Tributes to Frederic Wakeman

Professor Frederic Wakeman, who taught at Berkeley since 1965, was the world's leading historian of late imperial and modern China. A productive scholar, he had published, edited and co-edited over thirty books in English and Chinese and authored over one hundred essays and articles that appeared in learned journals as well as popular journals such as The New York Review of Books and The New Republic. A leading scholar in the field, he was President of the American Historical Association in 1992. His books have won numerous honors including the 1987 Levenson Prize awarded by the Association for Asian Studies, the 1987 Berkeley Prize awarded by the University of California Press, and the Urban History Association's prize for Best Book in Non-North American Urban History published during 1995 and 1996. Nationally he had, since 1974, chaired or served on the advisory committees on Chinese Studies at the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Sciences Research Council. He was a key figure, in the late 1970s and 1980s, in the establishment of the Committee on Scholarly Communications with the People's Republic of China, a national committee housed at the National Academy of Sciences that oversaw and facilitated scholarly exchanges in all fields between the United States and China. He was a Senior Advisor to the Beijing office of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the CSCPRC from 1985 to 1986. This was followed by membership on the U.S.-USSR Binational Commission on the Social Science and Humanities from 1986 to 1989, and membership with the Council on Foreign Relations in 1986. He was President of the Social Science Research Council in New York from 1986 to 1989. Upon returning to Berkeley, he served as the Director of the Institute for East Asian Studies from 1990 to 2001. He was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 1998.

Frederic Evans Wakeman Jr. was born in Kansas City, Kansas, on December 12, 1937. His father Frederic Sr. was a writer. His mother Margaret descended from a line of prosperous Kansas mill owners. Wakeman received secondary education in France and Fort Lauderdale. As a young man he traveled extensively with his family - travels in the Spanish-speaking world and the Mediterranean that informed "Voyages," his American Historical Association Presidential Address in 1992. He mastered French and Spanish in his youth, and arrived at Harvard College in 1955 as a Harvard National Scholar. Wakeman concentrated on Harvard's elite program, European History and Literature. He was a member of Winthrop House, and graduated magna cum laude in 1959. A versatile linguist, he spoke, read or worked with nearly a dozen languages. He wrote and published his first works - a short story and a novel - while still an undergraduate. A voracious reader of fiction, history, and a wide range of works in humanities and social sciences, he developed a writing style that was at once literary and scholarly.

In the six years after Harvard he earned the MA (Cantab.) from Cambridge University; Master's degrees in Soviet Studies and Political Theory, Institut d'etudes politiques in Paris and in History at Berkeley; plus the doctoral degree in History (1965). At Berkeley he studied with the late Joseph Levenson and acquired Chinese and Japanese. For his doctoral dissertation he worked in London's Public Records Office and the Chinese Service Center in Hong Kong. His dissertation, on social disorder in the Pearl River Delta in the aftermath of the Opium War (1839-42), made extensive use of the original documents of the Guangdong Governor-general's office that were captured by British soldiers in the 1860s. Wakeman's dissertation appeared the following year (1966) as a book under the title Strangers at the Gate: Social Disorder in South China, 1839-1861. It has been widely regarded as among the first books that ushered in a trend in late imperial Chinese social and regional histories based on archival research. Other books he wrote that made their mark on the field of Chinese history include The Great Enterprise, and his most recent work, Spymaster: Dai Li and the Chinese Secret Service.

For the next four decades Wakeman continued to set the research agenda in his field and to build the infrastructure for the pursuit of Chinese studies in the United States and in collaboration with research institutions of the People's Republic of China. He has also trained several generations of graduate students who now staff the China field at major American universities including Harvard, Columbia, Berkeley, UC San Diego, Northwestern and UC Irvine. On the occasion of his retirement in 2006 he was honored at the annual meeting of the Asian Studies Association in San Francisco and with a retirement conference on campus that featured a conversation between Wakeman and James Sheehan, also past President of the American Historical Association, on the writing of history.

A man known for his incredible level of energy, acuity, understanding, and generosity in spirit, Wakeman was a source of inspiration and support and a pillar for the Berkeley China community. He retired from university service in May 2006 after 40 years and died in September. He is to be much missed for a long time to come.

Wen-hsin Yeh
UC Berkeley

Fred Wakeman was the rock star of Chinese historians, at least that was how it seemed to me when I hung out with him. We couldn't go anywhere on or off campus where he wasn't swarmed by people who wanted to speak to him for a few minutes. He was always happy to stop and talk, and was genuinely interested in the conversations he held with each person who stopped by to say hello. Fred had such a magnetic personality - people were just naturally drawn to him.

Fred was a gifted storyteller and a brilliant historian, which made his Chinese history lectures so engrossing. Although I sat in on History 9A, 13B, and 116C so many times that I deserve an honorary degree in Chinese history, I never tired of hearing about the Mongol empire, Zheng He's voyages, the Kangxi emperor, the Opium Wars, the Taipings, or the Gang of Four. Outside of the classroom he could entertain me for hours on end with tales of Dai Li and Pan Hannian, interspersed with stories about growing up in New York, Florida, Mexico, Cuba, France, Spain, and on and on. "Oh Lan," he would imitate his grandmother, as he launched into another tale of his childhood exploits.

As a boss, Fred was easy-going, full of praise and appreciation, and never too demanding. He was a warm person with a wonderful sense of humor, quick to laugh out loud when something amused him. I treasure the time we spent together - office meetings, going to appointments at the history department or faculty club, and especially our weekly lunch at Skates. The sixteen years that I worked with him here at the Institute of East Asian Studies flew by in a flash, and I miss him every day now that he's gone.

Catherine Lenfestey
Berkeley, CA

Fred Wakeman changed my life. I was an undergrad at UC Berkeley in 1969 or 1970 when I had the good fortune to wander into his survey course on Asian History. His knowledge was broad and deep. And his enthusiasm was contagious. Fred Wakeman was not only a brilliant scholar. He was also a great teacher. Inspired by his teaching on modern Chinese history, I began to study the Chinese language and earned a degree in Chinese studies. Later, I joined the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service officer, serving tours of duty in Shanghai, Beijing and Taiwan. It all started with Fred Wakeman's teaching. I join his many former students in paying tribute to a great man.

Tom Biddick
Santa Cruz, CA

Fred will be missed greatly. Realizing that I would no longer get a chance to have lengthy discussions on the subject of China with him again when I first heard of his death, I sat down, paused for a long moment, and began to slowly realize how much of an impact Fred had on my life for the past few years. I met my would be teacher and mentor, Fred Wakeman, during the spring semester of my college Freshmen year as a student in his History 13B course on Late Imperial and Modern China. After taking this course and a few subsequent courses with him, there was no doubt on my mind that, whatever I decided to do later in life, it would have a lot to do with China and the Asia-Pacific region.

Fred managed to convince me, like he had convinced thousands of his students for the last four decades, that my true calling would be to devote the rest of my life to study this region. I can recall countless times through our lengthy discussions when Fred surprised and impressed me with his artistic use of words, great sense of humor, and impregnable arguments. In one instance, Fred demonstrated to me his keen, one-of-a-kind, intellect. During my Sophomore year, I was in a heated email debate with John Petty at the Institute of East Asian Studies, Center for Korean Studies on the highly questionable subject of Zheng He's discovery of the Americas in 1421, 71 years before Columbus "discovered" the Americas. As an extremely affable and non-confrontational person, poor Fred, he somehow was caught in the strings of email exchanges as John and I traded constructive criticisms of each other's viewpoints on this subject. Although I had a feeling that he was unwillingly brought into this debate, Fred always stayed in the middle and remained impartial during the debate despite the fact that I was his student. Throughout the entire debate, Fred meticulously assessed both of our point-of-views, and as always, provided, from time to time during our heated debate, his carefully-contemplated expert opinion on our diverging looks at the subject of Zheng He's discovery of the Americas. At the end of the deadlocked debate, not only did Fred prove to me that he was a person of immense intelligence, he also showed me that the past can have a profound influence on the present.

