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Deng Xiaoping Biography, Quentin Blake, Saving Money, Black Power Mixtape

45 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 13 October 2011

On Night Waves tonight Rana Mitter examines the life of the man a new biography suggests is entirely responsible for China's recent meteoric rise, Deng Xiaoping*. Despite the fact that he left almost no paper trail of his thoughts and actions - Deng Xiaoping had learnt during his underground activities in the 1920s to rely entirely on his memory - author Ezra Vogel has composed a portrait of the man and his motives that draws on decades of research.

Rana also visits the studio of illustrator and artist Quentin Blake to discuss his latest work, commissioned by hospitals in the UK and abroad for its therapeutic effect. Working with patients and families, he's produced a series of illustrations - displayed in hospital waiting rooms, maternity wards and mental health units - aimed at helping to humanise an often alien environment.

And in the face of a deepening economic crisis should we save or spend? A new book analyses the differing attitudes to saving across the world and reveals why saving money is far less common in America than in Europe and Asia. Rana looks at the moral ambiguities around these two approaches to personal wealth and asks which model offers the better solution to our current situation.

Finally, Rana uncovers a new film, Black Power Mixtape, partly composed of archive of various figures from the Civil Rights Movement in America and recently rediscovered in a Swedish cellar. Broadcaster Dotun Adebayo, who studied in Sweden, explains why this gives a fascinating insight into the Scandinavian interest in Black America.

  • Deng Xiaoping

    Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of Modern China is published by Harvard University Press.

  • Saving Money

    Beyond Our Means by Sheldon Garon is published by Princeton University Press.

  • Black Power Mixtape

    Black Power Mixtape is in selected cinemas from October 21st.

  • Quentin Blake

    Quentin Blake - As Large As Life is at Compton Verney, Warwickshire until Tuesday 11 December.

  • Quentin Blake

    Quentin Blake

    Maternity Hospital Angers

  • Quentin Blake

    Quentin Blake

    Vincent Square Eating Disorder Unit

  • Quentin Blake

    Quentin Blake

    Planet Zog


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