James Palmer

  • Deputy editor at Foreign Policy and expert on all things China

  • Author of The Death of Mao and The Bloody White Baron

James Palmer is a deputy editor at Foreign Policy, and the author of the weekly China Brief, a highly-read newsletter on Chinese business and politics. As a resident of Beijing for fifteen years before moving to Washington DC, he worked closely with Chinese officials, and has been an advisor to both American and British politicians on China. He makes regular appearances as an expert on China on the BBC, CNN, France24, and other international news outlets. Palmer is the author of the bestselling The Bloody White Baron: The Extraordinary Story of the Russian Nobleman Who Became the Last Khan of Mongolia (Faber, 2008), and The Death of Mao: The Tangshan Earthquake and the Birth of the New China (Faber, 2013). He won the Shiva Naipaul prize for travel writing in 2003.

Speech topics




The Death of Mao: The Tangshan Earthquake and the Birth of the New China

Palmer recreates the tensions of the summer when the fate of China and the world were in the balance - as injured and starving people crawled among the ruins of a stricken city.

The Bloody White Baron

In this epic saga that ranges from Austria to the Mongolian Steppe, historian and travel writer James Palmer has brought to light the gripping life story of a madman whose actions foreshadowed the most grotesque excesses of the twentieth century.

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