The last time I saw my teacher was last May at his retirement party. Before we parted I gave Fred a big hug and told him that he was the reason why I decided to study history and specialize in the Asia-Pacific region. Fred then smiled and said, "Although I was able to convince you to study the Asia-Pacific region during your undergraduate years, I don't know if I can convince you to devote your life to the study of this region..." Dear Fred, wherever you are now, I just want to let you know that your guidance and encouragement throughout these years have more than convinced me to devote my life to the study of this region. My friend, teacher, and mentor, you will forever be missed.

Tam Pham
San Jose, CA

In the brief time, which has passed since the news of the death of Fred Wakeman, reactions among his many friends and colleagues on the Eastern side of the Atlantic have exhibited a remarkable similarity in four respects.

Firstly, there has been a unanimous reaction that his death means that we have lost not only a towering intellectual but a thoroughly enjoyable and generous human being. It was simply impossible to be in the company of Fred Wakeman even for a short while without a feeling a surge of scholarly exhilaration. He had a remarkable capacity of sharing his with us from his enormous range of knowledge while at the same time installing in us a near miraculous belief that we were partners in a common endeavour. This enviable gift of sharing wisdom without ever in the slightest transforming a conversation into a monologue is so unusual and so akin to friendly human interaction at its best that you were often enticed into taking it for granted in the moment itself only to realize afterwards that you had been offered a rare gift.

Secondly, Fred Wakeman was one of the great specialist in late Ming and Qing China as well as in China of the twentieth century, not least the China of the tumultuous 1920's and 30's. His meticulous care for archival research and the careful study of original source materials - and he often went to very lengths in uncovering previously unavailable sources, for instance in preparing his book Spymaster - are legendary, but so is his wide knowledge not only of other periods in Chinese history but across a wide range of the social and human sciences. The breadth of his reading and the carefulness of his judgement were astounding but also generally appreciated. However, personally I only gradually, in connection with his work for the academic advisory board of the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, came to realize that I had in fact never come across a scholar with an equally wide and at the same time deep and careful reading in these fields.

Thirdly, Fred Wakeman had a capacity shared by the best historians, namely the ability to write about difficult problems of history and society in an elegant, yet entirely accessible way. Narration and analysis were intimately linked and mutually supportive.

Fourthly, it may be a great privilege to be able to have your existence in the world of scholarly and academic work. However, we all know that this is a world which all too often resembles that which is portrayed in academic novels or in the analyses of by sociologists and anthropologists of science of a harsh competition for recognition and reputation. There is no reason to deny the validity of such analyses. But in the last instance the social nature of academic life would be insufferable if that was the last and only truth. More than any scholar I have met Fred Wakeman had the capacity to share with you a sense of the seriousness and suspense of scholarly work but also of the frail and often humorous nature of our daily existence and of the futility of all pompousness.

After meeting Fred, you felt invigorated, elated and full of joy and courage. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why many of us cannot overcome the sense of deep loss, why it is so painful to contemplate the fact that we shall never again be able to enter into a dialogue with him, ask for his advice and enjoy his humour and wit, why we feel, despite the official presumption of professional academic life to the contrary, that this loss is indeed an irreplaceable one.

Björn Wittrock
Uppsala, Sweden

Like most of you here today, I am not ready to say goodbye to Fred. For 36 years Fred Wakeman has been one of the most important people in my life. I was twenty when he became my teacher and friend and there was not an important moment in my adult life that was not made sweeter by Fred's commiseration, encouragement, delight and counsel. Retirement was to be a time when Fred could indulge his greatest joys, the solitude of research, the closeness of family and friends and the beauty of a natural world that disability tried in vain to keep from him. I am angry that it was taken away from him and from us.

I know that some of you today will be speaking about Fred as a scholar and a force in the field of history and Chinese studies. Many of us know that to have been Fred's student was to receive a great gift in a time of enormous flux in our field. Fred the storyteller saved for us the narrative form at a time when it was under attack. And by his own success, his activism and his openness, he ensured a space for the kind of history that will endure deeply embedded in the culture of place, true to the empirical record, analytically incisive and committed to the big issues that shape the human condition.

But for me his presence in the world was also more personal. His passing is a loss that can never be recovered. I am so grateful for every time he assured me that the path I took as a scholar would yield sweet fruit. And I cherish every one of those huge belly laughs when I told him what we outrageous young people had been up to.

It is easy to mythologize a man like Fred. He seemed to move through the world with such gusto and ease. I often wondered if he knew how lucky he was to have that mind, that confidence, that facility with language and with people. When I was preparing for my orals I experienced a significant crisis of confidence. Here I was, about to take an exam on all of modern Chinese history with a man who remembered every word of every book he had ever read, including the number of the page it was on. I went to see Fred in his office and told him that I was so nervous that I was having dreams that I walked into the exam, looked around and then keeled over in a dead faint. Fred laughed and told me not to worry, that when he was preparing for orals he used to have a dream that he walked into the exam and sat down, at which point his committee, which included Joseph Levenson, started questioning him in Swahili, one of the few languages I might add, that Fred did not understand.

I never really believed that Fred Wakeman could be rattled by an exam. But to this day I tell his story to my own students when they knock on my door in those last hysterical days before orals. I think this is what is called the transmission of the Way.

Since Fred's passing there has been much talk about a Wakeman school of history. But by his example Fred taught us equally important lessons about being a teacher to give your students the tools they need to pursue the as yet unasked question, to leave them sufficient room to develop their individual voices and to be there when they doubt themselves, as from time to time even the best of us must do. This past spring when we all met for one more time to honor our teacher, show him what we could do, and reminisce about our times together in that most intimate of settings, the small cohort of Ph.D. students and their teacher, Fred surprised us by breaking down in tears. We had always loved him. But in what would sadly turn out to be one of his last acts as our teacher, he helped us all one last time by baring his soul and showing us just how much he had always loved us.

We will miss him so much.

Madeleine Zelin
New York, NY

Please forgive me for not standing here and speaking in person, for my frail heart is too consumed by grief to be sufficiently collected for this public speech; my memory of the happy gathering Fred and I attended last spring, right here with you, is too fresh to be cast in the shadow of this sorrowful moment.

Yet, I am among you, and with you as, together, we mourn our tremendous loss of a great man. If Fred achieved greatness in his professional life, it was the nobility of his soul that made him truly great. His magnitude, indeed, derives from a noble soul capable of holding himself above petty concerns, aiming only at a greater common cause; from his deep compassion and endless generosity towards the underprivileged and vulnerable ones; and from his immeasurable courage in facing human misfortune and tragedy which struck him twice.

Above all, the ardent passion that he lived, cherished and defended, in a costly way, was for him the highest value of human life. It was precisely through this quality that he and I became true soul mates until the very last second of his existence. Therefore, I know with certainty how much he was a part of all of you who have witnessed his loyalty and devotion to this community during more than four decades of his short existence.

