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China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power Hardcover – August 30, 1994

4.3 out of 5 stars 46 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In one of the best books on contemporary China, Kristoff and WuDunn ponder a central paradox: an explosion of wealth and entrepreneurship in the world's third biggest economy (after the U.S. and Japan) flourishes under a repressive, authoritarian regime. This husband-and-wife team, Pulitzer Prize-winning Beijing correspondents for the New York Times from 1988 to 1993, take us from the Xinjiang region in China's far west, where an Islamic revival threatens Party rule, to occupied Tibet seething with hatred for the Chinese overlords. They report on widespread alienation from the government, massive rural poverty, rampant bribery and corruption, increasing discrimination against women in the workplace, routine abduction and trafficking in women and children. The authors also perceive "the embryo of a civil society" emerging that may one day undermine the dictatorship. WuDunn, who is Chinese-American, writes of her sometimes frustrating search for her native identity in a regimented society pervaded by a "culture of silence." Photos. Author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This thought-provoking analysis of daily life in China is the first book to rival Fox Butterfield's China: Alive in the Bitter Sea (LJ 4/15/82). All the authors are New York Times correspondents, but while Butterfield did five years of graduate work in Asian studies, Kristof graduated from law school and WuDunn has an MBA and a master's degree in public administration. As a result, they analyze China in terms of its progress in the areas of civil rights and business. The authors argue that today's leaders are remarkably similar to those of past dynasties but that, given their entrepreneurial energy, Chinese people are living better now than ever before. In interviews with many different types of people, Kristof and WuDunn (who won a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting on the Tiananmen Square massacre) observe that Chinese society is changing slowly in the face of much blatant injustice. On a positive note, they see China as a nation that is beginning to appreciate the benefits of law over imperial rule. Highly recommended.
--Peggy Spitzer Christoff, Oak Park, Ill.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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