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Wealth and Power China's Long March to the Twenty-First Century

ISBN-10: 0812976258
ISBN-13: 9780812976250
Edition: 2013
List price: $20.00 Buy it from $10.65
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Description: Through a series of lively and absorbing portraits of iconic modern Chinese leaders and thinkers, two of today's foremost specialists on China provide a panoramic narrative of this country's rise to preeminence that is at once analytical and  More...

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Book details

List price: $20.00
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 9/9/2014
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 496
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.880
Language: English

Through a series of lively and absorbing portraits of iconic modern Chinese leaders and thinkers, two of today's foremost specialists on China provide a panoramic narrative of this country's rise to preeminence that is at once analytical and personal. How did a nation, after a long and painful period of dynastic decline, intellectual upheaval, foreign occupation, civil war, and revolution, manage to burst forth onto the world stage with such an impressive run of hyperdevelopment and wealth creation--culminating in the extraordinary dynamism of China today? Wealth and Power answers this question by examining the lives of eleven influential officials, writers, activists, and leaders whose contributions helped create modern China. This fascinating survey begins in the lead-up to the first Opium War with Wei Yuan, the nineteenth-century scholar and reformer who was one of the first to urge China to borrow ideas from the West. It concludes in our time with human-rights advocate and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, an outspoken opponent of single-party rule. Along the way, we meet such titans of Chinese history as the Empress Dowager Cixi, public intellectuals Feng Guifen, Liang Qichao, and Chen Duxiu, Nationalist stalwarts Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek, and Communist Party leaders Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, and Zhu Rongji. The common goal that unites all of these disparate figures is their determined pursuit of fuqiang, "wealth and power." This abiding quest for a restoration of national greatness in the face of a "century of humiliation" at the hands of the Great Powers came to define the modern Chinese character. It's what drove both Mao and Deng to embark on root-and-branch transformations of Chinese society, first by means of Marxism-Leninism, then by authoritarian capitalism. And this determined quest remains the key to understanding many of China's actions today. By unwrapping the intellectual antecedents of today's resurgent China, Orville Schell and John Delury supply much-needed insight into the country's tortured progression from nineteenth-century decline to twenty-first-century boom. By looking backward into the past to understand forces at work for hundreds of years, they help us understand China today and the future that this singular country is helping shape for all of us. Praise for Wealth and Power "[An] engaging narrative of the intellectual and cultural origins of China's modern rise."--The New York Times Book Review "I know there are lots of China history books these days, but this one is really well done. It tells the story with lots of interesting historical characters and deep insights into the country. Really worth reading."--Fareed Zakaria (Book of the Week) "I highly recommend Wealth and Power: China's Long March to the Twenty-first Century, an excellent new book from Orville Schell and John Delury. The book goes a long way to explaining what drives the current leadership, and why betting against their resolve to reform may be risky in the medium to long term."--Bill Bishop, The New York Times "Both historical and current, and it does a better job than most other books of answering a basic question the rest of the world naturally asks about China's recent rise."--James Fallows, The AtlanticFrom the Hardcover edition.

Orville Schell, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley, is the author of "Mandate of Heaven", "Discos & Democracy", "The China Reader", & twelve other books. His articles have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, & Newsweek, among others. He lives with his wife & children in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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