For the past three years I’ve been a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, where I finished my book Sparks on dissent in today’s China, while also working on policy issues. It’s been a great experience: I got the chance to work with collegial, interesting thinkers

One of the unpredictable aspects of writing is to see how interest develops over time. In the case of Sparks, it was published last year and I organized the usual tour, which you can see on the book’s tour page and review page. What I didn’t expect is that I’d still be approached a

Sparks came out last September but I have a full plate of mostly public talks through the end of spring, 2024. The year starts out with talks at York University in Toronto and continues to Yale, Boston University (which made the poster above) and on to Washington, Seattle, Stanford, UC San Diego, Co

With 2023  almost over, five important publications have included Sparks on their “best of 2023” lists, including The New Yorker, The Economist, The Financial Times, The New Statesman, and The Tablet.    The New Yorker “With firm but never dogmatic moral conviction, Johnson pays

After months of work, on Dec. 13 we launched the China Unofficial Archives, a repository of hundreds of underground periodicals, books, and movies.  The site is a project that I began to think about when I was working on Sparks, my book on counter-history in China. One key point is that the digital

“Neijuan (the Chinese term for stasis or an inward evolution) now permeates all aspects of life in Xi’s China, leaving the country more isolated and stagnant than during any extended period since Deng launched the reform era in the late 1970s.” After leaving China in 2020, I returned e

We’re building out a tour this September, October, and November to talk about my new book  Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and Their Battle for the Future. I’ll start out on the launch date, Sept. 26, at McNally Jackson in New York City, followed the next day with a talk at

Coming 26 September 2023: Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and their Battle for the Future–my first book in six years, a chronicle of Chinese people inside China today who are challenging the Communist Party on its most sensitive topic, its control of history.  Summary From the ba

Some forthcoming talks are helping me think through a new book, which I want to start writing in 2023 once Sparks: China’s Underground Historians and their Battle for the Future is out in September 2023 (more on that in a post coming soon). One of the talks is at the Asia Society on March 1 [&

How I got to know Wang Yi, the jailed pastor of Pray for Early Rain Covenant Church. This article in Christianity Today (简体字 / 正體字)is an introduction I wrote to a collection of his theological writings, Faithful Disobedience: Writings on Church and State from a Chinese House Church Mov

How did Xi Jinping botch his country’s exit from its zero-Covid policy? And does this herald a new era of protests in China. I answer these and other questions in this Foreign Affairs essay.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis das ist wirklich iste natus.

    Send me a copy