Mark Danner

Where’s the deep-fried beef?

Author: Leah Garchik


Writer, journalist, educator and MacArthur grant winner Mark Danner, who came to Berkeley at the urging of then-Dean of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism Orville Schell, welcomed guests to his house in the Berkeley hills on Saturday to celebrate Schell and John Delury’s new book, “Wealth and Power: China’s Long March to the Twenty-first Century.” The party was co-hosted by Danner, Michelle Sipe, Judith Belzer and Michael Pollan, who had migrated to Berkeley at Schell’s invitation, too. Danner’s house, tucked into the Berkeley hills, has a literary history: Former owner Czeslaw Milosz wrote 50 books there, said Danner, and it was fitting to use it “to read books, to write books, to talk about books and to honor books.”

Schell, director of the Center on U.S.-China Relations at the Asia Society in New York, said he’d conceived the book and done a great deal of the work on it while he was at the J-school. The goal of this and previous works, is to “illuminate the enigma that is China.” Still, he said, in his low-key manner, “If you have trouble making sense out of China, you are not alone. Even I do find it difficult to understand.”