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The End of the Chinese Dream: Why Chinese People Fear the Future Hardcover – July 30, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (July 30, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300169248
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300169249
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,607,457 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'The End of the Chinese Dream challenges everything we believe about China. This is a book that must be read by anyone who struggles to understand the greatest experiment underway in the world today.' - John Gray, Emeritus Professor of European Thought, London School of Economics, and author of False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism
(John Gray)

“A much-needed and remarkably well-timed glimpse into the underbelly of this Asian tiger…original…in the rigor and the depth of its human storytelling.”—Geoffrey Cain, The New Republic

(Geoffrey Cain The New Republic)

“Given the number of books on China that are out there already, it is probably reasonable to ask whether we need any more. [This book] suggests that the answer is “yes”.—Elizabeth Economy, Asia Unbound
(Elizabeth Economy)

“[Lemos] nails the anxiety middle-class Chinese are feeling…he performs a valuable substantive service by exposing the dark side of China’s rise.”—Wall Street Journal
(Wall Street Journal)

About the Author

Gerard Lemos, a social policy expert, was a visiting professor at Chongqing Technology and Business University between 2006 and 2010 and chaired the board of the British Council from 2008 to 2010. He lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Claude F2 on February 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gerard Lemos created an very innovative method to ask regular Chinese people about their dreams and expectations, and conducted five separate data gathering sessions, three in Chongqing and two in Beijing. This could be the basis for some new and thoughtful analysis of the current situation in China. Unfortunately, rather than a offering a scholarly analysis of the results, he proceeds to string together snippets of comments to substantiate his all too obviously pre-existing opinions about China.

Lemos follows the well-trodden European tradition of applying one's familiar societal solutions to places and systems he does not know. He makes sweeping claims that are unsubstantiated and so broad as to be incredible. To illustrate, on Page 216 he writes: "Inadequate social protection in China and the incentives and pressures it creates to save rather than spend distorts the entire global trade." His biases come through in such description of the Politburo Standing Committee as "the most powerful cabal at the top of China's political structures." It would not occur to most readers to describe the UK or US Cabinets as "cabals", so why write this about the Chinese system of government rather than offer a thoughtful critique? Further, none of his broad points are the results of his research, but the existing opinions of other authors.

The book ends up being a summary of other people's work, overwhelmingly westerners and Chinese refugees in the West. It is very telling that in the over 150 entries in the bibliography, fewer than 5 come from Chinese sources in China, and many are simply newspaper and magazine articles. If you want a summary of the negative western views and prejudices about contemporary China, this is a fine tome. If you are looking for new insights into the Laobaixing (common man) psyche, this is not it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ben on October 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
British academician, Gerard Lemos, with four years of exposure and study of an intereior Chinese megacity details the strengths, but mostly the severe injustices and depravity experienced by the Chinese masses. The erosion of their health benefits, very high unemployment, government takeover of their lands for construction, and frustration with systemic corruption are highlighted.

Cultural Chinese elements such as how superstitious they are and their love of gambling are little known to the outside world. They love their dogs, but have no problem eating non-pet canines.

In spite of their extreme difficulties, they find support in family and community often in the shadow of, and allies between the new tall buildings often shoddily built and little occupied.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Saurabh Sharma on September 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a decent book. Worth reading. It's difficult to do justice to this subject but the author has made a genuine effort.
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