Philip Short

Academic Appointments

Magro Family Distinguished Fellow in International Affairs

Philip Short was born in Bristol in 1945 and was educated at Sherborne and Queens’ College, Cambridge.   He worked for the BBC for 30 years as a foreign correspondent, initially in central Africa and then in Moscow, Beijing, Paris, Tokyo and Washington.   In 1997, he spent a year teaching comparative politics at the University of Iowa.   He now lives with his wife and daughter in southern France.   

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His first book, a life of the Malawi leader, Hastings Banda, was published in 1974.   The Dragon and the Bear, a comparison between China after Mao and the Soviet Union after Stalin followed in 1982.  His biography of Mao Zedong was published in the United States in 2000 and has been widely regarded as the definitive account of the life of the Chinese leader.   A revised edition incorporating new archival material, Mao:  The Man Who Made China, was published in London in 2017.  He has also published a biography of the Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, and a life of the French President, François Mitterrand.   He is currently working on a biography of Vladimir Putin.

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