Start reading The China Fantasy on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Add Audible Narration
Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

The China Fantasy: Why Capitalism Will Not Bring Democracy to China [Kindle Edition]

James Mann
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $3.01 (23%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Audible Narration

Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration with Whispersync for Voice. Add narration for a reduced price of $4.49 when you buy the Kindle book.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $9.99  
Hardcover --  
Paperback $11.70  
Audible Audio Edition, Unabridged $0.00 Free with Audible trial
Audio, CD $19.95  
Multimedia CD $19.95  
Freedom of Speech by David K. Shipler
Freedom of Speech by David K. Shipler
Freedom of Speech reveals the triumphs and challenges of defining and protecting the boundaries of free expression in modern America. Learn more | See similar books

Book Description

The New York Times bestselling author of Rise of the Vulcans blasts America's policy regarding the world's most populous country

One of our most perceptive China experts, James Mann has penned a vital wake-up call to all who are ignorant of America's true relationship with the Asian giant. Our leaders may posit a China drawn to increasing liberalization through the power of the free market, but Mann asks us to consider a very real alternative: What if China's economy continues to expand but its government remains as dismissive of democracy and human rights as it is now? Calling for an end to the current policy of overlooking China's abuses for the sake of business opportunities, Mann presents a must-read book for anyone interested in global affairs.

Editorial Reviews


"If Americans revered veteran China correspondents the way Chinese communists revere their founding revolutionaries, former Los Angeles Times bureau chief Jim Mann would justly be hailed as an 'immortal.'"
-Clay Chandler, editor, Fortune Asia

"Mr. Mann has perfectly described the blend of hope and cynicism that currently underpins American policy toward China."
-Gordon S. Chang, The New York Sun

About the Author

James Mann is author in residence at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and the author of Rise of the Vulcans, About Face, and Beijing Jeep. He was previously the Los Angles Times Beijing bureau chief.

Product Details

  • File Size: 289 KB
  • Print Length: 138 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0670038253
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (February 15, 2007)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000O76N8W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,346 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Trying to change the mainstream paradigm on China March 28, 2007
By S. Yu
At first glance, "China Fantasy" by James Mann is just another line of a lengthy string of books since the mid-1990s ("China Dream; Coming Collapse of China; Coming Conflict with China"; etc etc) expressing Western concern about where the rapid changes in China are leading it. However, the strength of The China Fantasy is that it breaks with mainstream tradition in important ways.

Firstly, China hawks since the mid-1990s have traditionally come from the Right wing, aligned closely with neoconservatism, and driven primarily by security threat perception to an extent, in my opinion, which has always been exaggerated, but whose excesses led to the persecution of a Taiwanese American scientist toward the end of the decade (and created a fearful political climate for Chinese Americans). Others may feel that those fears were justified. Personally, it is a pleasant surprise to see a China expert who passionately opposes the Chinese government on the grounds of its human rights atrocities, and who reaches out to both political parties in the US (if anything, Mann's focus is more leftish). Mann has seized a certain moral high ground for the China hawks taken straight from the post-Tiananmen spirit.

Secondly and even more importantly, Mann presents a genuinely new idea from the perspective of the mainstream media of the past decade, an idea whose time has come: the possibility that China may continue to prosper, but fail to democratize its political system, and that the growing middle class which is seen as a force for democracy may become a force against it.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Concise and persuasive April 22, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"The China Fantasy" by James Mann succeeds in thoroughly debunking the widely-held view that capitalism will inevitably bring democracy to China. Providing a brief historical account of U.S.-Chinese relations from the Nixon administration to the present, Mr. Mann makes clear that business opportunism has driven the agenda at the expense of human rights and democracy in both countries. Mr. Mann's decades of subject matter expertise have prepared him to present a concise and persuasive work on an important topic that should be widely read and discussed by policy makers and concerned citizens alike.

