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Karl Gerth

Hwei-Chih and Julia Hsiu Professor of History, UC San Diego

Karl Gerth is an expert in 20th century Chinese history, whose work delves into the history and contemporary implications of Chinese consumerism.

His latest book is titled Unending Capitalism: How Consumerism Negated China's Communist Revolution. In it, he argues that despite the socialist rhetoric of class warfare and egalitarianism, Communist Party policies actually developed their own version of capitalism and expanded consumerism, negating the goals of the Communist Revolution across the Mao era (1949-1976) down to the present. Gerth’s previous books examined the global power of Chinese consumers in the contemporary period as well as the critical intertwined relationship between the development of consumerism and nationalism in 20th century China.

Gerth is a faculty co-lead of the annual U.S.-China Graduate Students Workshop on Modern China. For more information, please visit Karl Gerth’s personal site.