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    For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History []  2020-1-22 20:49

    This is a history book. It uses a theme, the tea trade, to follow the cultivation and preparation of tea and its impact on countries and continents, politics and people. You will learn about the opium wars, the isolation and re-opening of China. It makes the horticulture and geography of China come alive and you will be amazed at the diversity and beauty of plants that originated in China.Extremely well written, it is exciting, interesting and informative. All history books should be written this way, showing the interrelationships between cultures, economics, politics, agriculture, and commerce. It is understanding of how forces, individually and together, drive happenings that makes history come alive, makes it interesting and makes it will have fun it and be possessed of fresh insights. You will also wish to go out and buy some tea.

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    For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History []  2020-1-22 20:49

    Delightful read for those of us addicted to tea and prone to enjoying history. I am not inclined to believe or disbelieve her reportage, but am inclined to have fun her point of view. Her writing style is engaging and the bottom line from my experience is I am now passionate about finding more info about "The John Company," Mr. Fortune and the history of the East India Company from Elizabeth 1 forward. Now That's something!The impact of such a easy thing as importing tea and the history and social impact are compelling, whether or not her dialogue or empathic comments are accurate. The net-net is, this is a amazing read. Other reviews critique the scholarly problems and miss the point entirely. This is a book about a frame of reference, of time and place, and the footnotes and accuracy of conversations are thinks the reviewers who attack the book on scholarly grounds have no concept of the Journalistic license popularized, but not invented, by Truman Capote ["In Cold Blood"] in the non-fiction novel genre. [The non-fiction novel is a literary genre which, broadly speaking, depicts true historical figures and actual happenings narrated woven together with fictitious allegations and using the storytelling techniques of fiction. The non-fiction novel is an otherwise loosely-defined and flexible genre. The genre is sometimes referred to as or faction, a portmanteau of "fact" and "fiction".]I only hope Ms. Rose has another book in the writing. I am thrilled with the doors opened to other historical adventures.

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    For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History []  2020-1-22 20:49

    Does not seem well organized or professionally written, but interesting data and simple to read. The historian in me winced a couple of times, but the ladies in my book club all seemed to like it, felt they'd learned a satisfying amount, and were glad they read it. So I'd recommend it for folks with a bit of interest, but not a powerful concern for dates, chronology, or a powerful sense of historical context.

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    For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History []  2020-1-22 20:49

    I'm only half method through but this a unbelievable book on so a lot of levels: history, natural history, scientific history, economics, botany and not the least of all, a must for any tea lover. It reads like an adventure set in a time when botany and discovering fresh plants was the Internet and fortunes were created on "programing" the tea to grow in a fresh place. Plus, it's written like a historical novel of adventure full of rich characters and conflicts.If you are a tea lover, you will love this book and it will give you a lot of insights to the modern history of tea and clarify a lot of things you may have wondered about. In passing it also explained the mysteries of now obscure and unused tea names like Bohea and Congou.

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    For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History []  2020-1-22 20:49

    A fascinating story, told in a less than fascinating fashion. The book suffers from a lack of amazing maps and helpful illustrations -- probably budget constraints set by the publisher and not by the well-meaning author.

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    For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History []  2020-1-22 20:49

    After listening to some podcasts about tea, I became interested in the history. I really enjoyed this book, I think it is very well written and, it's very interesting to read how how tea spread around the world. These were the days of courageous botanists and travelers who created a lot of rtune's adventures and successes not only created tea spread around the globe but at that time British gardeners could also suddenly have fun the attractive and exotic plants from other regions in the world. Fascinating to read about the influence of the East India company in the different regions around the world, and how this slowly changed. It gives you a lot of info and facts about the middle of the 19th century but is also reads like fiction. I love to see more from this author.

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    For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History []  2020-1-22 20:49

    I purchased this for a history book club. If you have fun readable (meaning non academic ivory tower, infinitesimally detailed oriented garbage that doesn't go anywhere) you will have fun this book. What a wild combination of Indiana Jones and pbs garden shows. Really interesting concepts tha I have not seen anywhere else in an eminently readable format. I hold saying readable, because so much history is well, not.

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    For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History []  2020-1-22 20:49

    A spy novel? No a real tale of spying and purloining, of amazing adventure and history. Amazing Britain prevails in bringing tea from China to its people!It reads like a novel, but it is history, unknown to many, and brings to life the fascinating story of conflict between Amazing Britain and China in those early days of Opium trading and tea taking and the national economies and manipulations in the mix of making it all happen.

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    For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History []  2020-1-22 20:49

    For a fine-tea geek like myself, this book was enthralling. But even if that magic leaf is NOT your cup of tea, learning about the history of this rare commodity and its power in globe economies is worth the read. Ms. Rose brings the career of Robert Fortune to life and illuminates the monopolistic power of the popular East India Company, tool of Britain's empire-building strategy. Rose reports history yet tells a story of living people set versus a backdrop of culture clashes, espionage, political gamesmanship, and scientific discovery. Whether you're into tea, botany, sociology, history or just love a amazing page-turner, this book is for you. We learn that Fortune, a prominent British botanist, led the biggest theft of intellectual property known to man: tea growing and processing secrets held closely by the Chinese. The social justice component is also an necessary theme running throughout the book. We learn of the intensive labor needed to produce the teas that so captivated the upper classes of the time (and still captivate average people like myself). I even learned that American history books once again whitewashed the truth: those Chinese railroad laborers of the mid-1800s were actually victims of human trafficking; indentured servants at best, outright slave labor at worst. Despite all these harsh truths, Rose keeps the narrative both factual and interesting without crossing over into preaching. You cannot support but root for Fortune through all his failures and successes. The book is eye-opening and completely engrossing.

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    For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History []  2020-1-22 20:49

    One of my all time favorite books about tea and plants and history. Anyone you know that is a Master Gardener will adore the travels, struggles and findings of the man who became the curator of Kew Gardens. It is the real story about industrial espionage of the plant globe in Victorian times. But you'll never look at tea or for that matter the Lady Banks Rose the same! I love finding hard back copies and giving them as bonuses to plant nerds and tea lovers along with some unusual tea. They will appreciate it all the more.

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    The Gunpowder Gardens or, A Time for Tea: Travels Through India and China in Search of Tea []  2020-2-6 23:0

    Very well written, amazing source book and background material. Worth the cash and your time. A baristas handbook.

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    The Gunpowder Gardens or, A Time for Tea: Travels Through India and China in Search of Tea []  2020-2-6 23:0

    This book is WONDERFUL! Be forewarned, however: you WILL start to guzzle litre after litre of tea during the reading of this book. Mr. Goodwin gives an absolutely unbelievable first-person acc of his often hilarious travels investigating the tea trade, from its' beginnings in Canton to the show day. A MUST for anyone who loves tea - and I'd rate Mr. Goodwin's writing style on a par with Pico Iyer's. A amazing read, full of humour and information...

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    The Gunpowder Gardens or, A Time for Tea: Travels Through India and China in Search of Tea []  2020-2-6 23:0

    During my young adulthood I became, like most Americans, an ardent drinker of er in life I embarked on a series of travels to Asia and each time I returned, I returned a tea drinker--for a time--eventually reverting to coffee--until my next Asian travels were arduous affairs in third-world countries where travel was difficult, fraught with danger, sickness and hunger. I soon discovered that a cup of hot tea fortified my spirits and somehow quieted the hunger and the aches. No matter how tough or grim the situation, when I paused for a cup of hot chai I was comforted and suddenly things didn't look quite so hopeless. No wonder it was the indispensible drink of choice for people living in harsh conditions and climates! I'll never forget that during my travels across the breadth of China, no matter where I was, there was always a hot water source and tea available for the common man.Tea provides comfort and hope, has proven medicinal properties, acts as a social lubricant, is ceremonial and ties us, somehow, to those who came before us and the bittersweet past.Long intrigued with the mysteries surrounding tea, I was fortunate enough to have stumbled upon Goodwins' book where the mysteries were transformed into a unbelievable mix of informational story-telling, travel, history, political skullduggery, culture and science."A Time For Tea" is an encyclopedia of tea woven into a tale of travel--told as only it should be. How was tea discovered and where--what are the different types of tea, where are they grown, how is it processed, fermented and traded, what part did it play in international affairs, and why did it attain such popularity? To ferret out the answers to these questions and more, Goodwin traveled throughout India, China and the Himalayan kingdoms observing, recording, tasting and speaking with those in the know.Older now, though I still drink coffee, I am a regular tea drinker and hold Goodwins' book ever at the ready on my kitchen shelf. Having it at my side allows me to fancy myself an expert on the subject. Now if I could only search myself a related text on coffee!DH Koester--"And There I Was" And There I Was Volume IX: A Backpacking Adventure in India

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    The Gunpowder Gardens or, A Time for Tea: Travels Through India and China in Search of Tea []  2020-2-6 23:0

    I enjoyed learning about the tea trade in its early days but found that the author's writing style left a lot to be desired.

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    The Gunpowder Gardens or, A Time for Tea: Travels Through India and China in Search of Tea []  2020-2-6 23:0

    Amazing read! I love his mysteries, too.

