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The New Chinese Empire: And What It Means For The United States
The New Chinese Empire: And What It Means For The United States
by Ross Terrill
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.32
139 used & new from $0.01

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Filled With Inaccuracies...But Does Have Some Valid Points, December 14, 2008
It really doesn't take a genius to see that Ross Terrill is ultra-anti Communist. He severely criticizes China for being an authoritarian state that is going towards a direction of failure. Yet, authoritarian states like South Korea and Taiwan went through similar paths as China, subjected their population to iron-fisted rule, fear, torture and intimidation and eventually became democratic. Why didn't he give these countries the same criticism?

Terrill also stated Eastern European and Soviet Union seem to be became democratic countries for the better. Sorry, when there are hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by the Kosovo war, total economic chaos in Russia for many years (and Russia is still trying to find stability), etc, you don't need to be an economic or sociology genius to figure out the transition that the Eastern European countries and Russia went through were exactly really good ways of creating stable democracies. Their transitions should been a lot smoother.

Terrill's biases show up evidently by his pro-British stance. What the British did to China was very evil when they forcefully traded Opium to China and caused the country to be severely unstable, indirectly causing Taiping Rebellion to happen, causing 30 million deaths in the process, while opening doors to other European countries to come in and rape China. So Terrill is suggesting that was a great way of opening up China to the west?

He stated that China's takeover of Xinjiang and Tibet is evil and irresponsible, which of course is true. However, the same can be said of USA's taking over of California and Texas. The intent of taking over these lands is no doubt that of evil empire expansion motives; but there's a good argument that as long as the lands are modernized and their inhabitants' lives are made easier (Terrill even said an inhabitant of Xinjiang wants peace and doesn't agree with the separatists), it may not be a totally bad thing; a valid argument can be made that these states today are in better hands under a stable government than if they are independent eg., Nepal.

However, having said all these things, Terrill does have some valid points about China. I am Chinese myself and do think that Terrill's point about us having the superiority complex is true; Chinese people need to eventually get rid of this mentality if it wants to globally accepted.

Terrill's seven scenarios about Communism breaking up do have some legs in them, since economists, think thanks and intellectuals (including Alan Greenspan) believe the same. He believes mostly in the scenario that China will eventually rebel about repressive authoritarian ideas and that the new generation of Chinese will bring China to democracy; I find this scenario very feasible since something similar happened in South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. The educated young, which will eventually fill out most of the Chinese population, will slowly take over China and bring it into a democratic state.

Terrill has an excellent knowledge of China unlike some other anti-China authors. However, he reminds me of somebody who likes to look at the worst of a person he detests. He likes to dwell on the person's bad things instead of the good.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 13, 2013 3:04 PM PDT

The China Threat: How the People's Republic Targets America
The China Threat: How the People's Republic Targets America
by Bill Gertz
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.26
92 used & new from $0.01

3 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly TRULY Horrendous, February 10, 2007
This is probably one of the most horrendous books I have read in a long time. It's SO obvious that most of the opinions here are totally biased, up to the point of right wing, McCarthy paranoia. The real sad thing is some ignorant president might get elected and indeed follow the advice of such trash that will lead to an unnecessary confrontation with China.

The most terrifying thing about such book is that any unnecessary trade confrontation with China will cause a severe global recession, even depression that will severely hurt United States; the repeat of the Great Depression can even lead to a World War. It's totally obvious that Gertz is TOTALLY ignorant on this potentially grave matter.

It's true that China is not exactly free and it still need to eventually change to democracy to succeed longterm. Some great economists (pragmatists, unlike the extreme paranoid author of "The China Threat") have stated that China need to change to survive long term. However these economists also said that unnecessary confrontation with China will cause it to have less freedom because of economic instability.

Please DON'T read this piece of trash. Read books like 'China: A Balance Sheet", William Overholt's "Rise of China", and Will Hutton's "The Writing On The Wall." These unbiased books are written by economists/sociologists who are very well respected throughout the world.