That Fred is so well beloved and honored by your precious memories is a great comfort to me, and to many grieving hearts around the world. May his goodness continue to nourish our aspirations and his lofty spirit illuminate our constant quest for betterment.

Thank you all.

Lea Wakeman
Lake Oswego, OR

When the news of the passing of Professor Wakeman reached us, we were surprised, shocked, tears came to our eyes, and profound sorrow submerged our hearts. We feel sorry for the international academic circle for losing a distinguished scholar with erudite learning and great achievement. We feel sad for the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS) for losing an excellent teacher and sincere friend who was never tired of teaching and helping.

As a historian of Chinese history, Professor Wakeman has a great reputation in China. Most of his books have been translated into Chinese, and they have attracted a huge audience. Chinese readers love his topics, his narrative style, his insights and passion. For the history majors in Chinese universities, he is the exemplar historian; for Chinese historians, he raises the bar for the whole profession. We've paid great attention to his work, and were exited by his every new publication. He is probably more famous in China than in his own country.

In late 1980s, because of common academic interests, Professor Wakeman began his long time collaboration with the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. Together with President Zhang Zhongli of the SASS, he launched a Berkeley-Shanghai project studying Shanghai history. Through organizing international conferences, exchanging visiting scholars, and sponsoring publications, the project successfully promoted the study of Shanghai city, and was extremely helpful to the Chinese scholars including myself who were eager to learn from their western colleagues. During his visits to Shanghai, Professor Wakeman brought fresh information through talks and conversations; for Chinese scholars and students visiting and studying in the states, he had always been a helpful and reliable resource.

Professor and Mrs. Wakeman's visit to the Institute of History, Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, at the end of 2002 is unforgettable to us. He came to give a talk on the recent currents of the China studies in the U.S. The institute was located in a building which had no wheelchair passage. We were so embarrassed for letting him experience all the awkwardness of getting into the building, but he looked so calm and undisturbed, and gave us a fantastic talk in return. Professor Wakeman accepted our invitation to attend the Second World Forum on China Studies hosted by our academy, which was scheduled for last September. Just when we were eagerly expecting his visit, in last August, he sent us a message saying that because of his illness, he would not be able to participate in the event. When the September conference took place, Professor Wakeman had already passed away, and all the participants regretted deeply the loss of such a great historian who devoted his whole life studying Chinese history.

An ancient proverb says, "It's easy to find a teacher of classics, but it's difficult to find a teacher of man." Academically, Professor Wakeman, with his genius, erudition and diligence, had achieved something that only a very small number of scholars could achieve. However, his virtue as a man was even more precious than his achievement as a scholar. He was kind, sincere, honest and tolerant; he treated people with no hidden agenda; he helped people with all his heart; his smile was always so bright, and his eyes always so clear. Professor Wakeman was not only a teacher of classics, but also a teacher of man. Here, on behalf of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, with sincere gratitude for what Professor Wakeman had done for us, I would like to thank the family and the community that had produced such a wonderful person.

As I am writing from the other side of the vast ocean, my tears drop on my keyboard. My words come to an end, but my feeling of loss will never. Our esteemed teacher and beloved friend Professor Wakeman will live in our hearts forever!

Xiong Yuezhi
Shanghai, China

享有世界名望,美国著名的中国历史学家,前加洲大学伯克利分校东亚研究所所长、中国研究中心主任教授弗莱蒂克•魏克曼(Frederic Wakeman)2006年9月14日去世,享年68岁。弗莱蒂克•魏克曼是卓越的中国问题研究专家,著名的中国历史学家,优秀的教育家。他一生勤奋耕耘著作等身,活跃在学术界的最高层;他在教育领域颇具成就,培养的学生在哈佛、哥伦比亚及加州等著名大学任教;他在中国研究上见解超人影响深远,是二十世纪七八十年代初创中国与美国学术交流的关键人物。为了对魏克曼教授表示尊敬与爱戴,2006年11月8日下午4点至6点在加洲大学伯克利分校教授活动中心(Faculty Club)举行了隆重追思活动,耶鲁大学著名中国史学家史景迁教授 (Jonathan D. Spence), 哈佛大学燕京学院院长杜维明教授,加洲大学伯克利分校历史系叶文心教授等著名学者和其家人发了言,对魏克曼教授的一生进行了回顾,给予他很高的评价,并表达了对他的深切怀念。





带着无限的惋惜我默默地祈愿:魏克曼教授能 Enjoy himself in the heaven!

薛念文 (Xue Nianwen)
Shanghai, China


种种牵肠挂肚的事情中,最觉得放不下去的,就要数远远躺在美国病床上的 Fred 了。尽管这位大汉学家朋友,已经被确诊为绝症,而且病情发展得很快,我还是不断给自己打气,盼望着能有什么奇迹发生,就连平时顶多姑妄听之的江湖郎中,也被寄予了无限的期望。

先要把称谓交代一下。这位老朋友的英文全名是 Frederic Evans Wakeman ,Jr.,如果全都对译成中文,那么应当是“弗里德里克•埃文斯•小魏克曼”。普通的汉语读者,往往是从《大门口的陌生人》、《洪业》和《间谍王》等译著的封面上,识得他那个文绉绉的汉名魏斐德。而国内同行提到他,则往往会中西合璧地称他为魏克曼,即其姓氏的音译。不过,好朋友们不管当面还是背后,则更喜欢亲昵地喊他Fred,这是他的名字的简称。

正因为他姓 Wakeman ,我才曾在一篇序文中,半开玩笑地形容他是“醒着的人”。这位学界的领军人物,曾在整整二十年间,以每天只睡四小时的代价,奇迹般地写出了他那一大摞著作!然而可叹的是,这种长年累月的超负荷工作,再加上他那率性的生活态度(这一点马上会谈到),都难免在他身体上留下了印痕。

由此,几乎从结识 Fred 的第一天起,你就不能不强烈意识到他的健康问题,特别是他那负荷显然已经太重的肝脏。据说,他曾是美国驻华大使的人选,后来正是因为肝脏的问题,最终才不克来这里赴任。缘此,也就很容易理解,每当我们觥筹交错谈兴正浓的时候,总能够听到他夫人梁禾的惊呼—— Fred 你可不能再喝了!……

不过即使这样,每逢赴美访问之前,要是在行程中能见到 Fred ,我总还是禁不住要跟自己商量:要不要再带瓶好酒给他?要知道,跟这样的性情中人消磨一个晚上,用各自的闻见、识断和妙语来下酒,更享受一下他那不时爆发的朗声大笑,那毕竟是人生的一大快事!我们共同的朋友北岛,对于 Fred 的笑声也有同感:“他笑起来如此纵情毫无遮拦,如晴天霹雳,只有内心纯粹的人才会这样笑。”

正因为这种笑声,有一次从加州讲学回来,接到伯克利方面的来信,询问我邮寄支票的地址,我马上就回信说不必费心了,——真的,有 Fred 这样的大学者为我主持讲演,又对我饷以会心的大笑,这回报已经足够了!我是从性情深处跟 Fred 投缘,他无意间让我对人性更有信心,知道不管出息有多大,都不必扭曲得一脸城府。

Fred 的这种性格,却不是未经世事之前的单纯,而是曾经沧海之后的透明。即使未曾跟他谋面,也委实不难想象,这位曾经身为美国历史学会主席、美国亚洲学会主席、美国社会科学协会主席的名流,如果缺乏应对各种复杂纠葛的智力上的优裕,那是绝对保不住这份纯真的。毕竟,让人生厌的学院政治,就像无孔不入的苍蝇一样,肯定是要到处下蛆的。所以,恰恰是在机心密布的背景下,方显出 Fred 身上这种难得的平衡。