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    The Gunpowder Gardens or, A Time for Tea: Travels Through India and China in Search of Tea []  2020-2-6 23:0

    A Time for Tea: Travels through China and India in find of teaJason Goodwin, 1991Where's the Tea? 2*I enjoyed one of Jason Goodwin's more latest books, 2006's mystery novel "The Janissary Tree," even giving it a 5* review. A small dry in the writing, perhaps, but with interestingly presented historical background, sort of a travelogue to a various time as well as place. So I was primed to have fun Goodwin's 1991 actual travel book, especially since I am a tea enthusiast of long standing and it is subtitled "... in find of tea." It is hard to come across amazing info not filtered through merchants' catalogs and websites, and I was looking for some boots on the ground reporting on how the teas are grown, manufactured and enjoyed in these major tea growing regions, and some amazing info on the teas themselves and their dly, I am frankly puzzled by the previous Amazon reviews of this book. I'm at page 125 (out of 272) and have just encountered the first substantive mention of tea ... and it's not the author's own experience of tea, or fresh info that he has uncovered about tea, but extracts from the collection of aging references he just now tells us he has been carrying around with him.And this is another issue I have with the book -- it's almost half method through that we search Goodwin has actually done some prior research, possibly extensive, on the subject. Up until now it seemed that he had simply inhaled a typical Brit's knowledge of tea along with his mother's stewed cuppa, and set off as a classic Innocent, a blank slate in find of illumination. Similarly, it is also nearly half method through that we search he reads and writes Chinese and speaks one dialect (though he doesn't mention which), almost as an aside when he is describing how speakers of mutually unintelligible dialects can still communicate in written Chinese (which is why, incidentally, Chinese films often have Chinese subtitles). I'm not even that interested in the tea trade per se, especially the trade of centuries gone by (though I'm sure the topic has its own fascination), but the tea itself. Unfortunately, the historical tea trade seems to be what the author is keenest on, the minutae of the grading systems of centuries gone by (and not actually telling us how the teas were graded, but merely standing in awe of the number of potentially distinguishable grades), rather than distractions such as what the bloody brew tastes like. I obtain no feel for the actual experience of drinking, tasting, tea until the very end of his travels, on p. 255, where he describes the tasting of a fine Darjeeling.OK, so it's not primarily a book about tea, but how accurate and deep is the odd spot of actual info about tea itself? Following the comment of a previous reviewer, I looked up Lapsang Souchong in the index, and before even getting to the Lapsang specifics in the referenced pages found this: "Grading tea [into uniform sizes by sieving] is done partly to improve the appearance ... and partly to offer a range of liquoring speeds: the smaller the leaf , the quicker it brews." (p.166) Well, appearance is a matter of aesthetics, and finer leaf teas do brew more quickly, but it's not as if there's a large demand for 2 min vs. 4 min brewing cycles. Rather, having tea of uniform leaf size ensures that it brews evenly, that fine particles don't overbrew before the coarser leaves release their flavor. And the Lapsang specifics a bit later consisted of the astounding revelation that it is indeed smoked (after "fermentation", actually oxidation, a process common to all black teas). I wonder what the heck the reviewer told her Irishman that is not common knowledge? Much of the other info he provides (mostly culled from his traveling library) is questionable, incomplete, or at least no longer applicable. These from pp. 123-125:-- "We [westerners] judge [tea] by the colour of the dry leaf, rather than the colour of the liquor in the cup. Some teas we would call green give 'red' liquors." Maybe real of centuries gone by, but the black / green divide these days seems entirely based on fermentation (oxidation) or lack thereof, not leaf color. "Black" Darjeelings are often (where appropriate) described as having a green leaf. I have never heard of a "green" tea with a red liquor. Maybe he's thinking of the Chinese description of what we would call "black" tea as "red" tea, based on the color of the infusion of at latest some black/red teas.-- He describes gunpowder tea but doesn't mention why the leaves are rolled tightly (to preserve freshness).-- "Formosa Oolongs are more black than green." Actually Taiwan (Formosa) produces a full range of "fermentations" (oxidations). The "greener," lightly fermented, varieties appear to be more famous there, although the typical export "Formosa Oolong" is the more oxidized e author does provide an interesting description of tea manufacture in Darjeeling, at least some from first hand observation (pp. 217-219) and of the different seasons of Darj teas (219-222), first and second flushes, autumnal teas (though I would not agree with his source's characterization of first flush teas as inferior -- I've found myself favoring them as my appreciation of Darjeeling increases). But by now we're a bit gun shy. How much is special to the estate he visited, how much common practice throughout? (And what about the green and oolong Darjeelings, admittedly uncommon?) How much, perhaps, even gleaned from Colonel Money's popular 1877 essay "Cultivation of Tea" which he references?In summary, if you hope to learn a book's-worth about tea itself, or how it is grown and processed, you will probably be disappointed, as I was. I did skim and sample the rest of the book as well, and there's just not that much tea there.But to be fair, A Time for Tea is also billed as "Travels through India and China ..," so how does it stack up as simply a travel book? Alas, it's not a style I'm particularly fond of. The language and attitude are quintessentially Brit, and it mixes an odd assortment of historical, cultural and geograpical factoids and opinions with his actual experiences and observations. And somehow his initial hiding -- or should we just say de-emphasis? -- of his preparation, research and linguistic skills seems a cheat, or at least gives a wrong impression of his expedition. Perhaps it's that I was looking for something else, but even as a travel book it doesn't grab me, although from my sampling it does pick up in the India section. Your mileage may vary.

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    The Gunpowder Gardens or, A Time for Tea: Travels Through India and China in Search of Tea []  2020-2-6 23:0

    Goodwin takes us on a journey of exploration, history, geography, social life and tea-drinking in all the right places. I've been a full-time tea-drinker since I was weaned as a baby in the UK and have learned more about tea from this book than I ever thought I wanted or required to know. The author writes in such a method that the whole book and his journey, become a live instruction in the countries, lives and producers of tea, while making it all so pleasurable that one hardly thinks of the lessons being imparted at the same time as participating in his adventures.I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in tea, whether as a beverage of choice, a lesson in the economics or social and cultural studies of the indigenous populations of the tea-producing countries...or just for the fun of it all.

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    The Gunpowder Gardens or, A Time for Tea: Travels Through India and China in Search of Tea []  2020-2-6 23:0

    I read this book when it first came out, and I really loved it. I still refer to the facts I learned within; just latest week I was explaining Lapsang Souchong to an Irishman. I was left feeling that I knew Mr. Goodwin, and contemplated finding him and making him my husband, primarily so we could travel together.

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    The Gunpowder Gardens or, A Time for Tea: Travels Through India and China in Search of Tea []  2020-2-6 23:0

    I was led to this book by method of Jason Goodwin's other nonfiction books : On Foot to the Golden Horn and Lords of the Horizon. This book takes us to Asia where Goodwin spent years traveling with his father in who was in the British foreign service. It is interesting and dense with detail, perhaps to the point of losing the larger narrative.

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    The Gunpowder Gardens or, A Time for Tea: Travels Through India and China in Search of Tea []  2020-2-6 23:0

    This book was also published in paperback in the United States under the title A Time for Tea: Travels Through China and India in Find of Tea (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991). Informed and entertaining, the book is a combination travelogue-history; the author visits China, India, and a few other tea-related locations (Boston, as in Tea Party), all the while telling us how tea is grown, processed, and drunk; how it was first discovered; and how it came to be exported to the West. I found it totally engrossing. Had it been written by an American, I would class it in the category of New-Yorker-style writing: intelligent, witty, light - yet informative. I suppose the book may now be out of print in the American version, but it's certainly worth tracking down. Highly recommended.

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    The Japanese Way of Tea: From Its Origins in China to Sen Rikyu []  2020-9-4 18:48

    A detailed but easily read history of tea in Japan and their philosophical approach to it.

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    The Japanese Way of Tea: From Its Origins in China to Sen Rikyu []  2020-9-4 18:48

    This scholarly work first examines the discovery & establishment of tea & tea culture in China, in particular the profound influence of Lu Yu in developing a Chinese tea tradition. The remainder of the book is devoted to explaining the development of the peculiarly Japanese tea culture which grew from Chinese beginnings following tea's introduction to Japan from China during the Tang Dynasty. The book is well illustrated with some superb full colour plates, and a number of black & white e author is the fifteenth generation tea-master entrusted with preserving the history and practising the art of the Japanese tea traditions.

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    The Japanese Way of Tea: From Its Origins in China to Sen Rikyu []  2020-9-4 18:48

    A classic for a reason. This and Sen XV’s Chado Textbook will be each you 95%!of what’s you need to know about the tea ceremony.

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    The Chieftains in China []  2020-12-11 19:41

    Why the Chieftains didn't follow up on this album is a mystery. It's filled with innovative and fascinating cross-cultural musical references, the potential of which is barely explored here. The pieces that combine the Chieftains and the Chinese ensembles are the best - you can obtain a dozen CDs with amazing Chieftains' music, but only one that combines the uilleann pipes and the pippa. The most fascinating thing about the album is the parallel between the musicians' roles in the Irish and Chinese groups, and how small effort it takes to create an Irish tune sound Chinese and a Chinese tune sound Irish. Even the instruments themselves are similar. The xiou is basically a Chinese tin whistle, the pipa is a lute, the san-xian is a banjo. Both musical traditions use hand-held drums, and the Chinese have no fewer than three various kinds of fiddles. I first heard this album twenty years ago, and bought it again in CD form as an inspiration for my daughter's violin lessons. And now I'm playing the tin whistle again. Enthusiastically recommended!

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    The Chieftains in China []  2020-12-11 19:41

    I bought this CD for some mates of mine named Eddie and Cindy from Foremosa who I was in choir with at my church. Eddie played the violin and Cindy played piano for our choir. We were also in intramural volleyball together and they paid my membership fee tor our church squad when I was unemployed. They would not let me to pay them back when I again had the money. I hoped this CD would be an enjoyable repayment and that they would love the Chieftains melody as much as I did. To this date I have never heard back from Eddie or Cindy whether they in fact liked the CD at all.

