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Do You Want to Read More About China?


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“Peraino’s absorbing book covers that tipping-point year, 1949, when Mao Zedong’s Chinese Communist Party came to power and things not only changed radically within China, but also for Chinese-American relations. After several decades of close ties to Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists, including a wartime alliance, the United States plunged first into Cold War with China and then hot war (in Korea), followed by several decades of almost complete diplomatic separation.”

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“In ‘A Contest for Supremacy’ Friedberg outlines several reasons a closer relationship between the two powers is possible: economic interdependence, the prospect that China may become more open and democratic, its continuing integration into the international system, common threats like climate change, and nuclear weapons. Nonetheless, he believes two other factors — a growing clash of interests and deep ideological and political differences — will prove more decisive and will make the relationship more tense and competitive.”

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Kissinger was not only the first official American emissary to Communist China, he persisted in his brokerage with more than 50 trips over four decades, spanning the careers of seven leaders on each side. Diplomatically speaking, he owns the franchise; and with “On China,” … he reflects on his remarkable run.

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HISTORY

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“Dikotter’s gripping, horrific and at times sensationalistic ‘The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History, 1962-1976,’ the third volume of his work on the Mao years, challenges the Chinese people to address those missing years. Drawn from hundreds of English-language and Chinese eyewitness accounts, newly available archival records, online Cultural Revolution documentary projects and foreign and Chinese scholarship, the book paints … a damning portrait of Mao and Communist Party governance.”

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In this book, Schell and Delury “argue that for generations of influential Chinese, shame has been a stimulant.” Their examination of how this “unusual trait in Chinese culture worked its way through politics and intellectual life is a fascinating attempt to reconcile China’s current success with its past suffering. It also sets the stage for perhaps the biggest challenge facing a much wealthier and more powerful China today, since it cannot go on fighting its vanquished ghosts forever.”

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“Platt has written an enthralling account of the run-up to war between Britain and China during a century in which wealth and power were shifting inexorably from East to West. But if this history holds a lesson today — as wealth and power shift equally inexorably back from West to East — it is surely the same one that Karl Marx identified just a decade after the Opium War, that men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please.”

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Women and children

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“The emergence of China’s titanic manufacturing base has been chronicled in numerous books and articles in recent years, but Chang has elected to focus not on the broader market forces at play but on the individuals, most of them women, who leave their villages and seek their fortunes on the front lines of this economy.”

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