如果没有这一点,那么说实在的,仅仅因为 Fred 的显赫身份,就会妨碍我们彼此结交,更不要说如此地交好。我生就害怕那些把权力玩的得意洋洋玩得炉火纯青的人,他们总是那样莫测高深,又总是那样不知所云,但显然又并非全然的白痴,倒让你不得不反过来怀疑——他们是在用一大堆言不由衷絮絮叨叨的废话,来测验你有没有识破的智力,以及有没有即使识破也不说破的耐力。正因为这样,每逢碰上这样的人,我都会老老实实地认栽,自愧弗如地绕着走。

另外, Fred 还有一种平衡能力,那就是在通晓各种时新理论的同时,又一如既往地守护着历史学家所珍惜的经验。对于像我这种出身哲学的人,这一点尤觉可贵,因为如若不然的话,那些天花乱坠的史学著作,说到底就很可能是从这边打捆批发过去的,使我们这些理论家只能自作自受。出于这样的心得,我遂在刚才提到那篇序文中,把Fred描绘为一位“纯正的历史学家”,判定他所奉献给我们的,“实属于最传统最老派的史学工作成果。”

那篇序文登出以后,梁禾曾就所谓“传统”“老派”的定语跟我商榷,唯恐这种说法会引起不必要的误解。这也就是为什么,今年五月我再去伯克利为 Fred 的荣休典礼发表基调讲演时,会重新拾起这个话题来澄清,也顺带提请注意 Fred 在治史方面的古风。我想,当时所有在座的听众,自然也包括 Fred 本人,全都听懂了我的意思。

然而直到这时,我才从 Fred 本人的反映中,感受到了“传统”或者“ tradition ”这个字眼,在中文世界和英文世界中,特别是在伯克利那样的语境下,会发生何等巨大的语义异位。或许,在一个刚刚被毁弃过一切的国度,和一个总是渴望疾风暴雨的校园,大家都是缺什么才吆喝什么,都是在根据自己的病痛来释读对方。幸好,另一位好友周锡瑞,当即就率直地表示,完全同意我对他老师的判断,让我自信并非门外乱谈。

不消说,遇到了 Fred 荣休这等的大事,我肯定还是要带瓶好酒的。在那个放松的时刻,谁也都还不了解 Fred 的病情,包括他们伉俪自己。甚至,北岛还特别宽许地向 Fred 劝酒,那意思好像是在说,轮到这样的场合,你最好用大醉一场来宣布——下不为例了,从今以后就要保养身体了。


早知那样,我无论如何也要多跟 Fred 聊几次呀!可现在,竟连后悔都来不及了,不光是隔着千山万水,医生也早已禁止探视了。由此联想起,以前曾在什么地方说过,不到这种“生离”有可能顿成“死别”的关头,我们这些情感麻木的现代人,其实是很难同情地想到,古人为什么会写出那么多惜别的诗句来。我们如今是太倚仗现代化的利器了,以为天南地北都不过在脚下,感受生活的能力反而粗糙起来,轻易地让那些看似寻常的瞬间哗哗地从指缝中流走了。

屈指算来,从伯克利回来不过两个多月,就听说了 Fred 的病情。这个意外的打击真是把我击倒了,竟不知再说什么好,也不知再做什么好,只是枯坐在电脑前面,久久地默诵着刚刚在临别前为 Fred 所唱的那曲《我住长江头》,痛恨其中的“此水几时休,此恨何时已”之句,竟有可能成为谶语!北岛后来也在信中说,“ Fred 的病情对我打击极大,我第一次跟他通话忍不住大哭。”然而,一向口若悬河的我,碰到这样的事情,就连打电话过去哭一场的勇气也没有,只能把我们最新的合影做成了一个镜框,挑最快的邮路寄到 Fred 的病床前,好让他明确地意识到,在如此艰难的人生关头,这些朋友一直都站在他身后。


然而消息终究还是传来了,是老周(锡瑞)在第一时间通报的,来得也算在预料之中,但总觉得还是比预料的早!我没有马上回信,因为我不打算详细地知晓 Fred 最后跟病魔搏斗的场面,——那场面一定特别惨烈,让我的心脏再也承受不起!在这方面,妻子虽是柔弱的女性,却显得比我更加理性。她用再简单不过的一句话,给了我一点冷静下来的理由——“他总算可以不再遭罪了!”

将来回顾起来,在我有限的生命旅程中,已经过去大半的这个 2006 年,可以整个地算作“ Fred 年”罢?你想,春暖花开的时候,我是在为他总结和庆祝;夏日炎炎的时候,我是在为他焦虑和祈福;而眼下已是中秋时节,我仍自不能释解对他的追思……


可惜 Fred 这一去,把许许多多的交往之乐都给带走了!而恰值此时,又有学生把列文森的遗著《革命与世界主义》译了出来,寄到我这里投稿,益发使人黯然神伤。偏就那么巧,在列文森这部死后整理出版的遗稿之前,正好印着 Fred 当年为自己老师所写的序文,这不能不使我联想到,现在又轮到 Fred 的弟子们,来整理他本人的未竟遗作了!绵绵无尽的学术事业,竟这么残酷这么森严,这么一言不发着,可那中间流淌的,却都是古往今来的英雄血呀!

而聊可自慰的是,不管 Fred 走得多么匆忙,我总还来得及在他生前告诉他,他下力已久的潘汉年研究,无论在何时成书,我都会马上把它收入我的《海外中国研究丛书》,让它跟中文读者尽快见面。由此想来,Fred跟我本人的文字缘,乃至于跟中文读者的文字缘,都还远未终了呢!

刘东 (Liu Dong)
Beijing, China

Most of you gathered today to remember Fred knew him as a grown man, scholar, and colleague much better than I did. During the last 51 years of his life, we saw each other no more than 5 or 6 times; and living our adult lives on opposite coasts, we never had the opportunity to be intellectual comrades, despite our neighboring scholarly fields, China and Russia. What I can add today is therefore only a footnote to Fred's marvelous life, one remote from things academic.

But I hope it is a note worth making because I may be the only one of us who knew Fred as a very young man, even a boy as I still was when we met. During the high school year of 1954-55, Fred and I - he was a year older and a senior, a grade ahead of me - were friends and sometime roommates at Pine Crest School, a day and boarding institution, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Pine Crest is now a prestigious prep school, but in those early years it was little more than a makeshift campus cobbled together from a former motel and adjacent stucco buildings were well-to-do divorced, dysfunctional, or nomadic parents parked their young boys and girls - for an education, it was said.

You can imagine such a school in such a tropical locale in the increasingly licentious 1950's, but if not, read ( if you can find it) Fred's fictionalized account of student life there in his 1962 paperback novel, published under the semi-pseudonym Evans Wakeman, 17 Royal Palms Drive. In the novel, the town "Surf Harbor" is easily recognizable as Fort Lauderdale, "Campbell School" as Pine Crest, and though I am not recognizable in the main character, Fred's alter ego, he has my name, "Steve."

At that time, Pine Crest had a considerable number of boarding students from various kinds of famous and infamous families - children of accomplished American parents (as was Fred), children of scandal-ridden families (as was a Texas girl whose father had killed her mother), and a few offspring of entrenched and exiled Latin American dictators. But Fred was the schools No. 1 celebrity. Even if we ourselves had not read his father's best-selling novels, most famously The Hucksters, we or our parents had seen the popular big-star movies based on them. And there was no missing who Fred was, since he had his father's name, along with its exotic glamor of Hollywood, Europe, and Caribbean islands.