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    A Journey to the Tea Countries of China []  2020-1-26 23:1

    Love to read books on distant lands at at the time of travel, this book alittle less private than i like but a interesting read to place in china during forbidin times.

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    A Journey to the Tea Countries of China []  2020-1-26 23:1

    interesting acc of tea

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    A Journey to the Tea Countries of China []  2020-1-26 23:1

    Well-written and detailed first-hand acc by an adventurous British horticulturalist of nineteenth century tea cultivation in China and India. (Note: The two Robert Fortune titles from Elibron Classics, A Journey to the Tea Countries of China, and Two Visits to the Tea Countries of China and the British Tea Plantations in the Himalaya Volume II, are virtually the same works in fascimile with very minor differences in just the first chapter and in the back matter: A Journey... has a few color plates, and Two Visits... has a 1853 bibliography of works published by the original British publisher of these two titles.)

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    The Nestorian monument in China []  2020-8-22 19:13

    i liked this book because it met all my expectations ; i am writing a history of the nestorian church in China and this book gave me much info - so there we are - regards Thomas Fiddes

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    The Nestorian monument in China []  2020-8-22 19:13

    Two years ago I noted P. Yoshino Saeki as a/the authority on the early Nestorian/Assyrian Church in China as mentioned in both Samuel H. Moffett's, A HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY IN ASIA, and later, Richard C. Foltz's, RELIGIONS OF THE SILK ROAD. both cited Saeki's later publication, THE NESTOTIAN DOENTS AND RELICS IN CHINA, revised 1951. This later publication is very rare and is now priced at over $800. The current book, THE NESTORIAN MONUMENT IN CHINA, is now in the public domain, as the copyright has expired. The current book does not have a copyright page, but I believe it was written in e reprint is very readable. While Saeki was a Christian and a professor at Waseda University, his basic goal was to authenticate a 7th century Tang Era monument which had recently been dug up, which had praised Nestorian relationship with the Tang Dynasty; as there were other Christian groups claiming it to be a forgery. In his 161 page introduction he explains the ongoing cooperation between the Buddhist and Assyrian Christian Priest of the 7th through 9th centuries who were all primarily Persian, both relgions were tainted by the other. While he created a lot of points, with with a lot of hypothisis, he would end each with "this goes beyond the intention of this current book":which included in general, Mahayana Buddhism is the mixing of Christian ideals with Buddhism and that Amida Buddism was strongest in areas/locations where there was close cooperation between Christains and Buddist in both China and along the Silk Road. He mentioned how Buddhism did not become famous in both China or Japan until ancestor worship was added to Buddhism, including memorial tablets borrowed originally from Judism via Christianity. He also mentioned that the Christian Church eventually declined as it was too dependent upon the Chinese Dynasties for support, and remained dependent upon clergy from the west and did not ordain Chinese. With the cutoff from the west by the Muslims and eventual persecution by the Chinese, Saeki believes they were eventually absurbed into the Muslim population. The book was full of detailed facts. The book leaves Amida Buddhist with a lot of unanswered questions.

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    Barbarian Lost: Travels in the New China []  2020-1-26 23:4

    A amazing reflection of his travels and created me reflect on my private experiences

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    Barbarian Lost: Travels in the New China []  2020-1-26 23:4

    In China, the Ming Dynasty lasted for 276 years. In Canada, the Trudeau political dynasty appears set to latest for a lot of years, although perhaps not 276! The author of this book, Alexandre Trudeau, is the son of former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and the brother of current Prime Minister Justin exandre Trudeau's book gives the reader a kind of "you are there" quality which is consistent with his career as a doentary movie maker. In particular, Trudeau delves into the road life of China's packed cities to show a multifaceted and multilevel portrait of the China of the early 21st seems clear that the respect Alexandre and his brother Justin have for China was instilled by their father Pierre who was an obsessive globe traveller and who coauthored a famous book about China in 1960. In fact, in this fresh book by Alexandre, some of the most delightful anecdotes involve the preparations of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to go with his sons to China in 1990 in the immediate post-Tiananmen Square era.High spirited youths Alexandre and Justin gambolled up ancient Chinese monuments and went flying down historic stone stairways in leaps and bounds. They paid for it with painfully strained muscles and bones and admonishments from their was Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau who beat President Richard Nixon in the move by Western countries to reestablish diplomatic relations with Communist China - something that Nixon apparently resented as it took a bit of the wind out of his own historic overtures to China. And Pierre Trudeau, like Nixon, was granted a personal meeting with a rather doddering Chairman exandre approaches his expeditions to China, and life in general, with much the same philosophy as his father. The author notes: "Respect for the individual is the first premise of the just society. No political conversation worth having can ever begin without a vow to uphold each other's freedom and dignity" (p. 262). Respect for the rights of the individual, self-actualization ("personalism") appears to be the credo of the son as it was for the ven Alexandre's belief in the "just society", I wanted to hear more from him about the thorny problem of human rights in China - particularly the problem of capital punishment. After all, it was Pierre Trudeau who presided over the abolition of capital punishment in Canada in 1976. Perhaps Alexandre was a bit cautious about treading into his brother Justin's political territory. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is currently negotiating fresh economic agreements with China. Canadians are evenly split in their views of China - with roughly half of Canadians being very concerned about China's record on human rights. PM Justin Trudeau must tippy toe carefully in this minefield of divided exandre writes elegantly about the various aspects of Chinese society and his book takes on a "virtual reality" of us being with him and his hired interpreter in visiting inner cities, restaurants, factories, red light districts, artist studios and a lot of other locales.I must say that I had a few episodes of indigestion after the author described visiting a "snake restaurant" and choosing one's dinner from a selection of about 600 live creepy crawlers! After the chosen snake was slaughtered and cooked, Alexandre noted that it tasted like something akin to "belt leather."One of the nasty allegations often thrown at the Trudeau males is the one of "dilettantism", e.g., privileged and well off Canadians "slumming" it in developing countries. Pierre Trudeau was often portrayed in this light. However, there was way in his perceived madness as almost certainly Trudeau's globe travels were part of his preparation for assuming his hoped for role of citizen of the globe and statesman. One assumes the same with Alexandre's travels in that there is an ultimate social amazing in sight and the furtherance of the Trudeau credo of respect for diversity, a focus on all human beings as citizens of the globe and an end to narrow reading this book by a Trudeau, the question naturally arises: "Will another Trudeau, e.g., Alexandre, enter the political fray?" The author himself has modestly absented himself from a political career, indicating that he is an "introvert" while his brother Justin is an "extrovert." However, the matter is not that simple. In terms of personality, Alexandre has often been compared to his father Pierre and, of course, "introverted" Pierre Trudeau was a amazing Canadian prime minister and globe statesman.I recommend a reading of this book for a lot of reasons, but two of the main ones are: the book is simply a amazing travel guide; secondly, it provides further insight into a Trudeau globe view that has been influential in shaping Canadian multiculturalism and promoting a more positive role for Canada in the globe as a country that respects diversity. The latest admission of 31,000 Syrian refugees into Canada has been a successful example of the Canadian/Trudeau government policy of unity through diversity and a refusal to build walls between peoples.

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    Barbarian Lost: Travels in the New China []  2020-1-26 23:4

    It is definitely an interesting book, but it is more of a journal than a travel book and it jumps from one subject to another. You obtain some history, some politics, some art, some travel, some descriptions of homes of true Chinese people, some descriptions of the buildings he visits, descriptions of the food. It is especially interesting in that Alexandre goes to meet the type of people he chooses to meet, and is not under the auspices of any sort of Chinese tourist bureau. The arrangements are created by his guide, a university student, whom he has hired.

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    Barbarian Lost: Travels in the New China []  2020-1-26 23:4

    I enjoyed this book from a number of perspectives. As a travelogue it does a very amazing job in covering from various perspectives a massive, interesting and complex nation. Even though the nine chapters are all very various he uses his expertise as a doentary filmmaker to somehow (and quite enjoyably) weave them together. It is well written and his perspectives and those of the people he met provide a true glimpse into the fresh China. As a fellow Canadian and thus being familiar with his family, especially his father the former Prime Minster and his younger brother Justin who presently leads our country, it was interesting to obtain a look into Sasha himself. There is a depth and humility that comes out in his perceptions but also in how he expresses them. He acknowledges his being a person of privilege and an introvert yet he embarks upon an aggressive agenda of what he wanted to see,was unafraid of traveling rough and wanting to meet as diverse a group of “real” people as possible. It is clear that he loves China. He has immersed himself in the history and culture of the country and this love and knowledge helped shape his travels and as a effect the book itself. It is a very enjoyable read and I look forward to his next book.

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    The Classic of Tea: 茶经 (100 Books of Ancient China Classics Book 14) []  2020-2-6 23:9

    This reads as if it was run through Google Translate and left unedited. It is truly terrible, avoid at all costs. The original book is probably amazing since it is considered a classic but I wouldn't know because it is almost impossible to draw any meaning from the careless attempt at translation and complete lack of editing.

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    China In Color: Fun Facts and Pictures for Kids (All About China) []  2020-1-11 19:12

    This book has a lot of stunningly attractive pictures of China – landscapes, people, buildings, and more. There are also a number of pages with various facts about the country, such as its history, the various dialects, and inventions. Some of the pictures are what you would expect from the title “China in Color” – bright and exciting colors (such as a nighttime shot of a house on the water lit with neon colors) – while others are more muted but still lovely (such as the forested mountain in fog). I don’t remember reading any explanation of what various colors may mean to the Chinese (why are red and gold so important, for instance?), but the pictures alone are worth should go without saying, but this is my fair, honest, and unbiased review of this product, and I only buy products that my family and I will actually use. I have received this item from the vendor at a discounted rate in exchange for my testing and reviewing the product, but this does not influence my review.If my review was helpful for you in any way, please click the [YES] bottom below, which enables me to continue writing helpful reviews. Thank you for reading!

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    China In Color: Fun Facts and Pictures for Kids (All About China) []  2020-1-11 19:12

    Another book by Speedy Publishing for children. I did not message any "fun" facts. Perhaps this means somethingdifferent to the author. The pictures are nice, but none are labeled. The panda, Amazing Wall, and terracotta soldiersare the only things I recognize due to no labels on the photos. I feel this is a really poor omission because itwould be nice to know the names of what the pictures are of. I am not sure all the facts are correct. I know thatas usual the book needs some editing and organization. My children liked the pictures but wanted to know what theplaces were. It is amazing to allow kids learn about other cultures and people who live in other places. I hope thatby exposing my kids to people and religions other than their own will create them better people and moretolerant of others. A amazing enough book for people to learn some facts about China. I learned nothing fresh exceptthe approximate number of Chinese people at the show time. I think the title is somewhat misleading. Therewere no "fun" facts listed, just facts like any other book would have.

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    China In Color: Fun Facts and Pictures for Kids (All About China) []  2020-1-11 19:12

    China In Color: Fun Facts and Pictures for Children (All About China) is a quick read for anyone interested in geography! There isn’t a lot of info I this book, but the pictures are engaging, so that may pique your child’s interest to learn more about China. We have purchased a couple digital books by the same publishing company and they are all wonderfully written with vibrant pictures. My second grade daughter, age 8, read through this book on her own in less than 5 minutes. She enjoyed the book (although it is very short, she always wishes these books were longer!), it is very picture heavy, not a lot of wording. I would guess this book would be best for ages 4-8, lower elementary. Downloading the book onto our smartphone was easy and easy, there is a Kindle application available for most devices. I would recommend reading this book on a device with color (not a black/white only Kindle) so you can fully appreciate the attractive pictures! (We did keep this book at a discounted price in exchange for my honest opinion. All of the info provided above is my private experience, or in this case, my daughters private experience, with the book).

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    China In Color: Fun Facts and Pictures for Kids (All About China) []  2020-1-11 19:12

    Now that it's summer, I search myself struggling with fresh and interesting topics to talk to my children about. I test to teach them various things that they wouldn't necessarily talk about in school and if they do talk about the things that I teach them in school, I hope that my children will remember a few facts and share them with their class!!This book sure gave me a amazing hour of teaching time, we even went on the Internet to research a few more things about China!!! I was shocked to learn that China's population is over 1.35 billion and the US population is at 322 million (we looked the US population up on the internet).This book shows you a few pictures of China, like it's countryside, Chinese dancers, their skyline, mountains, etc..., then it will present you a page or two of China facts (sometimes the facts are about the pictures they just showed). The book also talks about animals, Chinese civilization, things the Chinese invented, popular Chinese people, the Amazing Wall of China, the Chinese government, Chinese civilization, Kung fun and the Chinese economy.I am very satisfied that I received this book because it turned into a amazing learning opportunity for my children (and sometimes for me too).I received this product for free in return for my honest review. This doesn't change my opinion in anyway. This review is based on my personal, unbiased use of this product.

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    China In Color: Fun Facts and Pictures for Kids (All About China) []  2020-1-11 19:12

    What a nice idea. I love books that encourage kids to learn about other people and places.Unfortunately, this book won't do e, the book is a combination of attractive pictures, and e text is beautiful much copied right off of Wikipedia and other websites. Which means instead of text talking about the beautiful lady in her gorgeous ceremonial clothing, or the beauty of Chinese tea culture, we're treated to tantalizing facts like "China is a single-party state governed by the Communist Party, with its seat of government based in the capital town of Beijing. It exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and two mostly self-governing unique administrative regions (Hong Kong and Macau)."Oh man, isn't that copy pasted dictionary text exciting?And then you have fun sentences like:"Kung Fu, meaning "hard-won achievement") Wushu, more commonly referred to simply as Kung Fu..."Yes, that is exactly how it's printed. With those can take any sentence in this book, google it, and search it someone on the me.I bought this book when it was free. I paid too much for it. Please don't buy this. You can google and do better. :(

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    China In Color: Fun Facts and Pictures for Kids (All About China) []  2020-1-11 19:12

    As my kids learn to read, an increasing number of words to go along with pictures becomes more and more important, especially as my child's everyday homework is to read for 20 mins each day.I found this book to be a fun read for my children as my older kid can read the words and easily knock out his homework, while my younger child could follow along while looking at all the beautiful, colourful you go through the book, you're shown a few images that are supported by a page titled "China Facts..." that describes what's going on in the images and provides a fresh fact that you may or may not know about China. There is a lot of nice photography that brings you a very nice overview of China as a country and as a s:- Simple enough to read for a 1st or 2nd grader and up- Attractive images throughout- Huge font for simple reading- Every readable section is a fresh fact about ChinaI received this book at a discount in exchange for an honest review. From the early history of China and facts about its language to the Terracotta Army, the Amazing Wall of China, and the Beijing Olympics, this book covers a lot of China and its special ina In Color: Fun Facts and Pictures for Children (All About China)

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    China In Color: Fun Facts and Pictures for Kids (All About China) []  2020-1-11 19:12

    Quality: ExcellentValue: ExcellentPros: A amazing overview of info about China, clear and colourful pictures, lesser-known facts includedCons: Pictures need captions, some organization problems (all headings say "China Facts")Comments: This would be a amazing book for an elementary classroom doing fact-finding about different countries. It would work, for example, as a source of info for taking notes for a short oral report about China. It would also create a amazing book for leisure to obtain children interested in globe cultures, for a child obsessed with learning about other countries, or simply for the enjoyment of learning. It does not go too in-depth, so it is excellent for the casual reader. The reader wanting to know more might have to do some research to obtain a better understanding of some of the concepts and facts introduced in this is a list of descriptions of some of the included photos:MountainsideDancerPagodasTea being pouredTraditional clothing/makeupMartial artsCityscapeShorelineArchitecturePandaHorseTerracotta armyHere are some of the subjects included:PopulationGovernmentGeographical featuresHistoryEconomyLanguageReligionEthnicityInventionsPing-pong (somewhat randomly mentioned)PandasHorsesThe Amazing WallThe Terracotta ArmyDisclaimer: I received this product for free or at a reduced price in exchange for my fair and honest review. I hope you search it helpful.

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    China In Color: Fun Facts and Pictures for Kids (All About China) []  2020-1-11 19:12

    I decided to test this book out for bedtime with the children to present them what life was like in China. This book was filled with colourful pictures that they definitely enjoyed looking at. Some of the touch-points were a small over their heads, but they enjoyed learning about some of the different aspects of life there and a bit of history as well. Some of the more interesting sections of this book dealt with China's rich history from things like kung fu to the amazing wall. This book mostly consisted of images with a few tidbits of information every couple pages. This is definitely a children book and does not take long to obtain through, but does it's job as a amazing introductory that created lead to more in depth discussion and general curiosity. Overall I am happy of the material covered as it relates to a book that was catered towards kids. There is just enough content to hold there interest and hold them from getting bored. Would definitely give a book of related content a try.Disclaimer: This product was provided at a discounted price in exchange for my honest review. Reviews like these support me to create purchasing decisions. My views in this review are based only on the product. My goal is to support you have info to create purchasing decisions, and I am not going to waste your time if the product is no good, I will be up front and say it is. Delivery was fast and this seller shipped product promptly. I would recommend people to buy from this seller.

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    China In Color: Fun Facts and Pictures for Kids (All About China) []  2020-1-11 19:12

    This e book had some amazing pictures from China. The pages with the facts are interesting. Overall it is a fair quality e is just a fast explanation about what eBooks are, " From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, As a generic term, an electronic book (variously: e-book, eBook, e-Book, ebook, digital book or e-edition) or a digital book[1] is abook-publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, readable on computers or other electronic devices.[2] Although sometimes defined as "an electronic ver of a printed book",[3] a lot of e-books exist without any printed equivalent. Commercially produced and sold e-books are usually intended to be read on dedicated e-readers. However, almost any sophisticated electronic device that features a controllable viewing screen, including computers, tablets and smartphones can also be used to read e-books. Nowadays, both print as well as e-book selling is moving to the web. For instance, in the United States of America more "books are published online than distributed in hard copy in book ". The main reasons that people are buying books online are prices, comfort and selection process. Notwithstanding that most people appreciate higher regular "bricks & mortar" book, "yet almost every single one of us is buying books online".[4] Based on this info it is almost certain that the e-publishing will soon overtake traditional publishing."I received this product at a discounted rate in exchange for a honest review of the product. I am under no obligation to provide a positive review. I received no monetary compensation for my review. My remarks are my experience with the product. Your experience with the product may vary, however I aim to provide a honest review of the product. I hope that this review helped you. If it did please kindly check the box that states that it was helpful.

