senate Committee on Government Operations on International Freedom to Write and Publish, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1975.

"Teng Hsiao-p'ing and the Debate over Science and Technology," Contemporary China (East Asian Institute, Columbia University), vol. 2, no. 14, Winter 1978.

"The Media Campaign as a Weapon in Political Struggle," Communication in the People's Republic of China, edited by Godwin Chu and Francis Hsu, University Press of Hawaii, 1979.

"Implications of China's Liberalization," Current History, September 1979.

"Modern History," (with Paul Cohen) in Humanities and Social Science Research in China (N.Y.: Social Science Research Council, 1980).

"The Political Use of Lu Xun," The China Quarterly, no. 91, September 1982.

"Human Rights in China," Daedalus, Fall 1983.

"The Political Use of Lu Xun," Lu Xun and His Legacy, edited by Leo Lee, University of California Press, 1985.

"The Cultural Scene," China Briefing, 1984, edited by Steven M. Goldstein, Westview,

"Intellectual Dissent in the People's Republic of China," Power and Policy in the PRC, edited by Yu-ming Shaw, Westview, 1985, 285-301.

"Principled Intellectuals in the People's Republic of China," Citizens and Groups in Chinese Politics, edited by Victor Falkenheim, University of Michigan Press, 1987.

"Religion in Post-Mao China," The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, January 1986, pp. 145-56.

"The Legacy of the Cultural Revolution," The Chinese Intellectual (in Chinese), April 1986.

"The Zigs and Zags in Culture," China Quarterly, April 1986.

"The Party and the Intellectuals," The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 14: The People's Republic, Part I: The Emergence of Revolutionary China 1949-1965, Cambridge University Press, 1987, 2 chapters.

"Comparison of Chinese and Soviet Reforms," with Marshall Goldman, U.S. and the World Edition, Foreign Affairs, January 1988

"The Political Role of Literature and Intellectuals," The Secret Speeches of Chairman Mao: From the Hundred Flowers to the Great Leap Forward, ed. by Roderick MacFarquhar, Eugene Wu, and Timothy Cheek, Harvard University Press, 1989

"China's Great Leap Backward," Journal of Democracy, vol. 1, no. 1, Winter 1990, 9-18

"Which Way Will China Go?" The Soviet Empire: The Challenge of National and Democratic Movements, edited by Uri Ra'anan, Lexington Books, 1990, pp. 211-288

"China's Sprouts of Democracy," Ethics and International Affairs, vol. 4, 1990, 70-90  Preface to Liu Binyan,

"China's Crisis, China's Hope," Harvard University Press, 1990

"Hu Yaobang and the Theory Conference," China Quarterly, December 1990

"Hu Yaobang's Intellectual Network and the Theory Conference of 1979," The China Quarterly, June 1991

"The Intellectuals in the Deng Xiaoping Era," State and Society in China, ed. Arthur Lewis Rosenbaum, Westview, 1992, pp. 193-218

"To Leninism and Back," with Marshall Goldman, From Leninism to Freedom, ed. by Margaret Nugent, Westview Press, 1992

"China's Intellectuals in the Deng Era: Loss of Identity with the State," China's Quest for National Identity, ed. by Lowell Dittmer and Samuel King, Cornell University Press, 1993

"The Intellectuals in the Deng Era," China and the Era of Deng Xiaoping: A Decade of Reform, ed. by Michael Kao and Susan Marsh, M.E. Sharpe Inc., 1993.

"Zhongquo funu dui jiefang di xin guandian" (Chinese women's new views toward liberation), Xingbie yu Zhongquo (Gender and China), Beijing: Joint Publishing House, 1994.

"Mao Leadership and the Ideological Rectification Campaigns," in Mao Zedong: Reassessing His Life and Legacy, Occasional Papers No. 63, The Woodrow Wilson Center: Asia Program, 1994.

"Dissent in China after 1989," The Oxford International Review, Vol. VI, No. 1, Winter
issue 1994.

"Is There a Chinese View of Human Rights," MFN Status, Human Rights and U.S.-China Relations, National Bureau of Asian Research-Analysis, Vol. 5, no. 1, July 1994.

"Is Democracy Possible?" China issue, Current History, Sept. 1995. Chapter Nine of Sowing the Seeds of Democracy in China reprinted in Wei Jingsheng: The Man and His Ideas, edited by Yang Jian-li and John Downer, Foundation for China in the 21st Century, 1995. Introduction to Dai Qing's Piquant Essays: Chinese Studies in Philosophy, Winter 1995-96.

"Politically-engaged Intellectuals in the Deng-Jiang Era: A Changing Relationship with the Party-State," China Quarterly, No. 145, March 1996.

"The Beginnings of Democratic Practices in China," Washington Journal of Modern China, Vol. 3, No. 1, 1996.

"The Importance of Human Rights in U.S. Policy Towards China," Greater China and U.S. Foreign Policy, ed. by Thomas Metzger and Ramon Myers (Hoover Press, 1996).

"China, Hong Kong and Human Rights," The Hong Kong Transition and U.S.-China Relations, National Bureau of Asian Research-Analysis, vol. 8, no. 3, June 1997.

"Confucian Influence on Intellectuals in the PRC," Confucianism and Human Rights, ed. William Theodore deBary and Tu Weiming, Columbia University Press, 1998.

"Emergence of Politically Independent Intellectuals in the Post-Mao Era," The Paradox of China's Reforms, ed. Merle Goldman and Roderick MacFarquhar, Harvard University Press, 1999.

"Searching for the Appropriate Model for the People's Republic of China" (co-author), Historical Perspectives on Contemporary East Asia, Harvard University Press, 2000.

"A New Relationship between the Intellectual and the State in the Post-Mao Era," Intellectual History of Modern China, Cambridge University Press, 2002.

"The Reassertion of Political Citizenship, Post-Mao Era: The Democracy Wall Movement," Changing Meanings of Citizenship in Modern China, Harvard University Press, 2002.

"China's Authoritarian Populists," Yale Journal of International Affairs, Volume 3, Issue 1, Fall/Winter 2006.

"The Future of China's Party-State," Current History, Vol. 107, No. 701, September 2007.

"Political Rights in Post-Mao China," Key Issues in Asian Studies, No. 2, Association of Asian Studies, 2007, pp. 77.

"The Phrase 'Democracy and China' is not a Contradiction," Asia Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center, 2006.

"Intellectual Pluralism and Dissent" (co-authored with Ashley Esarey), in Political Change in China: Comparisons with Taiwan, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2008.

"Developing Human Rights in Post-Mao China," in Insights on Law and Society, American Bar Association, Winter, 2008.

"The 1989 Demonstrations in Tiananmen Square and Beyond: Echoes of Gandhi," in Civil Resistance and Power Politics, edited by Adam Roberts and Timothy Garton Ash, Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 247-259.

"China's Beleaguered Intellectuals," Current History, September 2009, pp. 264-269.

"Repression of China's Public Intellectuals in the Post-Mao Era, Free Inquiry at Risk,"in Social Research, Volume 76, no. 2, Summer 2009.

"The Impact of the June 4th Massacre on the Pro-Democracy Movement," co-authored with Jean-Philippe Beja, China Perspectives, No. 2009/2. Articles in The New York Review of Books, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, The New Republic, World Monitor, and other newspapers and magazines.

Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies