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Becoming China's Bitch: And Nine More Catastrophes We Must Avoid Right Now Hardcover – February 28, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 434 pages
  • Publisher: Turner; 1ST edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1618580051
  • ISBN-13: 978-1618580054
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #739,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Peter Kiernan cut[s] through what he saw as partisan gridlock.”The New York Times

“Ambitious! . . . Peter Kiernan is a badass.” Business Insider

“A rocket-fueled ride . . . very thought provoking.”CNBC Power Lunch

“Peter Kiernan is a tough guy.” —Chris Matthews, Hardball with Chris Matthews

“This is an important book.” —Joe Scarborough, Morning Joe

“Sure to stand out.” Foreign Policy

“Brilliant.” —Dennis Miller, Dennis Miller Radio

“A great read . . . fascinating stuff. Even if you don’t agree with Peter . . . at least it’s an adult conversation—and you don’t get that a lot.” The Roe Conn Show

“[Peter has] laid out so many convincing arguments about the polarization in this country. . . . very compelling.” The Hays Advantage, Bloomberg

“Thought provoking . . . a new concept in this decade.” Sly in the Morning

“Peter Kiernan’s energy is incandescent. Should there ever be a problem . . . they could hook Peter up and get power to light New York.” —Meryl Streep

Book Description

A Manifesto for the Radical Center

America is frozen. We have failed to face our nation’s most crucial challenges—and we are about to pay the price.

When it comes to solving our country’s problems, we have become utterly paralyzed: bipartisanship has lulled us into a deadlock, preventing us from taking action. Yet we can no longer ignore the inevitable catastrophes or hand them off to Washington to fix—they must be addressed now, or we will suffer the long-term consequences.

In New York Times Bestseller, Becoming China’s Bitch, Peter Kiernan presents an unflinching manifesto in which he explores five factors that have sustained our national paralysis, then uncovers the ten challenges that pose the greatest threat to the future of America. Presented from a fresh yet informative Centrist perspective, these ten impending catastrophes include our semiconscious dependency on China, our lack of a centrally coordinated intelligence effort, our downward-spiraling health-care system, and the continually expanding problem of illegal immigration. In a logical, personal, and persuasive voice, Kiernan offers radical yet common-sense solutions to these challenges—solutions that every American must acknowledge and act upon before it’s too late.

With provocative insight and analytical depth, Becoming China’s Bitch is the answer to securing our country’s immediate future and restoring our national soul.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

This book is thought provoking and a compelling read.
Gary Franks
This book is on point, timely and will motivate the reader to really think about where we are as a country, and what we can do to right the path we are on.
Marc Byron
Don't spend the first 30 pages of your book giving me the bios on talk radio personalities that I care nothing about.
Matthew Kruvczuk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 65 people found the following review helpful By BetterBooks on February 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book covers a LOT of material. It covers the history, politics, current issues and possible solutions of nine MAJOR hot spots for debate in the upcoming election. If you feel as though the media creates a lot of noise around issues with little substance, this book helps fill in many of the gaps and helps point out solutions to move us forward. It's also surprisingly hard to put down, maybe because it reads more easily than most other politically-educating books. The stories, analogies and general nature of the prose make it actually kind of fun to read. I'm not going to lie.. it's pretty long (400+ pages) but the layout of the chapters make it easy to skip around to the issues that interest you the most, and to come back to the others later when you are ready for more.

I found the chapters about China the most interesting, of course, but I was actually pretty surprised at how much I learned from the other issues Kiernan covers. I loved how streamlined Kiernan's history of unions was, especially because its an issue I've heard a lot about but never quite understood. The way it was explained in this book really resonated with me and I'm pumped about it. I also loved how swiftly he explains think-tanks, lobbyists, the different sides of the immigration debate, big tobacco, healthcare, the real threat of terrorism, and our prison systems. I had no idea how serious some of these issues are and can't believe so many of us walk around without thoroughly understanding each one.

Unlike one of the reviewers, I found Kiernan to be beyond informative AND well informed on the issues he discussed and he covers a LOT of them. If he went into extreme detail on each subject, the book would have been 9x as long. I think the amount of information included is the perfect amount to thoroughly grasp the issues without being weighed down with nitty-gritty dull details that belong on C-SPAN. READ IT!
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37 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Jackson M. on February 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Peter D. Kiernan wants to snap us out of our inert comfort zone. According to him, we're in a situation of co-dependency with China--we need them, they need us--and, as he says, these kinds of co-dependencies never last. Someone will always end up taking advantage of the other. As it is, we are in the position of being taken advantage of. We need to snap out of this comfort zone--and this book is his way of doing so.

To help us out of our funk, Kiernan is straight-shooting and brash--the title alone gets the blood pumping. And his list of nine catastrophes that we need to avert fall along the same lines. He points out the dangers of "the Media Talk Complex," the influence of political lobbyists, the sway of biased think tanks, inter-religious friction, and the inability of the two party system to work properly.

The underlying threat in all of this is China's economic strength--our inadequacies are just the surface troubles. Two issues are of primary concern for Kiernan and they both have to do with the economy: China's growing reserves and the strength of the Yuan. All of the other problems, it could be argued stem from our inability to match China in these departments. If we aren't able to do so, then we most likely will become the title of this book.

Altogether, this is an important argument at a crucial time. Kiernan misses a key opportunity to underscore the fundamental roots of our current condition, and this might be due in part because of his political stance--Kiernan (a former partner at Goldman Sachs) is what he calls a "radical Centrist," if that is possible.

Read this for a good survey of the challenges we face. I also recommend Juggernaut: Why the System Crushes the Only People Who Can Save Itfor a fuller examination of our problems, how we got here, and where we need to go from there.
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24 of 31 people found the following review helpful By John Phillips on February 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The problem with most books these days is they are entirely too polarized- aggressively passionate about either one side of the argument or the other- if only to make themselves heard. Kiernan's book is the first I've seen that puts up a passionate fight for the balanced/ middle approach. If only we had more political candidates like this!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By caninefriend on March 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My wife bought this for me, which was a surprise because I'm very conservative in my politics. I appreciated the points of view presented in the book. Whether we agree, or disagree, it's time to quit fighting and get stuff done. This is a must read.
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34 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Mevashir on June 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is an ambitiously underachieving disappointment.

The topics are of great interest and it sounds promising.

But I should have known better when the jacket described the author Kiernan as a former Sachs-of-Gold partner, venture capitalist, and philanthropist. We all know what a financier-philanthropist is: someone who robs society blind and then atones for his crimes by paying off chosen charities.

Even the title is unnecessarily provocative. It could have more accurately been entitled: Sweet & Mostly Sour: America 's Debilitating Economic Dependency on China . I can assure the author that many Christians and others of religious sensibility will avoid this book just because of its offensive title. As will many of ethnic and cultural sensitivity. But no one ever accused Wall St. bankers of tact, diplomacy, or basic decency.

But stubbornly I plowed on into this literary morass (more-ass). I should have seen the writing on the wall when the author in his introduction issues a half-hearted anemic apology for the excesses of his Wall St. colleagues.

Continuing on my masochistic odyssey, I encountered chapter one, a nauseating torrent of shameless factoids about the many talking heads who have deformed American TV news opining. When Kiernan writes with admiration for the mental excretions and verbal ejaculations of the professional provocateurs like Coulter, O'Reilly, and Limbaugh, I should have closed up shop and walked away. But I kept hoping to find some justification for the thousands of trees that perished to bring this book to market. So like a kid gawking at Playboy or Penthouse for the first time, I kept turning the pages with morbid curiosity. Mea culpa: the author, a good Irish Catholic, will understand.
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