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    China In Color: Fun Facts and Pictures for Kids (All About China) []  2020-1-11 19:12

    This was a decent book about China for late elementary age children. The images were high quality and the info was varied. It basically touched a small on a ton of subjects so that might be interesting to your child. I had hoped for more pictures of the landscape, but the ones that were in there were beautiful. *This review is based on my family’s fair, honest, and unbiased review of this product. We are a family of 3 with a little kid and I only buy products that we will actual use. I write these reviews with input from whichever family member used the product as well as my private experience with it.* I received this product for free or at a discounted price in exchange for an honest review* I have not been asked to leave a 5-star review. The stars I have given this item reflect my own experience.* I do not work for this company nor do I represent it in any way.* Every review given by me is given the same amount of honesty as though I purchased this item at full retail price.* Feel free to ask any questions!MY PERSONAL CRITERIA FOR RATINGS (STARS):5 stars ~ Really awesome! It met or exceeded my private expectations and worked well for me and/or my family. I am very satisfied with the purchase!4 stars ~ This is a amazing product. Something about it did not work as expected for myself or my family but could work well for yours. Info will be in the review as to why it did not keep 5 stars.3 stars ~ This product is ok. It is functional for what it claims to be but it did not meet my expectations and there are better products at related prices readily available. I would not purchase this again.2 stars ~ This is not a amazing product. It failed to meet even primary expectations, but might be acceptable in a pinch if nothing else was available. Choose something else if you can.1 star ~ Not good product. It both failed expectations and created things worse than not having it all together. I would never recommend anybody getting this.If my review was helpful for you in any way, please click the [YES] bottom below, which enables me to continue writing helpful reviews.

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    The Dragon's Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa []  2020-1-19 22:6

    Anyone who wants to learn about the role of China in Africa needs to read this book. China's use of soft power to expand it's trade with the fresh nations of the no longer 'Dark Continent' is necessary the rest of the Globe needs to understand that China is in the Android game to victory Shop Share, Raw Materials, Customers and fresh influence. This book should be needed reading both for the State Department and any American Business with Imports or Exports from Africa.

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    The Dragon's Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa []  2020-1-19 22:6

    The Dragon's Bonus is a pro-China book, but it helps the reader understand why China is investing in ina sees Africa as a fresh shop for its exports, and a put to move some of its low skilled industries such as textiles. China also believes that by engaging with African countries it will gain more influence in international organizations.Japan developed a lot of of China's natural resources in the 70`s and the Japanese were paid with these natural resources. China is now using this model in Africa. She makes the case that being paid in natural resources is a victory victory for both country. For example if China agrees to develops Angola's oil reserves using Angolan oil as payments Angola can use the oil profits to pay any outstanding loans and China will be re-paid in full because Angola cannot default on the 's lack of infrastructure and skilled labor are just some of the issues Chinese companies face while operating in Africa. China's solution to some of these issues is to import Chinese labor to Africa, but this practice has caused resentment among the local ese points are just some of the subjects discussed in this book. All in all it is a interesting read for anyone interested in Sino-African relations.

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    The Dragon's Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa []  2020-1-19 22:6

    I enjoyed this book immensely.

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    The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia []  2020-11-18 21:15

    First of all, allow me just say that I do research on the South China Sea for a living. I am already quite familiar with the subject but am always looking for Hayton clearly place quite a bit of research and thought into this. The writing is great, and the insight is wonderful. Chapters one and two are particularly insightful, setting the scene for an interesting and information-dense journey through the sea. Mr. Hayton's thinking and writing are clear and precise, and it is obvious that he has place in the important research and beyond. Well worth 5-stars, and a must read for anyone who wishes to learn about the problems facing the globe in the South China Sea.I would also just like to say, that if you are between this and Robert Kaplan's book 'Asia's Cauldron', which explores related topics, choose this book. Mr Kaplan's book also has interesting insight and amazing information, but Mr. Hayton's is definitely a step above.

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    The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia []  2020-11-18 21:15