Even Alan Greenspan's excellent book "The Age of Turbulence" also has views similar to the reputable economists I just mentioned. Greenspan wrote that making friends with China and slowly leading China into democracy, NOT isolating China, is very important for dynamics of global peace, including United States. Greenspan, who worked with Ford, Reagan and Bush, is a Republican who does not hold anti-China feelings.

Mao: A Life
Mao: A Life
by Philip Short
Edition: Paperback
56 used & new from $3.43

101 of 102 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book...But Missing Some Info, December 10, 2006
This review is from: Mao: A Life (Paperback)
This is a superbly written biography of Mao Zedong who I feel should be in any Sinophile's library. The great detail of Mao Zedong's early life and how he got into Communism is excellent. The description of his Anarchist/Marxist philosophy gives a reader a very clear understanding on why Communism came about in China; that it was mostly accepted by the majority of the Chinese population (especially peasants) and not initially enforced upon them, a view held by most Americans. The sad developments of Hundred Flowers Campaign, Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution are also revealed in great detail.

However, no matter how good this book is, I'm still a little bothered by some of it's lack of details on certain very important aspects of modern Chinese history.

1) Not enough was mention about his relationship with Japanese when China was engaged in the war with Japan. Nothing was mentioned on any possible collaboration with Japan that would have upset certain Chinese who claimed that the Communists did more against Japanese than Nationalist.

2) And talking about the Sino Japanese War, why wasn't the big battle of Operation Ichigo mentioned? China would have faced annihilation from Japan during this gigantic operation in 1944, something that worried China greatly and affect the future of the Communists and Nationalists.

3) Not enough about Zhou Enlai was mentioned. Zhou Enlai's proposal of the Four Modernization program was used by Deng Xiaoping to transformed China. I felt this is ultra-important information that should have been mentioned about the 70s. The contrast of Mao Zedong's ultra left views with Zhou's moderate views would have given the reader a great understanding how Deng's program succeeded in the great transformation of modern China from Mao's disastrous programs.

4) Mao Zedong developed some sort of mental illness later in life which caused the strange series of events during the cultural revolution, especially his purge of Liu Shaoqi; this mental illness was possibly caused by drugs (this was mentioned in Harrison Salisbury's "New Emperors" this would have explained his erratic behavior during his old age.

But otherwise this is a truly good book. I am most impressed by Short's ultra unbiased viewpoints.

Anybody who read this book should compare it with the Chiang Kai Shek's biography, " Chiang Kai Shek: China's Generalissimo and the Nation He Lost", by Jonathan Fenby.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 15, 2010 10:01 PM PDT

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game
by Michael Lewis
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.58
555 used & new from $0.01

4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Good...But Biased, November 30, 2006
I read the whole book on a plane while flying to Asia and thoroughly enjoyed it. I agreed with most of it's assessments on Bill James and his mathematical analytical approach to baseball's success; that arrogant Old Guard baseball men can't seem to understand enough to create good baseball teams; that having a 95+ fastball doesn't mean the pitcher will be great or that having a 6'5" body with great throwing arm and power translates into a great hitter.

However, there are some silly assessments in this book I have to point out.

1) One page said the Mets made a stupid move drafting Scott Kazmir, who was a high school draftee. Kazmir???????? The same Kazmir who has amazing stuff and probably will be one of the great lefthanders for years to come??!!!!

2) The Sox was looked upon as idiots in the late 90s for not utilizing Scott Hatteberg correctly. You got to be kidding me. Those same Sox teams lead the league in runs for many years (scored over 900 runs with Mo Vaughn and John Valentin.) I won't say those Sox teams were idiots; they just had a different philosophy on hitting that was equally good as the As.

3) Again on Sox (yes, you probably know I'm Sox fan now!!) They were looked upon as clueless when it came to trying to acquire Cliff Floyd. C'mon. It's a trade for someone who can spark a team to the World Series. And if I remembered correctly the prospects the Sox gave up were not that great.

4) Even though I love As' philosophy on building winning teams, it's not the only formula that is successful. As the Angels, Marlins and Red Sox showed, you can win World Series w/o getting players that have high OBP.

Again, I love this book. However, it doesn't take a genius to know that'it's very biased towards the A's.

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