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As China Goes, So Goes the World: How Chinese Consumers Are Transforming Everything Hardcover – November 9, 2010


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As China Goes, So Goes the World: How Chinese Consumers Are Transforming Everything + When A Billion Chinese Jump: How China Will Save Mankind -- Or Destroy It + China's Water Warriors: Citizen Action and Policy Change (Cornell Paperbacks)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Hill and Wang; First Edition edition (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809034298
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809034291
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,304,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Although China remains nominally socialist, consumerism has become deeply entrenched, the ramifications of which will be considerable--and global--according to Gerth (China Made), Oxford University professor of modern Chinese history. He paints a vivid picture--and historical context--for the waning of frugality and the traditionally high rates of saving and the rise of pop culture, luxury-brand consumption and car culture, a burgeoning advertising industry, the ubiquity of Chinese counterfeits, and--more sordidly--the development of the largest commercial sex work force in the world, the theft of baby girls for adoption export, and the sale of essential organs. Gerth makes an arresting argument that Chinese consumption may be the panacea for the scrabbling economies of the West; Chinese demand for American and European high-tech goods, financial services, and other products might create jobs and economic growth and, in turn, lead to a stable, increasingly capitalistic, and eventually democratic China. Required reading for those interested in shifting global power dynamics and current consumption patterns. (Nov.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The austere China Gerth experienced as a 1980s student contrasts with the economically charging country he teaches today as a professor in Britain. Interested in consumerism, Gerth delves into the effects individuals’ purchasing preferences are producing on China; the domestic and international political impact of Chinese growth is not addressed—for that, see The Beijing Consensus, by Stefan Halper (2010). To initiate his observations, Gerth typically seizes on something that didn’t exist in his student days: for example, beauty salons, private automobiles, or disposable chopsticks. Businesses and entire industries that have arisen to meet consumers’ desire for such products and services generate Gerth’s discourse, which he researched from Chinese media and discussion with his contacts. Mao’s China recedes to distant memory in the resulting depiction of capitalistic construction, ubiquitous advertising, and status-conscious shopping. Certain consequences of Chinese consumerism do not escape Gerth’s acuity: he spots social resentments, piracy of intellectual property, pollution, and “extreme markets” (trade in sex, human organs, and adoptions) as problems. Describing the present, Gerth will sensitize business or tourist travelers to Chinese markets. --Gilbert Taylor

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Customer Reviews

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This book is very complete in scope.
frederick palmer
The 205-pages of text of the book As China Goes . . . is followed by 29 pages of notes, three pages of further readings, and a complete index.
rlweaverii
Anyway, this is a very good book, do yourself a favor and read it.
TopCat19

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Dale Ruckle on March 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book should have a lot more reviews, geez I read Mao's Great Famine a few weeks ago,all the breathess reviews for it and practically nada for this.I was going to China for business before Nixon did his thing there, after a dozen visits at least into the late eighties I have long since retired. I am no Sinologist but have read twenty or so books on China in the last ten years. Whatever you know about China if the present day China interests you 'READ THIS BOOK'
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By rlweaverii on August 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Book review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

The author teaches modern Chinese history at Oxford University and has written one previous book on China. The 205-pages of text of the book As China Goes . . . is followed by 29 pages of notes, three pages of further readings, and a complete index. The notes section is thorough, comprehensive, and extremely competent.

The book is not only well-written, it is well-researched, too.

Having recently visited both Shanghai and Beijing, I was interested in the author's perspective of China, and that is why I sought out this book.

His eight chapter titles reveal, in part, what this book is about: 1) No Going Back? 2) Who Gets What? 3) Made in Taiwan. 4) Standardizing Abundance. 5) Branding Consumer Consciousness. 6) Living in a World of Fakes. 7) Extreme Markets. 8) Environmental Implications.

I thought the continuing contrast between the past and the present throughout the book was interesting and stark. Having been there recently, I was able to witness the characteristics Gerth offered about present-day China. Having lived and worked in Dacca, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) for nine months, it is not difficult to visualize the China Gerth knew when he went to school there, and the China with which he contrasted the present.

This is a well-written, well-researched, well-organized, and well-presented narrative that offers an accurate picture of China both then and now. Gerth's examples--whether personal, from contacts, or from his research--are interesting, useful, and certainly help advance his narrative.
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By TopCat19 on August 14, 2014
Format: Paperback
Writing about China has become somewhat of a cottage industry, and there are a lot of books out there if you are interested in reading about it, but I have to say, this is one of the very best I've read, and I've read quite a few. The subtitle, "How Chinese Consumers Are Transforming Everything", is a good summary of the book's main theme. The impact of China's domestic consumption, and the push to become a domestic consumer-driven economy, has not been covered nearly as much as the export-driven aspect, which is pretty much what everyone thinks when they think of China.
The author is very familiar with China, his first visit was as a university student in 1986, so he has some interesting comparisons between those earlier days of the economic reformation and the current status of their new, improved economy. But the main takeaway for me was that main theme, of how the vastly increased consumerism of over a billion people will impact, and has already impacted, both China and the world. As I got into the book a few pages, I felt like slapping myself on the forehead and saying, "Damn, this seems pretty obvious now that he's laying out the case for it, why didn't I even think about any of this?" I think the author does an admirable job of addressing the pros and cons of this new consumerism, it is neither abjectly fawning nor is it end-of-the world gloom and doom. Fair and balanced comes to mind, but I think that phrase has already been appropriated.
And on a more subjective note, for me the book was just plain ol' fun to read, it held my interest from beginning to end, and all points in between. I started reading it one afternoon and finished it up the next morning.
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By frederick palmer on September 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is very complete in scope. Learned a lot about why we should pay attention to China, its aims and. reasoning. This book explains why China does what it does and why!
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