    The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia by Bill Hayton; Yale University Press, © 2014; 298 pages e South China Sea dispute is a complicated mess, requiring a knowledge of different country histories, globe naval history, diverse conventions (treaties recognized by more than 2 countries), ambiguous legal rulings on location and economic zones, and more. Anyone who pursues an open-minded reading of this book is to be commended because most U.S. media discussions are shallow ethnocentric nationalism. The student who does his homework is much to be preferred over the schoolyard bully, and this is amazing e Introduction is preceded by four easy maps of the South China Sea that lay out the different border claims that are discussed throughout this book. It will come as a surprise to a lot of that the Paracels claimed by Vietnam are really closer to Hainan, China or that a lot of islands continue to be in full dispute between different combinations of parties including Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and China. China’s nine-dashed U-shaped line is the current center of debate. The reader should return to these regularly.Hayton provides a hypothetical worst-case scenario of a Philippine ship on a mission to plan a flag on a disputed island in confrontation with a Chinese patrol boat, and the likely confrontation that all want to avoid. Then in a preamble to the fuller history, Hayton explains the narrow use of a few journal accounts from the 1970s that justified the Chinese invasion of the Paracels. Hayton then moves beyond the apter 1 Wrecks and Wrongs: Prehistory to 1500 is truly prehistorical. If a reader is short on time, this is the only chapter that can be skipped, but it does provide an interesting background on the early settlement of this region and tips into the trade routes and stuff of trade. This prehistory also extends up to internal China where the treatment is generalized and superficial. When the author refers to sea cubers as “slithering,” you realize he is not a biologist but this alliteration does not disport the bulk of the historical narrative. Coverage of the Chinese eunuch admiral Zheng This is relevant insofar as this gave the Ming Dynasty garrisons across their extended trade route, but this was about trade security and not apter 2 Maps and Lines: 1500 to 1948 begins by defining two polar views of maritime itish John Selden contended that countries had the right to establish and limit access to maritime regions around their shores, a legal argument triggered by a lot of other countries exploiting the fisheries near England. As Britain grew to become THE maritime power, this meant that they could dominate and control all sea lanes. On the other side was Hugo Grotius, a lobbyist for the VOC [the Dutch equivalent of the British East Indies Company] who advocated that the seas belonged to all and could not be claimed by any one power (although shipping contracts could be created and defended). Both agreed that “ships had the right of ‘innocent passage’ another country’s waters…” with variations. This has been passed down to today, with whoever dominates the seas (first the Netherlands, then Britain, and now the U.S.) taking the stand for “freedom of navigation” and the weaker states desiring offshore sovereignty.During these centuries, more detailed maps were developed that allowed ships to cross the South China Sea rather than stay near the coastline, and since the South China Sea is relatively shallow with a lot of reefs and shoals, a lot of merchant ships met with disaster, their names giving rise to the names of the Macclesfield Bank and Scarborough Shoal.Hayton points out that by 1800, a lot of Southeast Asian entities were not yet defined countries but kingdoms where authority faded as you moved away from the capitol. It was the Western colonial powers that defined the borders between countries: “…Malaysia and Indonesia was largely fixed by the British and the Dutch in 1842, the Chinese-Vietnamese border was dictated to the Chinese by the French in 1887…and the border between the Philippines and Malaysia by the U.S. and Britain in 1930.” Even the formation of the Republic of China in 1911 had to refer to defining its location “as the domain of the former empire” with the domain having often been a fuzzy border. The early 1900s were also an era of mapmaking and renaming of islands where for example the Paracels became the Xisha and the Spratleys the Tuansha. However, with the approach of Globe Battle II (and possession being nine-tenths of the law), Hayton admits that the “South China Sea became a Japanese lake” until is at this juncture that I am disappointed with Hayton, whose expertise is admittedly not focused on battle history. The duplicity of the Allies in the Second Globe Battle did contribute to the post-War confusion of territory. The biography “China Hand” by John Paton Davies, Jr. as well as other sources describe the tension between Lord Montbatten who followed Churchill’s orders that he had not become Prime Minister in order to give away all of Amazing Britain’s colonies, and General Stilwell who defied Montbatten and attempted to solicit national guerrilla soldiers to join the Allies and war the Japanese under the understanding that after winning the War, they would have also accomplished the liberation of their country from colonial status. Unfortunately, FDR grew weak at the latest Allied Conference and conceded to the British, resulting in the Vietnamese having to war to throw out the French, the Indonesians to eject the Dutch, etc. Hayton does mention that prior to the Yalta Conference, the U.S. State Department did see no country having a clear claim to the Spratlys and recommended future United Nations jurisdiction, but buckled to France and remained vague. Had the U.S. supported Stilwell, we could have prevented the post-War loss of a lot of lives as these nations had to continue to liberate their countries from the colonial powers, and it is possible that there would have been more clarity on the ownership of a lot of islands of the South China Sea that are contested e central contention of China was laid down by the Chinese Parliament in May 1947 based on a Geography Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (keep in mind that this is pre-1949 Liberation and under the Kuomintang) map. This is the critical “U-shaped map” where China asserts control of the South China Sea. In June 1947, the ROC indicated it “would negotiate precise maritime boundaries with other countries at a later date and according to the international laws in operation.” In 1999 China (now the PRC) and Vietnam defined the precise line in the Gulf of Tonkin, reducing two dashes to a total nine. In May 2009, the PRC added a dash as it issued a fresh map showing Taiwan completely in PRC territory---the resulting 10-dash map that is argued apter 3 Danger and Mischief: 1946 to 1995 could also be titled “little boys tussling on the playground.” No less than Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek tries to “demonstrate his fitness” and victory Chinese public approval in a latest ditch effort to create claims and stand up to the Westerners; then he is defeated on the mainland and retreats to Taiwan. Meanwhile the French are attempting to keep onto Vietnam and the Paracell Islands that are being settled by Chinese, and this brief episode features a Carmelite Priest joins the French naval effort and muddles the sea war before being fired and returning to the priesthood. This is not just an aside, but illustrates the critical roles of certain individuals in the South China Sea debacle and again having the wrong person at the wrong put at the wrong st of the South China Sea is not rich with fish, oil or other resources. But the tale of Tomas Cloma and his grandiose plans to mine guano and can fish on the Spratly Islands is an exercise in hubris. In 1956 and without help from his Philippine government, Cloma declared himself head of the “Free Location of Freedomland,” a near 65,000 square mile zone around the Spratlys. This was a challenge to Taiwan, the China mainland, and the French. It was the ROC (Taiwan) that sent a navy ship that forced Clomas to admit he was trespassing. The Philippines responded by letting Clomas claim any unoccupied islands as long as no other country claimed sovereignty over it. By 1971 and the chance of oil off the coast of Palawan, the Philippine government used the Cloma activity to claim the islands and occupies nine islands and 1973, South Vietnam annexed 10 islands in the Spratly group and it was obvious that it was hoping to award oil rights, as it had done with other coastal areas, to gain cash to replace the battle funds no longer coming from the U.S. Taiwan and the Philippines protested. China was busy worrying about Russia and making mates with the U.S. After the Vietnam Battle ended, Russia indeed did use Vietnam coastal ports, but the islands were not amazing as protected harbors.With Deng Xiaoping’s “opening up” came a focus on trade and a fresh importance to coastal production and shipping. This gave the PLA Navy a fresh focus on “active green water defense.” China began building more Coast Guard and near-Navy ships for operations in the South China Sea. It is necessary to understand that the shallow South China Sea is still continental shelf and not “blue water.” That is discussed later in Chapter 8. In 1987, following a UNESCO mandate, China built survey monitoring centers in the South China Sea, including one in the Spratlys and near islands occupied by Vietnam. They built barracks and a helicopter pad on Fiery Cross Reef before Vietnam noticed. Vietnam responded by sending ships to occupy other mostly submerged reefs, successfully controlling Collins and Lansdowne reef, but losing a violent war for Johnson Reef which Hayton describes as a “turkey shoot.”Up until 1992, the Philippines was a protectorate of the U.S., with two major military bases: Clark Air Force Base and Subic Naval Base. When the Philippine Senate voted in 1991 to kick out these bases, they were left with their own naval resources which were barely a rust bucket coast guard. By 1995, when the Chinese had built on and occupied Mischief Reef, 209 kilometers offshore the Philippines, and an zone the Philippine government had signed paper with oil companies to discuss exploiting. This was the first action by China on the eastern side of the South China Sea, and also raised concerns or protests from Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and Indonesia as well. These are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or this point we obtain to the actualization of the Beijing position: China is quite willing to arrange for joint development of resources throughout its U-shaped region as long as it is recognized that China has the territorial rights, a policy called “occupy and negotiate” and which Hayton says is also called “take and talk.”It is at this point that I would have appreciated a comparison with related actions and positions taken by the United States in the case of the Caribbean under the Monroe Doctrine and even relative to the Cuban Missile Crisis. This would probably entail another whole chapter, the point being: are we protesting claims and actions of others that we ourselves practiced and consider legal?Chapter 4 Rocks and Other Hard Places: the South China Sea and International Law begins with how did the Spratly Islands obtain their name. Here we have a few colourful pages describing this whaling captain, and I appreciate Hayton’s writing that remains interesting although short of being a book that you can’t place down. But the main thrust of this chapter is the law. Hayton is sanguine is stating that international rules on claiming location are established by those most active in acquiring location and there is therefore a priority of “discovery over proximity.” Based on licenses to harvest guano (bird feces, a amazing fertilizer) in 1889, “…Britain has never formally renounced its claim to Spratly Island and Amboyna Cay.”In 1946, two ROC (Taiwan) ships arrived and pulled the Japanese marker and erected their’s; as the internationally-recognized successor to the ROC, China would be recognized as having sovereignty. France could have pressed for priority, but was busy with losing Vietnam and then Vietnam in turn might claim France’s priority although that lineage is more diluted. South Vietnam (before reunification) had also created an independent claim to the Spratlys, but then approved the Chinese claim before the government was toppled. Hayton observes that if any early claimant had actually settled and maintained occupancy, the problem would be clearer. But none of the current claims appear likely to go to court, and the Spratlys today are occupied by different countries, and the Vietnam and Philippine soldiers on opposing islands even play sports together. The Chinese “islands” were mainly containers mounted above water level on submerged reefs but 8 reefs now have blockhouses built with construction underway on a ninth. No less than six states could [but have not yet] show claims to an international tribunal. Whether a ruling would pertain to one island, or encompass the whole group would be uncertain.While government propaganda and ethnocentric news will portray the South China Sea affair based on simple-minded nationalism and assume international law is on their side, most citizens of all countries do not have a clue about the complexity of the laws involved. UNCLOS is the Convention on the Law of the Sea negotiated from 1973 to 1982. UNCLOS established that “…coastal states could claim a territorial sea 12 nautical miles (22 kilometers) wide, an EEZ [extended economic zone] out to 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) and perhaps an ‘extended continental shelf’ beyond that.” Definitions include: ‘islands that can help human habitation or economic life; rocks (including sandbanks and reefs above water at high tide) that cannot help either; and low tide elevations which, as the name suggests, are only dry at low tide.” Each category in turn generates various territorial seas and EEZ. In 2013, the Philippines submitted a 20-page request to the Permanent Court of Arbitration to ask which regional features could qualify for status in hope that the ruling would disqualify a lot of features claimed in China’s U-shaped map. Meanwhile, Hayton dismisses a lot of of China’s claims based on these definitions. (Of course, any sea level rise due to global warming was never considered in the early definition, and if applied in the future would effect in the downgrading of a lot of currently recognized islands if historical status was ignored.)Chapter 5 Something and Nothing: Oil and Gas in the South China Sea begins with Premier Li Peng’s 1990 announcement that China is “ready to join efforts with Southeast Asian countries to develop the Nansha islands while putting aside, for the time being, the question of sovereignty.” The Chinese entity that would create any such negotiations would be NCOOC or the China National Offshore Oil Company. Of course, the need for oil exploration by companies to confirm the value of any resources, and the conflicting assignment of exploration rights by different other countries including Vietnam create the situation anything but simple. With the rise of China’s economy, and with a lot of Western oil companies highly invested in mainland China projects, China gained increasing leverage to force Western companies to not cooperate with Vietnam, the Philippines and other countries in any violation of the seas within the U-shaped line. BP and Conoco had huge investments in China and had to divest of non-Chinese exploration agreements. In spite of our Western media hype, Hayton concludes that oil experts believe “the disputed locations of the South China Sea actually include relatively small oil and gas.”Chapter 6 Drums and Symbols: Nationalism answers the question of why, if the South China Sea actually has includes few resources, would nations war over the territory. Hayton begins with the emotional rise to protest in Communist Vietnam that occurred in response to Chinese assertions in “their” waters. Simply: “Across the region millions of people have come to believe that their identity as a human being can only be complete if the imagined community to which they feel they belong appears stronger than its rivals.” This is “tribalism” (which Hayton does not call by that name, and is further explained by E.O. Wilson in his latest 2-hour PBS doentary). The U.S. is also topic to this ethnocentric tribalism, but Hayton points out that “Modern Vietnamese nationalism more or less defines itself in opposition to China.” He likewise points out that (unknown to most Americans) that China invaded Vietnam in February of 1979 (“…with political and intelligence help from the U.S.) soon after America had pulled out and North Vietnam re-united the South. The dangers of huge countries driving the argument is well-stated by the Philippino Secretary-General Renato Reyes: “if you bring in one superpower to oppose the other, then superpower dynamics begins to push the problem and marginalizes a peaceful settlement.” And this reasoning comes from a Philippino population that still holds the U.S. in high regard despite their Senate having voted to expel the American naval and air bases in 1991. However, it is no longer certain that the U.S. relationship with the Philippines is as necessary as the relationship with China. Indonesians have a better regard for China than for the U.S., and Malaysia is the most pro-China, indicating that the U.S. press portrayal of the South China Sea countries being intimidated by China is not in alignment with the populations of those countries. Hayton describes that the debate is hottest online, where young nationalists move far beyond government rhetoric in stirring up problem at the first tip of conflict. He also notes that the 2008 U.S. financial crisis and amazing depression not only caused major losses for Asian stockholders, but also caused a lot of Asians to drop their blind faith in U.S. exceptionalism. Meanwhile China’s portrayal of the South China Sea actions as taking back losses to 1800’s imperialism is their drumbeat. Hayton points to great-power-confrontation rather than nationalism as the true apter 7 Ants and Elephants: Diplomacy is the natural follow-up chapter. Hayton begins by describing the Cambodian tactic of playing off China and the U.S. versus each other, taking U.S. investments and China trade deals to enrich those in power. At this point Hayton describes the Globe Battle II arrangements including the South East Asia Command, the China Command and resultant South East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). A few sentences describe the Potsdam Conference in 1945 where much of this region was carved up by the Allies. This is where I could want for more details, because the restoration of colonies was an egregious error by the West that caused continuous civil battles of liberation and also was the basis for some of the territorial confusion surrounding South Sea islands. Moving into the current era, Gates announces the U.S. is “still a resident power in Asia” in 2008 and Hillary Clinton signs the “ASEAN treaty on Amity and Cooperation” in 2009. Because of their internal disputes, ASEAN nations fail to form a unified position and it is to China’s advantage to negotiate with each maritime country one-by-one. Hayton summarizes the U.S. budget and the massive cost of maintaining the world’s biggest military (by far); simply, the U.S. economics cannot forever remain ahead of the rest of the world. But the U.S. “pivot” to Asia and Hillary Clinton’s announcement of a “broad-based military presence” in Asia leads to military considerations in the next apter 8 Shaping the Battlefield: Military Matters assesses the minor confrontations and air-sea military potential for conflict. It is interesting that while the U.S. appeals to definitions of international law in the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the U.S. is not one of the signatories to that, maintaining in so a lot of ways the American perspective of exceptionality, superiority and arrogance (my terminology). While the U.S. has sent spy ships with tow-gear to detect submarines up to the 12-mile territorial limit, China cites the UNCLOS section requiring permission for “marine scientific research” in the EEZ or 200 miles out. Unfortunately, nowhere in UNCLOS is there a prohibition of military activities in the EEZ but a lot of countries disagree, including China, Brazil, India, Malaysia and the Maldives. The U.S. therefore pursues its “Freedom of Navigation” activities to challenge any assertion of 200 mile military exclusion, and like the school yard bully, sails through these locations just to prove that it can. It is necessary to note that the 200 mile EEZ does not in any method impede non-military commercial traffic, and the U.S. cannot claim that it is sailing through the 200 mile Chinese EEZ in order to protect the world’s commercial shipping---the U.S. is asserting its military mobility because it would otherwise be more difficult to send a navy to the Middle East if the U.S. had to stay out of the U-shaped EEZ.Hayton info what is known of the China naval buildup. He quotes experts who conclude that China’s navy is several generations behind the U.S. and numbers of ships as well as experienced sailors are in not good contrast to the U.S. Navy. Everything that is described shows a self-defense and green-water navy, not an international-capable blue water navy, which matches with China’s long history of not being aggressive (aside from the Vietnam debacle) an in stark contrast to the U.S. that has a long history of overseas invasions. Hayton describes a top ranking General Liu as cautioning versus the West leading China into premature conflicts and that “…war is a latest resort.” He also describes the impression that China is ready to be aggressive to a combination of ultra-nationalist bloggers, international media eager for to amplify it as news, and U.S. hawks that tout this overblown threat. Hayton describes CALFEX, a combined arms live fire exercise, where U.S. marines, Thai soldiers and units from five other countries practice together, with the Chinese invited to come watch. Finally, in an eerie resurrection of President Eisenhower’s warning about the military-industrial complex, Hayton describes the Shanghri-La Dialogue that is held each year in Singapore where the companies including Boeing, EADS, Mitsubishi, and other armament manufacturers come, along with diplomats. It combined Leon Panetta’s description of what exactly was the “pivot to Asia” with to-the-side meetings for countries to buy armaments. With the U.S. military budget decreasing, arms companies are eager to sell more to these Southeast Asian countries. Hayton concludes the military chapter with “Chinese capabilities will grow and there may come a time when the Beijing leadership will wish to push the imperialist aggressors out of its backyard, just as the U.S. pushed Amazing Britain out of the Caribbean a century ago.”With Chapter 9 Cooperation and its Opposites: Resolving the Disputes, Hayton begins with the environmental issue of overfishing and a 6-year project aimed at improving fish stocks for all parties. Next, he info how the Philippines has asked the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague to clarify the status of those reefs, rocks, shoals, etc. China is not party to this Court nor is the U.S., which has ignored this Court’s rulings relative to the U.S. mining of the harbors in Nicaragua. And Hayton describes the four different Chinese interests in the South China Sea and the fact that the Chinese Foreign Ministry is not equivalent to our Department of State and that other governmental ministries will be making decisions on future actions.Hayton finally summarizes a few cases where boundary disputes have been resolved but concludes that “law is unlikely to provide the final respond to the disputes.”The Epilogue notes the 2014 cooperation in searching for the missing Malaysian airliner. He also discloses that while he started the book research with the feeling that conflict would be inevitable, he has changed his mind as he came toward the end of the work. 15 pages of Notes in fine print let a reader to check the sources numbered throughout the text, chapter by ur pages of Acknowledgements and Further Readings are followed by a detailed 10-page Index.

