Saturday, December 4, 2021

BRIEF: British historian Jonathan Mirsky dead at 88

British historian Jonathan Mirsky died on Sunday, Jan. 28 in a London hospital. He was 88.

Mirsky had been a professor of philosophy at University College London’s Cass Business School since 1996.

“Jonathan was the warmest, most unassuming and affectionate friend and colleague you could imagine,” said Ranjit Gupta, the Cass’s dean. “A great loss to all of us who knew him, especially those at the Cass with whom he worked on many projects over the years. The breadth of his scholarship is utterly inspiring and his being fully focused on his personal life will be sorely missed.”

Mirsky is remembered as one of the leading scholars on China throughout the 20th century. In his landmark book The China Dream, released in 2015, Mirsky laid bare the “corruption of power” in China, showing that even the most wealthy, corrupt and powerful people had little control over the mainland’s laws. The book had a major impact on international audiences.

“Jonathan was an iconoclast,” His Lens reports. “He was a battler for truth, and for truth that stood up to the injustices of our modern world, whether in China or elsewhere.”

Mirsky had also written about Gandhi, Mao, Aung San Suu Kyi, modern Chinese art, corporate governance, consumer rights, bookstores, books, and libraries, and was a leading figure of the Modern China Studies movement.

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