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Tide Players: The Movers and Shakers of a Rising China Hardcover – March 29, 2011
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
China—powerful, expanding, and evolving—remains inscrutable to Westerners confounded by its contradictions, as well as the rapidity of its growth and the intensity of its repressive government. A child of the Cultural Revolution, Zha (China Pop) offers a nuanced and textured picture of a country constrained by totalitarianism but buoyed by the pioneering spirit and resilience of its people. The author observes a shift from a post-Tiananmen political idealism to a steely but hopeful pragmatism among many of her compatriots. It's a conflict that exists at the heart of Chinese contemporary culture, and one Zha illuminates through interviews with writers and academics dodging or suffering censorship, her own political dissident brother languishing in jail, or Zhang Dazhong, who, motivated by the political imprisonment of his mother, built a fortune and spent his life attempting to clear her name. Zha's effort is an honest and thoughtful portrait that forces outsiders to check their preconceptions at the door and see China as a convergence of passion and trauma, memory and hope. (Apr.)
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—Evan Osnos, The New Yorker
"If you want to understand the astonishing developments in China’s contemporary cultural life . . . there could be no surer or more entertaining guide than Zha."
K. Anthony Appiah, Princeton University
"An engaging, comprehensible cross-section of the personalities and cultural concerns rising with China’s ascent."
"No one who writes in English about contemporary China is more thoroughly bilingual and bicultural than Jianying Zha. She truly 'gets it.'"
Perry Link, author of Evening Chats in Beijing
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This is a good book for any English speaking reader who wants to know more about modern China.
The main part of the book consists of a reader's digest sort of sketch of several rich people in China. The author seems to share the contemporary chinese obsession with great wealth. Where each fatcat stands on the national tote board seems to be a matter of some interest to the author.
The author relates the amazing fact that these successful people started out poor. Given that pretty much everyone in China 50 years ago was struggling, the astonishment with which that relevation is received is bound to be somewhat muted.
The prose of the book is competent but lifeless. It feels like the purpose of the book was more the sheer fact of its publication than a desire to say anything new or interesting.