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    The Dragon's Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa []  2020-1-19 22:6

    This book is notable for having something that most books on China seem to be lacking these days, original research. At least when she released this book, there were no credible figures on Chinese foreign development projects in Africa. People threw around nonsense numbers that had no basis in reality, and people wouldn't question autigam has done the hard work of actually surveying spending by the PRC and dis-tangling foreign aid from commercial is might not be the most thrilling need but it should be needed reading for anyone who is interested in China's role in Africa.

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    The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia []  2020-11-18 21:15

    The author has done a most commendable job in researching this topic. His review of the history is quite informative and educational. The book is the most comprehensive treatment of the controversy on the South China Sea that is available to date. However, it does not mean that he was completely fair and balanced in presenting all the different conflicting points of view. Even though Hayton was not afflicted with American exceptionalism and espouse only the White House line, he also did not fairly show China's point of view. The general flaw, and I suppose unavoidable, is that his views are based on the western frame of r example, as he said in his book, planting flag to claim possession is purely a western concept, popularized by the Brits when they ruled the seas. Zheng He sailed around the islands and reefs decades before the Europeans showed up but the Chinese were not culturally attuned to the practice of land grab by placing flags all over the place--not unlike a dog peeing at every tree and hydrant. All the island nations along with rocks and features were presumed to be tributary states and the Chinese imperial court did not see any necessity to declaring s the legitimacy of China's U shaped line was fuzzy at best, as he pointed out. But one can argue that creating maps for the purpose of staking out possessions was a western invention and China was not amazing at it and late in the realization of how the android game was his talk at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, he created the point that the US in the past never took sides on disputes involving ownership of different true estate in SCS. But now the US is worried about freedom of navigation (FON), but he did not explain as to specifically how China has become a threat to FON. Vietnam, Malaysia and Philippines have all preceded China in building airstrips on different features in their possession but the US navy never felt threatened by those for reasons not explained.I believe Hayton is only partly correct in his explanation of the Hague Tribunal. The body has no authority to rule but arbitrate on disputes. To arbitrate, both sides must agree to show their dispute to the panel. He did not say anything about the one sided nature of the ruling that supposedly went versus China. China never agreed to the arbitration and was not at the e tribunal basically reduced every feature in SCS into rocks with at best 12 mile exclusion zones. Hayton did not even mention the complicating ownership of Taiping Island by Republic of China (Taiwan). Taiping is a true island that has new water and can sustain life and should be entitled to the 200 mile economic exclusion zone. The Taipei government wasn't even party to the dispute but somehow lost their 200 mile exclusive zone. An intriguing scenario Hayton did not discuss would be what if the current Taipei government were to abandon occupation of Taiping? Both Vietnam and China would move in quickly to seize control, which could lead to fire fight. What action would the US navy take?The above are just a few of the problems worthy of future examination and discussion.

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    The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia []  2020-11-18 21:15

    Has historical foundation to explain what is currently event in the eful for those interested to know why certain countries behave the method they do.An eye opener

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    The Dragon's Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa []  2020-1-19 22:6

    China is often taciturn about the true size and scope of its projects in Africa, so this subject has suffered from much confusion and often from inflated (or guessed) numbers. Prof. Brautigam aims to describe and yze the true Chinese aid picture, using both anecdotal data obtained from a lot of private visits to Chinese development projects in Africa and also statistical data obtained through carefully digging into the true numbers behind the though she notes some concerns, Brautigam is on balance fairly positive on China's role, especially in its emphasis on practicalities. I learned a lot of things, including:* China explicitly declares that its programs are aiming for "mutual benefits" and "win-win" rather than simply dispensing charity. For example, projects may be directly profitable, or they may foster Chinese trade. Interestingly, this peer-peer style is often famous with recipients.* The main Chinese focus is on fostering economic development (in infrastructure, agriculture, or industry) as the path to a better future, rather than on relieving today's symptoms.* China is consciously reusing tactics that seemed to work in developing China itself. For example, in the 1950s Japan provided China with development loans and technology tied to specific projects, and was repaid with the products of the resulting Chinese factory or mine. China perceives this as a key "win-win" tactic for development.* China emphasizes "no strings" and non-interference in countries internal affairs. However a key goal, especially in earlier years, was building up help for the PRC versus Taiwan. Aid would only be given to those countries that recognized Beijing as the sole government of China. While China's "no strings" policies might appear to tolerate dictatorships and corruption, Brautigam observes that in practice the West's actions are not so very different: despite all the hopeful talk of "conditionality", much Western aid, investment and military hardware still flows to extremely unpleasant regimes.* China provides some humanitarian aid, notably medical squads and post-disaster assistance. But this is relatively modest. Brautigam believes Chinese non-commercial aid to Africa is still only a little fraction of Western aid.* Chinese workers (including technical experts) work relatively cheaply and typically live at close to local living standards. This is perceived as very various from the highly paid and expensively supplied Western experts.* China's engagements are often weak on environmental issues, and on social and human rights issues. This is improving, but slowly. China tends to assume that its own internal tactic of putting development first is still the right one.* There has been a amazing deal of misreporting of Chinese aid figures in Western media. This is partly because China is taciturn and partly because it uses various measurement criteria. For example, if China makes a below-market-rate loan, it only treats the reduction in interest payments as "aid", whereas a Western government treats the whole loan amount as "aid". (I think I prefer the Chinese methodology here.) But there is also enormous media confusion between (a) real non-commercial "aid" (b) subsidized "aid" loans for commercial projects (c) business loans on normal commercial terms, and (d) commercial business China does in Africa, sometimes paid for by another donor country. For all these categories, Brautigam tries to extract and compare real apples-to-apples Chinese and Western numbers.* China is consciously trying to move its mature industries offshore. For example, the Chinese government is providing financial incentives for moving textile manufacturing out of China. (Fascinating!)These brief notes only touch the hint of the iceberg: there is much more of interest in the general, I'd recommend this as very useful reading for anyone interested in either African development or China's foreign policy. My one caution would be that it is not light reading: Brautigam provides reams of detail and a lot of carefully yzed statistics. This is all useful, but can occasionally be slow going.