Though Fred and I looked a little alike at that time - both of us of modest height and slight build, sporting crew cuts and casual clothes even by South Florida standards - we were unlikely friends. Before Pine Crest, I had lived only in Kentucky, while Fred had been all over the world, or so it seemed to me. And while both of us were obsessed with girls - a theme of Fred's novel, where our sophistication and success were, alas, exaggerated - our interests were otherwise different. While I played basketball and golf, Fred read books. While I fantasized about a career in sports, Fred was already thinking intellectual thoughts. And while Indiana University was my best hope for college, Fred was clearly bound for Harvard.

And yet, during that very hot year, Fred and I became close friends, regular companions at Pine Crest, on Ft. Lauderdale's daytime and nighttime beaches, and in lowlife bars indifferent to the circumstances that we looked to be barely 16 years old. There were two special symbols of our friendship, as I thought then and remember even now.

One was Fred's car - a late 1940's Lincoln Continental, the classic big convertible with the spare tire mounted on the trunk, the only one I had ever seen outside the movies. For me, it was the coolest car imaginable and a symbol of Fred's wonderous life away from the school. When he occasionally let me drive it, I felt we were practically brothers

The other symbol of our friendship was Fred's amazingly faded jeans, nearly as old as the Lincoln, the kind with a much worn look that you can buy new today but obtainable then only through years of use and abuse. I coveted those jeans almost as much as I did the Lincoln, and not only did Fred let me wear them from time to time, he "bequeathed" them to me, as he put it, when he graduated in the spring of 1955 and faded from my life for the next 20 years. I prized those jeans, wore them whenever possible, and, worried they were decomposing, rarely washed them. So rarely that my mother, complaining, "They're so filthy they can stand by themselves," unsentimentally threw them out a year or two later in my absence - to my long lasting dismay.

Finally, I remember two more significant aspects of our school-year friendship. One was Fred's extraordinarily good nature and uncommon decency. Pine Crest was rife with the malice of cliques inspired by money, status, and envy, as well as religious and ethnic prejudice. Certainly, Fred's special experiences, worldliness, and superior knowledge could have given him plenty of reasons to be disdainful of other students, but he never was. (Thus, he befriended this Jewish hick from Kentucky.) As a result, everyone at the school, as far as I knew, liked Fred. Everyone regarded him as a "good guy." Many years later, when I encountered some of Fred's former students and colleagues, usually at Princeton, I was not the least surprised by how much every one of them liked and admired him.

My other memory remains a kind of puzzle. Fred and I eventually went on, in our separate ways, to become scholars in related fields, Chinese and Russian studies. But I do not recall either of us ever having even mentioned either country during our many hours of talk 51 years ago, even though both of those countries must have been prominently in the news. I often wonder why that was. Were we so unlike as teenagers what we became? Was our life's work still so far from our minds? Was it, as Russians would tell us, our common "fate" still silently unfolding?

It's a question I never asked Fred but intended to ask him when we next met, a prospective meeting that figured in our correspondence, certainly mine, after his ill-fated back surgery. And it is one reason why I will miss him very much. Another is that I will never have an opportunity to know the remarkable man Fred became as well as I did the young Fred when we were barely more than boys.

Stephen F. Cohen
New York, NY

I met Fred Wakeman the day he taught his first course at Berkeley. I was a beginning graduate student. He was a young assistant professor. Many of us remember that young Fred Wakeman well: short crew cut, blue blazer, the carelessly tied necktie that would progressively loosen as the discussion became more animated.

That earliest group of his students - including Orville Schell, Angus MacDonald, Jonathan Porter, Dilip Basu, David Marr and myself - were only a few years younger than Fred. We had all come to study with Joe Levenson, and were not always properly respectful of the young man who had been hired to assist him. But when Levenson suddenly and tragically passed away, Fred stepped in with characteristic efficiency and generosity. As a mentor he was a bit more hands-on than Levenson, and a sharp yet subtle critic. I dare say that my generation of the 1960s in Berkeley was probably not the easiest group to educate, but Fred led largely by example: rigorous empirical scholarship, with equal attention to sinological skills and comparative and theoretical approaches. In the end, we learned a great deal in spite of ourselves.

Over the years, Fred passed from mentor, to colleague to friend. Our families spend several memorable vacations skiing together at Lake Tahoe; and when I came to the Bay Area for the holidays we would get together to relax and catch up with each others' busy lives.

The last couple years, my wife and I visited Fred and Lea at their lovely home in Lake Oswego - such a treasured, leafy, parkside retreat from the entanglements of a long academic career. We talked about having years of conversations on their back porch, never imagining that what should have been a long and happy retirement would be cut so short by that cruel cancer.

For the past dozen years or so, my students and I would visit the Berkeley and Stanford each winter to raid the libraries for their research projects. Part of the schedule called for a dinner with the local China faculty, especially Fred if he was available. The most recent of these was last February, a particularly memorable meal that Michael Nylan will recall. We always prepped our students to give quick three-minute summaries of their topics, and Fred would invariably come up with something helpful and substantive to say about each one. I only realized how much this meant to the students when, this September, returning to San Diego still shaken from saying goodbye to Fred in Lake Oswego, I told the students of his passing. For the rest of the week, one after another, they came by my office to share memories of their meetings with Fred, and what he had given to them. Indeed, they insisted that we set aside one evening of our annual retreat just to reminisce about Professor Wakeman, which we needed, and which we did, and it was good.

My point, I suppose, is that Fred's students, those influenced by his scholarship and his person, reach far beyond Berkeley. Everyone who ever met him, here, in New York, in China, in Europe, came away with a memorable experience and a deep impression. If you want quick testimony of this, you may turn to the Web Site that Cathy Lenfestey has established at the Institute for East Asian Studies - or simply Google 魏斐德 and read the tributes you will find.

Others have spoken and will speak of Fred's marvelous books, the elegantly constructed narratives, those rich meaty footnotes, the human actors who came alive on his pages, the insights into some of the great turning points in Chinese history. But what I would note was the way in which Fred led us to focus on the history not the historian. Essays like his "Telling Chinese History" remind us that he was fully capable of addressing the theoretical issues - but in his books, he never let the display of theoretical dexterity get in the way of telling the story.

Of course Fred's story-telling was not limited to his scholarly work. We all know Fred as a wonderful, playful, belly-laughing raconteur. But one thing always struck me about his stories: he was never the hero, in fact he was more likely to be the foil - the young Fred thrown by the old martial arts master, leaving the draft of The Fall of Imperial China unattended to be eaten by the goat Koula, getting ambushed by a snowball from a colleague who shall go unnamed, or our own ski run down Wolverine Bowl with Freddie and my son Joe. Fred was almost always the butt of his own jokes - which were usually designed to make someone else look good.

That is the quality that I will always most remember about Fred - that generosity of spirit. In so many ways, and especially as a scholar, who was so much better than any of the rest of us - but he never condescended, never abused his authority, never flaunted his superior knowledge. When you met and talked with Fred, the conversation was never about him and rarely about his own work: I was all about you. For the "In Memoriam" essay I was asked to write for the AHA's Perspectives, I asked many of his younger students for their memories of working with Fred. Again and again I was told about how special it was to go in to talk with Fred and get that absolutely undivided attention, to be made to feel that they and their projects were the most important things in the world, to be guided by gentle questions and subtle suggestions - a "velvet touch" as one put it - and, I'm sure, a cheerful smile and a twinkle in his eye. In any encounter, Fred gave so much more than he received.

