Remembering Ramon H. Myers

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Ramon H. Myers, Hoover Institution senior fellow, noted scholar of the history, economics, and politics of Asia and former curator of the East Asia Collection of Hoover’s Library & Archives, passed away at the age of 86. Ramon’s tireless scholarly activity greatly enriched our understanding of economic growth and human rights across Asia. His contribution to Hoover was extraordinary.

STATEMENT FROM HOOVER DIRECTOR TOM GILLIGAN

“It is with sadness that I share the news of Ramon Myers’s passing.  Myers devoted his career to advancing Asian studies, and his extensive contributions have shaped the thinking of past and present leaders.  It’s a true privilege that his papers will reside in the Hoover Institution Archives, where they will continue to have an impact on future generations.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”

 

Ramon’s interest in Asian studies, sparked during his service in an infantry battalion in the Korean War, defined his academic career. He completed his graduate work in Japanese economic history at the University of Washington, where he received a Ph.D in economics. He would later become a Ford Fellow, teach at the University of Hawaii and the Australian National University, and curate the Hoover Institution Library & Archives’ East Asia Collection. He served as a member of the US Wheat Studies Delegation to the People’s Republic of China during May–June 1976; as a consultant to the Food Agricultural Organization, Rome, Italy, from November 1979 to January 1980; and as a visiting professor of economics at National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, in 1990–91.

His first book, The Chinese Peasant Economy (Harvard University Press, 1970), was a fundamental interpretation of Chinese economic history, the first in a line of important scholarly contributions to the subject, including The Chinese Economy, Past and Present (Wadsworth Press, 1978) and The Treaty Port Economy in Modern China: Empirical Studies of Institutional Change and Economic Performance (Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley). Ramon explored numerous other subjects, including Japanese colonization and imperialism, Taiwanese history, the political history of the Republic of China, and Asian International Affairs.

In addition, he was associate editor of the Journal of Asian Studies and editor of Ch'ing-shih wen-t'i (Studies in Ch'ing History). In 1980, Garland Publishing issued a forty-four- volume series that Myers selected and edited entitled The Modern Chinese Economy. His research papers are available at the Hoover Institution Archives.

Ramon leaves behind a legacy of lasting intellectual impact, at the Hoover Institution and across the world. He will be remembered with great affection and appreciation.