I am reading the biography of Deng Xiaoping by Ezra Vogel. In the biography, it mentions that Deng Xiaoping once broke his leg playing billiards. I personally find that highly unlikely. Billiards is not a dangerous sport. It seems more likely that this was an excuse to avoid going to meetings in which he would be forced to take a stance one way or another. Is there any evidence to back this up? Or perhaps he really did break his leg?

  • 3
    Another biography I just found on Google Books: "It sounds like a political illness, but Deng had indeed broken his leg playing billiards some time before Lushan, though what is not clear is that someone else had apparently accidentally hit him with a cue.45 MacFarquhar suggests he broke it right at the beginning of the Lushan work conference, thus necessitating his withdrawal.46". Footnote 45 refers to an interview by the author. Footnote 46 implies it was table tennis according to another author.
    – Brian Z
    May 10, 2022 at 23:56
  • 1
    It doesn't seem a particularly effective way of getting out of meetings. As a competant administrator he's more than like knows how to avoid meetings he doesn't like. May 11, 2022 at 16:13
  • I mean, what does he fo pretend to hobble around for three months?! Easier to 'find' another meeting that clashes and 'go' to that. May 11, 2022 at 16:23


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