REVIEW by Chris Moss

NWR Issue 106

Carnival China: China in the Era of Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping

by Kerry Brown

There are plenty of big, boring books on the rise of China – the ‘Tiger economy’, the ‘post-socialist capitalist’ experiment, the future superpower etc – and its implications for the rest of us. Windbags from academe and the media alike appear to believe that a large nation with a massive population can only be described in a very fat book. Will Hutton’s The Writing on the Wall – published in 2008, the year of the People’s Olympics – was perhaps the most bloated of all, and featured all the stereotyping and floppy analysis you’d expect from a bandwagon book. It had more of a ‘rest of us’ quality than most, and lacked any sense of the language, texture, smell and reality of modern China.

Kerry Brown, professor of Chinese politics at the University of Sydney, offers something rather different in Carnival China, which is a compilation of blogs originally posted on Open Democracy...

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previous review: The Moor: Lives, Landscape, Literature
next review: Berlin: Imagine a City


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