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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
11


on November 24, 2013
I've read many books on modern China, and this book is definitely among the best. The author gives candid yet nuanced accounts of several representative characters who have been shaped by and are also shaping China's recent development. The narrative goes much deeper than your average newspaper reporting to reveal the complex baggage and measured optimism of China and the Chinese people. A truly insightful book and highly recommend it!
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on October 18, 2013
It was fascinating reading how the various people covered were propelled to start on their path to success: the methods they used and the areas chosen. In a way their success is an illustration of how hard work, determination, perseverance and luck all played their part in their success.
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on April 4, 2016
Like new, great!!!
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on October 7, 2015
Really good writing!
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on December 24, 2012
Never have hear or seen more claryfiing insight view of modern China I really would encourage all readers to look inside this magnificent book
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on August 24, 2014
Useful for those interested in China, but already outdated by new generations of movers and shakers.
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on July 2, 2011
Tide Players is a good introduction to the rising new class of entrepeneurs in China and the rapidly evolving Chinese economic and social culture. Author Jianying Zha is well versed in both eastern and western cultures. She is a good writer with the background and experience to explain and frame China's issues to a western reader. She not only writes about the new Chinese economic stars, but provides a philosophical context for beginning to understand the changes and amazing economic growth of the new China.

This is a good book for any English speaking reader who wants to know more about modern China.
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on July 20, 2016
Why are Northern Chinese so infatuated with academic degrees and professional standing? In the introduction to this book (which is the only original content) the author devotes almost all of her time relating in tiresome detail, her academic achievements and meager publishing history.
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.
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on July 23, 2011
Just how bad is much of today's construction in China? So bad Chinese have their own term: "tofu dreg."

How bad is real estate "flipping"? They have their own term: "Stir fry building."

How much do thoughtful Chinese recognize the perils of trying to comment on these issues, reform their universities, and develop arts and literature in what is still a one-party state with growing economic inbalances? Very much.

And, in "Tide Players," Jianying Zha explains the details of all of that and more. With extensive time and academic study spent in the U.S. and U.K. as well as China, she has a good perspective, especially in analyzing the ambivalent feelings many Chinese have toward "sea turtles" that have spent extensive time abroad before returning home.

On issues of Chinese politics, she has a great deal of insight, beginning with the fact that her half-brother recently completed a nine-year prison term as a political dissident.

In an epilogue, she addresses questions of China's future, again from this same binational perspective.

That said, she's a bit more optimistic on China's future than I am. She largely ignores issues of pollution, resource consumption, and the rapid graying/demographic bell curve that lies in China's future. She also seems to skip over questions of just how much political reform will happen in China and how soon. And, speaking of pollution and resource consumption, it would have been nice to see a Chinese environmentalist among the "tide players."

The book is still a 5-star, though, for all the issues she covers before the epilogue.
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on August 9, 2011
Wonderful book by a brave and adventuresome woman from China who has lived in several U.S. cities, the UK and who has 'bounced' between them and China. This book is a collection of Zha's writings about the lives of several people in China who have been extremely successful despite impossibly poor beginnings.

Along the way, she describes some of the attitudes and beliefs of today's Chinese citizens struggling daily to make the transiton to modern Chinese life.

To me, this little book mirrors, in a way, a book that could have been written about a boisterous, often messy, complex young America and some of the people who made her great."
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