He was a model to any who aspire to write history, or to teach others the craft. He will be missed and, I fear, never replaced.

Joseph W. Esherick
San Diego, CA

I remember Fred when he first came to the Berkeley campus many years ago. My first impression of him never changed: a first-rate scholar, unpretentious and always willing to give of himself to others. I shall miss him!

John Wm. Schiffeler
Verneuil-en-Bourbonnais, France

魏斐德(Fred Wakeman)教授退休的纪念活动早在一年前就开始筹划。从今年年初起,我和他的学生叶文心教授及助手在网上书信往来频繁。在线性时间的进程中,必有一般人难以想象的复杂性:魏斐德本人体内酒精含量不断上升,教授夫人的情绪随之波动;权力真空所带来危险的寂静,幕后学院政治运作的种种变数;助手秘书们的未来出路,在读的博士生本科生的普遍焦虑。更何况魏斐德在伯克利执教四十年,自立门派,弟子无数,谁来接替掌门人的位置?这多少有如一个王朝的结束,牵动多少人心。






离开酒吧,我们簇拥着有王者风度的魏斐德进入大学艺术博物馆,弟子如云,纷纷向他致敬。下午4时15分,历史系主任宣布纪念活动开幕,先由我朗读了一首献给魏斐德的短诗《青灯》,然后由北京大学刘东教授做专题演讲《北大课堂上的魏斐德》。他从魏斐德29岁所写的头一本书《大门口的陌生人》开始,纵观其一生的学术成就。接下来由魏斐德的大弟子周锡瑞教授(Joe Esherick)主持。他从手中一杯水说起,话不多,但动情之处与魏斐德眼角的泪花相辉映。重头戏是斯坦福大学德国史教授詹姆斯•施寒(James Sheehan)与魏斐德的对话。他们两位先后都担任过美国历史学会会长。“我看在孔子和烈文森之间,还是烈文森对你的影响更大吧?”施寒教授开门见山问。

魏斐德离开巴黎后,本应顺理成章回哈佛跟费正清搞中国研究,但他却选择了在伯克利教书的费正清的学生列文森(Joseph Levenson)做导师。这无疑和魏斐德的生活阅历、文学气质和反叛精神有关。哈佛和柏克利代表了美国文化的两种传统,甚至与地缘政治有关。哈佛地处新英格兰的中心,代表美国学术的正统与主流;而伯克利地处种族多元化的亚太圈,是美国左派的大本营、六十年代学生造反运动的发源地。



1992年年底,担任美国历史学会会长的魏斐德发表就职演说《航程》。他的弟子之一杰森(Lionel Jensen)教授是我的同事。他描述说:“那是永远难忘的辉煌时刻。只有他的少数学生参加了在纽约希尔顿饭店舞厅的这一盛会。我敢肯定我们全都为那一刻的荣耀感到温暖,为我们老师的成就得到公认而自豪。当我们聚在舞厅外激动地议论时,很多亚洲专家也被感染了。那是我所听到的最出色的演讲。”

《航程》基于对哥伦布、魏斐德一家和郑和的航程的回顾,是从一个孩子的童年记忆开始的:偷袭珍珠港那天下午,后出任艾森豪威尔政府国务卿的威廉•罗杰斯(William Rodgers)和他父亲在他家窗口交谈,引起了年仅四岁的魏斐德的注意……他接着讲述了从1948到1949年他们家沿哥伦布第二次航行路线的游历,由此出发,他从中国苦力在古巴港口货船上的绝境,到郑和耀武扬威的航程……那跨时空跨种族文化的航程,借助一种奇特的文体,将历史与个人、叙述与沉思、宏观视野与生动细节交织在一起。







主持纪念活动的周锡瑞教授追忆往事。他当年来伯克利投奔列文森,没想到导师之死让他成为仅年长几岁的魏斐德的学生。那时学生运动风起云涌,而他又是学生领袖之一,根本没把这年轻导师放在眼里。在魏斐德的必读书单中,有法国历史学家马克•布罗克(Marc Bloch)的《法国农村史》,遭到周锡瑞等急进学生的抵制——我们学的是中国史,与西方史何干?在课堂上,魏斐德讲了个故事。在德国占领期间,一个参加抵抗运动的战士被盖世太保抓住,和别人一起拉出去枪毙。他对身边16岁的男孩(后幸存下来)最后说:“别哭,我的孩子。”这时机关枪响了……他就是马克•布罗克。魏斐德说完平静地离开教室。










北岛 (Bei Dao)
Hong Kong

Last May at the Institute of East Asian Studies I had the privilege of offering a tribute to my teacher, Fred Wakeman, on the occasion of a weekend symposium in his honor. Quite recently his wife Lea asked me to submit these prepared remarks to the online memorial at the Institute of East Asian Studies. So I offer them again, mutatis mutandis, in the context of a remembrance.

In a weekend in which so much has been said about the work we do and the legacy we have carried forth beyond this place and about the life and work of Frederic Evans Wakeman, Jr., a sinologist in the grand tradition as well as a public intellectual, who inspired us to go forth from and multiply the volumes that have become our signature, individually and collectively, I stand at the risk embarrassment to offer testimony in recognition of our teacher. The pleasure of a student offered the opportunity to speak in this context of Fred's retirement is complicated, difficult to describe. But, most pointedly for me, I feel an apprehension bred by the challenge of finding words appropriate to describe so accomplished a life. The words I have found come from a tale of two previous Decembers, that conveys much about our teacher and yields, as it should for historians, more stories befitting a celebration of his life and his scholarship.

In late December of 1977 I met Fred Wakeman for the first time and a couple of years later I had the unique privilege of becoming one of his students. The day of our first meeting - a Thursday after the close of the fall quarter in the Barrows Hall basement confines of the Center for Chinese Studies - we spent an eventful hour and a half discussing Song and Ming intellectual history, particularly the thought of Wang Yangming, along with hermeneutics, phenomenology, the work of Hegel, Durkheim, Ricoeur, Geertz, and Joe Esherick's annotated collection of John Service's wartime dispatches from Yan'an, Lost Chance in China. (As I was soon off to Japan for a few weeks he earnestly inquired as to the prospect of my seeing Joe there.) His delight in intellectual exchange and the impulse to broad historical contextualization of Chinese experience impressed me most and engendered a rare intellectual excitement, something I would recover with every subsequent visit to his office, not to mention our many accidental encounters. Fred may have long forgotten this first meeting, but it was for me quite memorable. Looking back now on the breadth of our discussion and the course of my subsequent graduate study, I know that it was the signature ecumenical training in the history of China, Japan, and the West, coupled with study of a wide array of social theory and philosophy, that equipped all of us who followed in Wakeman's train to accede to the task of a properly proportional world representation of China. To be sure, the expansive imagination and intellect so manifest in person and explicit in the forty-year record of Fred's written work, as well as the writings of the legion of sinologists trained by him, ensure that the history of China will be depicted on a grand scale (something that was but desideratum for Joe Levenson).

