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Tiger Head, Snake Tails: China Today, How It Got There, and Where It Is Heading Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 25, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Hardcover (October 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1468303414
  • ASIN: B00DPO0BS4
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,985,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Journalist, consultant, and all-around China-expert Fenby (The Penguin Modern History of China, 2009) offers a panoramic overview of a nation moving at breakneck speed toward world dominance or total domestic chaos—or perhaps both. The tiger head is the China of the headlines: the China of exponential growth, unquenchable thirst for resources, and unstoppable quantities of increasingly high-quality goods. This is the China that, we are told, will one day define the future of post-American globalization. Fenby doesn’t suggest that this won’t happen. But he does remind us that, in the long run, the biggest obstacle to China’s success may be China itself, for China’s impressive growth statistics hide fundamental imbalances, inefficiencies, and structural weaknesses (the snake tails) that lessen the nation’s resilience and will ultimately require China to devote a disproportionate amount of its attention to domestic problems, at the expense of international leadership. Fenby’s analysis of current trends stands out in its vastness of scope and eye for telling detail. --Brendan Driscoll --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Review

"A one stop guide to political and economic realities in China today." --The Guardian

"[A] one-stop overview of China's politics, economics, society, international relations, history, environmental issues, corruption, and new leadership." --The Wall Street Journal, Scene Asia

"Any businessman heading for China will find the book a great briefing." --Sunday Times

"[A] keen observer and entertaining tour guide, and though he refuses to draw any concrete or controversial conclusions, lay readers will benefit from browsing this richly detailed account of the country’s industrial policy and economy."--Publishers Weekly

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Erez Davidi on April 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Considering the growing power of the China's military, political and economic influence , it's rather natural that more and more books will be written about China. Thus, it becomes harder and harder to pick the "right" books to read about China. In my opinion, "Tiger Head, Snake Tails", stands above most of the other "China" books.

"Tiger Head, Snake Tails" has a very broad narrative, which covers almost every area of interest of China. It seems that the main goal of the book is to provide the reader with a better big picture understanding of China rather than a micro-analysis of some specific aspect of China. However, readers who are well versed with China might find this book to be not detailed enough and slightly shallow, although they might enjoy the overview of China.

Fenby has managed to write a very readable, accessible, and one might even dare say, rather captivating book for a non-fiction.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful By David Attwood on April 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is the best book on China I have come across, a wonderfully detailed but also immensely readable "one-stop" shop for anyone interested in China, past, present and future. Sometimes shocking, sometimes funny, always awesome - like its subject - it's hard to put down. If you are going to China for work, on vacation, or you're just interested in trying to make sense of this huge and complex country (which feels like a continent) and its people, this is the book for you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ross Avilla on August 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a long and dense book that is mostly full of stats that exemplify (endlessly) how big and impressive China is in its size, population and economy. The main fault of the book is that it simply lists statistic after statistic without much of a narrative or authorial message.

This book is an impressive collection of recent (as of 2012) statistics on China, but not a very enlightening read. There are much better books out there on the impact of China on the rest of the world and the effects its current policies will have on its future.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By cymro on October 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fenby clearly has access to much insider information which coupled with a ability to present an objective and objective assessment of current China together with a reasoned view of its future place in the world scene. Not a book for light bedtime reading , rather for reliably learning something about a country (?continent) that has and will have much to contribute to the world.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. M. Russell on December 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a worthwhile read. It is extremely current and the author is quite obviously an experienced China hand who is well-informed. The perspectives of corruption balanced by opportunity are valuable in gaining a sense of the challenges facing China. It is not an easy read. A great many facts are presented in an almost list-like format which can be disruptive to focus of the reader and impair the author's ability to present a coherent theme. However, the persistent reader will reap a rich reward in current knowledge and perspective. Highly recommend.
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