Mr. Mann's specific focus is on the public relations aspect of U.S.-Chinese relations. Mr. Mann contends that a succession of business-friendly politicians have sold the American public on what he calls the 'soothing scenario', or the prospect of a democracy that will somehow emerge as a result of China's deepening economic ties with the West. Mr. Mann explains that this rubric has provided cover for high-ranking U.S. officials who have often used their connections to smooth the way for multinational corporations to set up shop in China in order to exploit its abundant supply of cheap labor. However, Mr. Mann provides a number of counter arguments explaining why the soothing scenario is a highly problematic proposition, with perhaps the most persuasive point being that democracy could allow the masses of destitute Chinese peasants to easily undo the privileges that the relatively small Chinese upper and middle classes have enjoyed under the protection of the single-party system.

Mr. Mann alerts us to the importance of demanding China to enact democratic reforms sooner rather than later, when the Chinese economy might become too strong for outside influence to have any effect.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Views of China's political development in the US August 9, 2009
This book is about hidden assumption and logic that US politicians, scholars, and business elites use when they view the problems of China's political system. According to Mann, the mainstream view of China's political system in the US is the Soothing Scenario (P.2). Advocates of the Soothing Scenario maintain that if China can sustain its rapid economic growth, China will be eventually destined for democracy or political liberalization. Therefore the US government should try to integrate China into the international community (P.103) and trade freely with China. Another mainstream view of China's political system in the US is the Upheaval Scenario (P.7). Purveyors of this scenario including Gerald Segal and Gordon Chang predict that China is on the verge of political unrest and economic collapse because the one-party political system is not capable for handling a multitude of political and social problems such as the continuing prevalent of corruption and growing disparity between rich and poor. To Mann, both scenarios are at best questionable and at worst outright fallible.

In this book, Mann advocates that China's rapid economic growth can be sustained but the Communist Party continues to arrest and detain political dissidents and China will remains entirely undemocratic (P.11). The so-called Third Scenario maintains that for decades, Chinese political leaders including Deng xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao have never endorsed any democratic political activity or tolerated any troublesome public opinion that is against their state policies (P.59).
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book.
An incredibly important text.
Published 5 months ago by J. Eriksson
5.0 out of 5 stars eye opening book about Western perceptions of China
The observations made in this 2007 book are even more relevant in today's China. By all appearances, China is in fact not moving towards democracy, even as its economy has advanced... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Philip Beck
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Mann is a good writer
Mr. Mann is a good writer and I would suggest this book to all my friends. And consider this to be a good gift. Read the book and you will see - good writer.
Published 16 months ago by T. Pink
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening
A must-read for anybody who has an interest in international affairs, especially the bilateral relationship between the United States and China. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Zachary Schreiber
1.0 out of 5 stars James Mann vs. Straw Men
In this wisp of a book, Mann argues that China watchers in the U.S. blindly argue that China will eventually democratize, either because they underestimate the barriers to... Read more
Published on May 2, 2011 by Reckless Reader
2.0 out of 5 stars You Won't Find the Answer Here of Why Capitalism Will Not Bring...
An op-ed that runs for 120+ pages, Mann's book is a Groundhog Day of the same argument: the U.S. chooses to ignore China's human rights record. Read more
Published on July 25, 2010 by JFMP
1.0 out of 5 stars Misreading Misleading Mistaken Misdirected
When one is failing it is always easier to blame another. The U.S. an angry, occasionally unhinged, hegemon has proven itself far more dangerous to the peace, prosperity and... Read more
Published on March 19, 2010 by Stephen Laudig
3.0 out of 5 stars Needs more depth
Mann's analysis gives insight into China's political and economic relations with the US since the Nixon administration. Read more
Published on May 14, 2008 by csh
5.0 out of 5 stars Perspective
In 'The China Fantasy: How Our Leaders Explain Away Chinese Repression,' author James Mann reminds us in no uncertain terms of the forest that has been obscured by the trees;... Read more
Published on November 10, 2007 by Troy Parfitt
3.0 out of 5 stars stretched out magazine article, but some excellent information
I have read over a dozen books on China recently, and Mann goes into detail on one important aspect that no one else mentions: how our own government officials are being bought... Read more
Published on September 4, 2007 by westwind
Search Customer Reviews

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category