A second memorable December occurred in the final days of 1992, at Fred's installation as President of the American Historical Association. That night I was in the audience, when he delivered a formal address, "Voyages." Only a few Wakeman students were there in the grand ballroom of the New York Hilton, yet I can say with certainty that we all basked in the glory of that moment, taking a full measure of the pride appropriate to the national recognition of our teacher. Other historians of Asia seemed infected by the same pleasurable satisfaction and as we assembled before the address outside the ballroom chatted excitedly about the uncustomary elevation of the Chinese historian to national significance. It was a tremendous address; I think the best public lecture I have ever heard. Two months later in the AHR 98.1, the published version appeared and, to use an expression of Eza Pound's when comparing the English language unfavorably to Chinese, it "lacked sinew." I will never forget the auratic moment of the delivery: a lecture of scholarly erudition at once intensely personal that disturbed the comfort of western historical convention by recalling the voyages of Columbus, the Wakeman family, and Zheng He. Beginning with a childhood memory of a peremptory apartment window exchange between his father and William Rodgers on the day of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he spoke with effortless facility of his family's own retracing in 1948-1949 of the route taken by Columbus on his second voyage, a star-crossed trip the recollection of which enabled Wakeman to navigate narratively from the Zapata Peninsula, to Chinese coolies savagely trapped in the holds of cargo ships at Cuban ports, to the magisterial voyages of Zheng He. Such presentation of what Levenson had termed "the sweep and breadth of history" was characteristic of Fred's comparative flourishes; however, it was the subtle, persuasive presentation of the definitive modernity of the Ming dynasty in the first decades of the fifteenth century that brought a chill for many in attendance because it compelled a reconsideration of what was accepted as fact and confounded U.S. and European historians alike.

Particularly arresting for these non-Chinese historians was his elaboration on the physical dimensions of Zheng He's fleet of 1405, the first of his seven voyages: nine-masted "treasure junks" as much as 440 feet long and 80 feet across capable of displacing a volume ten times greater than that of the largest ships of Vasco da Gama's fleet a century later. The immense scale of the 317-ship flotilla rendered absurd any comparison with the ships of Columbus, the Spanish Armada, or any of the celebrated vessels of the "Age of Exploration." The audible gasp that greeted this serial citation of the Ming imperial fleet and its 27,000 personnel of all grades was deeply satisfying for the knowing sinologists (Sue Naquin, Evelyn Rawski, Josh Fogel, Pam Crossley) with whom I was seated. I must confess that all of us reveled in the glory of that moment and richly enjoyed the consternation of the other AHA historians. I can still recall the looks on everyone's face at the close of the lecture - priceless!

I cannot say if my experience with Fred Wakeman on a December day almost three decades ago was uncommon, but I was astounded that someone of such renown would spend a good part of an afternoon with a Master's degree candidate laboring on a thesis in Chinese intellectual history at a small mid-western institution and who wanted to apply to the Ph.D. program at Berkeley. Similarly on a December evening nearly fourteen years ago, I was amazed by my teacher's studiedly personal recollection of his family's perilous voyage around Cuba and the grace with which he extended an invitation to assembled AHA members - the curious, the contentious, and the curmudgeonly - to embrace a tolerant cosmopolitanism grounded in a deeper understanding of their own unexceptional subjectivity.

The expansive self that invited me to take up the study of China with him was the same one upon which rested the global narrative of "Voyages," and whose chief characteristic is magnanimousness. To be sure, I have always been grateful for Fred's generosity and interest in my work, especially because they proved indispensable to my perseverance in Chinese history at a darker moment in the past when I most doubted my future as an historian. When I did finish my dissertation in 1992, I could assert, oddly enough, that I was probably one of the very few students to have completed a Ph. D. under him who had never taken one of his classes - not a single one. But, I abjure complaint, for neither Zhu Xi nor Li Madou (Matteo Ricci) ever studied with Kongzi, yet they both still insisted, with great fervor, that he was their teacher. Bound across time and space with the texts from which we seek to reconstruct the culture of the past and now, for this brief final moment, I bestow on my teacher this wreath of words and convey a profound appreciation for all he so generously gave by teaching me to go, like so many ru in barely visible past centuries, in search of the words. We are, all of us here and the many more of us who are not, your menren your disciples, waiting patiently for you at the gate and who from this gate will walk with you. Thank you Fred, and, if I may, I wish you with a passion that lies beyond my rhetorical power to convey: l'chayim and wansui.

Lionel M. Jensen
Notre Dame, IN

I would like to thank you and your colleagues for sending me a copy of Empire, Nation and Beyond honoring the late Fred Wakeman - a very old friend and colleague. The book is indeed very worthy tribute to his memory and I would like to congratulate you on its appearance and, at the same time, express my heartfelt condolences on his decease - I greatly cherish his memory and the memory of our friendship.

S.N. Eisenstadt


魏斐德(Frederic Wakeman, Jr. )是国际著名的中国史专家,曾担任美国历史学会会长和社会科学研究委员会主席。主要著作有《洪业:清朝开国史》、《中华帝国的衰落》、《中华帝国晚期的冲突与控制》、《上海警察,1927-1937》、《上海歹土:战时恐怖主义与城市犯罪,1937-1941》、《历史与意志:毛泽东思想的哲学透视》、《间谍王———戴笠与中国特工》。1998年,一次医疗事故中魏斐德腰椎内控制左腿的神经被意外切断,导致了他终身残疾,只能永久地在轮椅上生活和写作。尽管如此,他并没有太多抱怨,而是以超乎常人的意志继续写作,直到2006年9月14日因患癌症在俄勒冈州沃斯维葛湖病逝。




复旦大学的陈绛教授回忆了上个世纪80年代初与魏斐德教授初识进行学术交往的经历,他认为魏教授最让他佩服的除了为人之外,就是博大精深的学术功力,特别是他的《大门口的陌生人》 (Strangers at the Gate) 运思于成说之外,从一个独特的视角深入剖析了1839至1861年间中国华南社会动乱的由来及其复杂的演变脉络,率先走出了当时风行的“冲击-反应”的研究模式,半个世纪过去了,这部著作在中国仍被视为该领域最重要的著作之一。











The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Shanghai, China

Some of the best memories from my time as a grad student in mathematics at UC Berkeley are from sitting in on Frederic Wakeman's lectures. I have never seen such an awesome combination of superb scholarship, brilliant teaching, hilarious stand-up comedy, tight organization (while appearing totally improvised), sincere humility, dedication to serving and deep compassion. I sat in on his class for several years, and I gradually came to know him a little bit. When I recently wrote a paper on the mathematics of the Chinese calendar, I sent him a copy, and I got a very nice e-mail from him. In 2004/05 I spent a year on sabbatical at Berkeley and he invited me to stop by his office. I had a lovely time talking to him. I will treasure that meeting for the rest of my life!

Helmer Aslaksen

Fred is my friend and he will always be my friend in body, heart, mind, soul, and spirit.

There is a widely known but rarely practiced Chinese saying: It is truly exceptional to have a "friend" throughout one's life. Here, the word "friend" is defined as "a person who knows my voice, my sound." It is not inappropriate to use this Chinese expression that is rich in historical allusion and philosophical implication. I will omit the historical allusions, but the philosophical reference is relevant. For decades, I have been exploring the seminar idea of tizhi (embodied knowing). Fred is my friend because our dialogical relationship, mutual responsiveness, and tacit understanding are based not only on cognitive intelligence and instrumental rationality. Surely, as colleagues, fellows, and comrades in Chinese studies, we shared professional interests, designed common projects, and we strived toward common goals. We wanted the humanities to be taken seriously by our colleagues in the social sciences, especially those influential colleagues in the departments of political science and government. We collaborated with our colleagues in Cultural China to ensure that Sino-American scholarly communication is not merely sharing information and knowledge but also engagement in the creation of a genuine form of human flourishing.

