Just One Child: Science and Policy in Deng’s China, about China’s one-child rule, by Susan Greenhalgh, has recently won the Association for Asian Studies’ Joseph Levenson Book Prize for the Best Book on China Post-1900.

The prize, which is accompanied by a gift of $1000 to the author, is given to books that “make the greatest contribution to increasing understanding of the history, culture, society, politics, or economy of China.”

Winning titles are also expected to show how scholarship on China is relevant to intellectual discourse at large. This qualification is required in honor of the prize’s namesake, Joseph Levenson, who was a professor of Chinese history at UC Berkeley from 1951 to his death in 1969.

In Just One Child, Greenhalgh draws on twenty years of research into China’s population politics to explain how the leaders of a nation of one billion decided to limit all couples to one child. Her book documents the extraordinary manner in which a handful of leading aerospace engineers hijacked the population policymaking process and formulated a strategy that treated people like missiles.

Greenhalgh is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine. She is the coauthor of Governing China’s Population: From Leninist to Neoliberal Biopolitics and the author of Under the Medical Gaze: Facts and Fictions of Chronic Pain.

UC Press has been honored with the Levenson Book Prize over 15 times. Past winning titles include Hygienic Modernity: Meanings of Health and Disease in Treaty-port China by Ruth Rogaski (2004) Way and Byway: Taoism, Local Religion and Models of Divinity in Sung and Modern China by Robert Hymes (2002) and An Artistic Exile: A Life of Feng Zikai (1898-1975) by Geremie R. Bermé (2002).