Fred was an inspiring leader in fostering a trust among all those who were privileged to be in his presence. His students all knew that he was an extraordinarily talented and caring teacher, tutor, and mentor. He was an exemplary master who taught not by words but by all that constitutes the whole body (both the cognitive and affective dimensions of the entire person). All of us in the China field knew how fortunate we were to have Fred as a spokesperson for our interests, self-definition, and aspirations. The role that he performed so brilliantly in the initial stage of Sino-American scholarly communication is a historically significant legacy. I remember vividly how he discussed, on numerous occasions, methodological and cultural issues with some of the best minds in China at conferences, seminars, and in private homes. These discussions turned out to be most consequential in the development of the humanities (history, thought, and literature) at leading Chinese universities. Fred was unique in conveying a cosmopolitan spirit to the Chinese intellectual community by combining a commitment to the core values of liberty, rationality, human rights, and dignity of the individual with fairness, sympathy, responsibility, and communal solidarity. Had he become the American ambassador to China, Fred would have made a contribution comparable to Edwin Reischauer's legendary American presence in Japan.

Fred's deepest impression on me was his dedication to writing as a form of life. He was a paradigmatic writer. I recall our first lunch meeting at Berkeley. I talked about Wang Yangming and the importance of "establishing the will" in the so-called learning of the heart-and-mind in Confucian self-cultivation philosophy. A few months later, when I read the draft of History and Will, I knew how remarkably Fred's mind worked through the art of writing. I have never ceased to be amazed by his incredible gift as a narrator and by his sustained effort to investigate minute details to illuminate broad canvasses of a pattern, event, or an individual. He was, in Isaiah's term, a fox, but the depth of his sympathy and the power of his passion to understand also enabled him to be a "hedgehog," if he chose to become one.

Fred was a courageous man. He confided with me some of his innermost fears and private thoughts that he told me he had never shared with anyone else. I remember a long meeting in Cambridge after he arrived unannounced. He was saddened by personal circumstances beyond his control. Yet, he did not provide much elaboration. Although he was gregarious, he was also considerate and private. Even in his most painful moments, he never allowed the conversation to diverge from his noble concern for the life of the mind. I knew then he was empowered by an inner strength to deal with any mental and physical calamities. He endured the last few years of his colorful, cheerful, and optimistic life with stoic-like tranquility of the heart. This was inspiring and spiritually uplifting for all those around him who loved him.

One of my life's happiest occasions was to enjoy drinks, decent meals, and edifying conversations with Fred and Irv Scheiner. In recent years, I and Aibei, my companion, shared many precious moments with Fred and Lea. We sometimes acted like kids playing silly games. Fred's competitive urge to win was contagious. When Wang Yangming met Zhan Ganquan, he remarked that he was really lonely struggling to learn and teach, but now with Ganquan as a friend, he knew that he could forge ahead with a sense of togetherness. I will conclude with two classical Chinese expressions: "Two persons with the same heart-and-mind can have sufficient strength to cut through heavy metal, such as gold" and "A friend sharing the same heart-and-mind is as fragrant as an orchid." I feel lonely without Fred's continuous encouragement and loving care, but my memories of him are sufficient reason to live the life that he inspired and expected me to live. I really miss him.

Tu Weiming
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Fred Wakeman was one of four academics at UCB who befriended me as a grad student in China Studies. He was one of five academics who influenced me the most and put me on my own modest academic path. I arrived in Berkeley from my native New York City, the Bronx to be precise, in September of 1964. As a fresh faced kid full of ideals, I marched into the office of the Political science department to register. I was wearing a Barry Goldwater button, and the Secretary, a Miss MacAvoy, advised me to take it off if I wanted to survive. I had come to a strange world.

Fred was one of those few people I could confess my ideological "sins" to. Why? Because he was the sort of towering man who rose above judging a student or anyone by their political or any other views. I do not know Fred's beliefs beyond being honest in all matters intellectual. Fred came into my life in 1967 when he agreed to have me as a student in a one-to-one tutorial on the early decades of Manchu rule. I loved going to his office with its marvelously bound books that Mandarins used. He was a handsome guy, clean-cut whose only vice seemed to be smoking horrid smelling cheroots that reminded me of those smoked by old Italians in New York called "Guinea Stinkers," "Guinea" being a term of opprobrium for Italians invented by the Irish and incorporated into Italian as "Ghinso."

When I published my first book, I dedicated to all those who made me the person I am, and Fred is right in there with the likes of Jim Townsend and Bob Scalapino and others. Over the years, I thought of Fred. I found out about his death a few days ago when I looked him on GOOGLE as a result of seeing him, hearing him in the Shanghai account within the Legendary Sin Cities doco. I wept when I read of his death. Fred and others such as Bob S. and the late Jim Townsend confirmed me in my belief as a teacher myself at the tertiary level never to judge a student on his/her beliefs.

Fred, I miss you.

Stuart Greif
May 2011

I met Fred Wakeman during an interesting, but confusing, time in my life. He was writing his PhD thesis at Berkeley; I was an undergrad in another field. I worked with Fred's then-wife at the Lawrence Radiation Lab. For a couple of years, we were friends. Then I moved away and we became disconnected. I didn't even follow his stellar career. But I've never forgotten him.

All the testimonials I have read ring true to me about what an exceptional human being he was. His powerful intellect, his storytelling talent, his prodigious memory, his mastery of languages, his scholarship, his friendliness and accessibility: all true. I shall add one more talent: Fred possessed the best talent for reading I've ever experienced. A complete talent: memory, comprehension, and application.

In the confusion of my life I found this talent intimidating, and not at all Fred's fault, as he was not a showoff or arrogant. This was a time (1961-62) of John Kennedy's appeal that we all become better readers. This presidential direction included a recommendation that we check out such as Evelyn Wood's speed reading techniques. At Berkeley I was surrounded by Nobel winners in two fields and masses of brilliant people. But I am a lifelong slow reader: I needed to work harder to keep up. I didn't resent these differences, but I sure felt them.

Once I witnessed Fred, while he and his wife waited to fill a prescription (about 30 minutes), read an entire paperback off the rotating book stand. I didn't need to grill him on comprehension, because I knew he had absorbed the book at lightening speed.

Fred's personality served him well in his career. When I read his 1992 president's speech to the American Historical Association, I found it unique. Completely devoid of the turgid prose I often find in academic papers, friendly, accessible, and riveting as a story, yet containing 92 footnotes!

Fred and I almost reconnected in early 1990. I and my wife had traveled to Vietnam to adopt two children. As we were pioneers in adoption from that country, we were hosted by the government and stayed in a government hotel in Hanoi. After settling in, I found a maid's cart down the hall that had a stack of papers headed for the trash. The top paper was in English, so I checked it out. I had just missed a diplomatic conference aimed at normalizing relations, and one of the panelists was Fred Wakeman.

Cancer is a horrible disease that takes people too young. Such was true for Fred and for my late wife, who died a year later. Sorry to say that then I hadn't realized that Fred had moved to retire in my hometown, Portland, Oregon.

I feel like I lost my chances to keep a friendship going, as well as to renew. But it's not too late to enjoy these reminiscences now, and it was a privilege to know this remarkable fellow.

David Hupp
Hood River OR,
August 2018

If you would like to add a tribute to this online memorial, please send your contribution to Catherine Lenfestey at the Institute of East Asian Studies ( for posting.