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    The Dragon's Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa []  2020-1-19 22:6

    I was looking for a credible source for a positive view of China's contribution to Africa and found it in this book. The author presents the most substantive critical views and counters most of them, while still acknowledging legitimate criticism. Africa desperately needs as much support as it can get. Perhaps I am overly desperate myself for any positive work accomplished there. To obtain a sense of the author's credibility, look no further than the reviews Amazon offers from a lot of authoritative sources.

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    The Dragon's Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa []  2020-1-19 22:6

    A amazing antidote to the mindless anti-China propaganda that passes for journalism on the topic of China's role in Africa.

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    The Dragon's Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa []  2020-1-19 22:6

    I'd highly recommend this to glean insight into China's interactions with non OECD countries. This seems to provide a clear view into the nature of long standing transactions and evolving views on degree of participation post delivery of ODA (development aid). One gem, China will represent a growing influence in global development for a lot of corners of the world, likely exceeding the US.

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    The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia []  2020-11-18 21:15

    If you wish to become an expert on the turbulent history of the South China Sea and understand the war lines for any future conflict over parts of it, this book is an perfect put to start. The author, Bill Hayton, does a amazing job of discussing the history of the little islands and the sovereignty claims surrounding them and later goes into rich detail to give context to why various countries have, in short, agreed to disagree over the South China Sea. For e South China Sea is composed of a lot of reefs, shoals, banks and islands that are occupied and/or claimed by China, Taiwan, Brunei, the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam. The most prominent among them are the Spratly Islands. Furthermore, the South China Sea is called the East Sea in Vietnam and the West Sea in the Philippines. The author does a amazing job describing how and when these islands were discovered (and rediscovered) as well as when and how they started showing up on historic e true action, however, is the near latest history of the a lot of countries claiming, naming, reclaiming, occupying fortifying and building on these islands. Furthermore, the book discusses how these islands result the foreign policy of the countries involved, which in addition to the countries above contains the US and Japan. The islands are of small use to help a population, but are of amazing strategic value for the territorial seas and exclusive economic zones (for the oil and gas and fishing rights ) that come with them as well as their value as bases to project power (China) or act as a defensive base (principally the Philippines, US, and Vietnam).The book ends with a discussion surrounding how the South China Sea plays into the "China's Rising" storyline and what the regional players and the US are doing and not doing about it. China's U shaped line or 9 dashed line has been increasing cited by China but cuts through a lot of countries' exclusive economic zones. The US's regional role In Asia is clearly at stake in how this plays out in the e book is well-written, thorough and thought provoking. It is worth picking up a copy!

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    The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia []  2020-11-18 21:15

    An perfect history of this area. Fully explains the current situation and the silly assertions by China that it has thousands of years of history behind its claims.

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    The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia []  2020-11-18 21:15

    Bill Hayton's newest book --- as did his previous one on Vietnamese politics --- brings his journalist's eye for telling info with a yst's broader perspective. This book is a very helpful contribution to a deeper public understanding of what's going on in a risky part of the world. ---Greg Rushford (editor, The Rushford Report).

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    The Dragon's Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa []  2020-1-19 22:6

    Headline NYTimes 3/31/13: Sino- African RelationsChina's inroads to Africa alarm the borah Brautigam's book is an outstanding study in the advantages the P.R.C. has over the West in Africa and over the USA in particular. This is not a light read but it is entertaining if you are one who wonders why. It is a blistering report on the advantages the Chinese policy makers, bankers, and business people have over others in their impact on the continent of Africa as well as in other developing locations such as Latin America and the Middle East. The book should be a Must Read for The State Department and the corresponding agencies working in the fields of foreign aid and ina is doing very well and why? Professor Brautigam's take based on years of careful observation and interviews with leader in a lot of fields is not "cheer leading" as the term is often used for those who search something positive to say about China, but merely keen observation that China has a various history than its competitors today. It was and is an underdeveloped nation, and has been topic at times to the Imperialism known by a lot of in the developing world. Thus it has come to observe successful models of development, e.g. Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Singapore and incorporates the lessons learned. Thus, it approaches its global clients not as sources of raw materials for exploitation, which of course they are, but as partners in mutually beneficial relationships; win-win, compared with zero-sum. Brautigam story is enlightening but will the West be willing to mentally retool in time to obtain on the fresh globe as it rushes forward?This is a book for scholars to enjoy; perhaps not just the curious unless it makes you more begin minded about why thing are going as they seem to be. Legacies have lasting impacts. Imagine 6/2/13China Is Reaping Largest Benefits of Iraq Oil BoomBy TIM ARANGO and CLIFFORD KRAUSSBAGHDAD -- Since the American-led invasion of 2003, Iraq has become one of the world's top oil producers, and China is now its largest ina already buys nearly half the oil that Iraq produces, nearly 1.5 million barrels a day, and is angling for an even bigger share, bidding for a stake now owned by Exxon Mobil in one of Iraq's biggest oil fields..... "The Chinese are very easy people," said an Iraqi Oil Ministry official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not have permission to speak to the news media. "They are practical people. They don't have anything to do with politics or religion. They just work and eat and sleep."There is a more latest less scholarly acc of China-Africa interactions, Howard French, China's Second Continent: How a Million Migrants Are Building a Fresh Empire in Africa (2014-05-20). It raises this issue:... for some the honeymoon is over : In an op-ed published March 11, 2013, in the Financial Times, for example, the governor of Nigeria's Central Bank wrote: "It is time for Africans to wake up to the realities of their romance with China.... China is no longer a fellow under-developed economy --it is the world's second biggest, capable of the same forms of exploitation as the West. It is a significant contributor to Africa's deindustrialization and underdevelopment."

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    The Dragon's Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa []  2020-1-19 22:6

    You wont search these interesting takes or info on Chinese aid easily anywhere else. Very comprehensive book.

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    The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia []  2020-11-18 21:15

    There's really two books here. The first is a synthesis of our best understanding of the people, culture and states of the South China Sea. Hayton tells the 'Zomian' ver very well, giving voice to historically voiceless groups like the Tanka. Hayton is doing here what James Scott did for Southeast Asian hill tribes in The Art of Not Being Governed. The second part is more modern history that bleeds into legal ysis. It is highly critical of Chinese claims, though not unfairly so. He brings to attention what I think is a central issue of the current regime: far too a lot of policies that should require careful diplomatic and political calculation are instead caught up in satisfying the needs a relatively modern and highly problematic vision of Chinese nationalism.

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    The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia []  2020-11-18 21:15

    Informational, not an simple to read book..a bumpy ride along the waves of South China Sea. Flip through as u may, I completed it. Chapters are long, intense content, prepare to break the winds as though you are on a speedboat. The disputes will never come to an end. Perhaps only one day till the globe unites.

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    The South China Sea: The Struggle for Power in Asia []  2020-11-18 21:15

    This was a very amazing enlightening read but there was some repetition from the overview at the front to the later chapters. Could probably have been slimmed down a bit.

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    Unsavory Elements: Stories of Foreigners on the Loose in China []  2020-2-4 15:27

    I've never met an expat in China who didn't have his or her own extraordinary stories to tell, stories that at times created them stop and ask themselves, "What exactly am I doing here?" Every day one can experience an "only in China" moment, like waiting three hours to see a bank teller or seeing teenagers sleeping and snoring at an Internet cafe. Having lived in Singapore and Taipei, I've been struck by the cities' large differences with China in terms of everyday life. In the former two, there are rarely any surprises at all. They are amazing locations to live, but they are also predictable. You are rarely taken aback by what you see on the street. China, as we all expats know, can be one surprise after another. We all have a battery of stories that prove it.Which brings me to Tom Carter's superb book of short stories, Unsavory Elements: Stories of Foreigners on the Loose in China, written by some of the most prominent writers in (or formerly in) China, like journalist and author Jonathan Watts, Alan Paul (author of Huge in China), Deb Fallows (a linguist, author and wife of James Fallows), novelist and Fulbright Scholar Kaitlin Solimise, and an epilogue by the amazing Simon Winchester, author of The River at the Center of the World. And there are 23 others, most of them writers of wonderful competence and backgrounds rich in China experience. Somehow, Tom Carter, the photographer behind the acclaimed photo-essay book China: Portrait of a People, has achieved the impossible, tracking down 28 of the most brilliant China hands and inducing them to write first-rate stories about some of their most exceptional experiences in China. Carter somehow got them all to deliver their stories, edited them and whipped them into a book that is quick paced (I read it in two or three sittings) and, like China, full of is impossible to write a thorough review of this book. That would take 28 posts, one for each story; trying to choose which ones to mention in this review is painful, because there is so much amazing in so a lot of of them. You really need to read the whole thing. If you live in China or are curious about expat life there, this is needed any book with 28 authors, there is going to be some unevenness. There was one story that I found disappointing, as I thought the author was puffing it up. One or two were too long, a couple were inconclusive and begged for more finality. But the remarkable thing is just how high the quality of nearly all the writing is and how remarkable the situations are, some of them downright bizarre.Michael Levy, author of a book I should have reviewed a long time ago, Kosher Chinese, kicks the book off with the kind of moral dilemma China is known for: Michael, teaching at an English training school for rich Chinese kids, is offered a bribe to write the students' admission letters so they can obtain into exclusive American boarding schools. At $1,000 an essay, it's a tempting offer. Levy takes us into the globe of teaching in China and, coming back to the bribe, leaves us hanging in a surprise story that fascinated me for its sheer strangeness was by author Dominic Stevenson about his stay at a Shanghai prison for smuggling dope across the border. When I've read in the newspaper about foreigners being arrested in China and place in jail I've always wondered what they go through and how they survive. While this story isn't poetic, it paints a unbelievable picture of life behind bars and the unique privileges foreigners have fun there. (Despite some of the relative comforts they enjoy, it's an experience I plan on never knowing first-hand.)The most breathtaking story is told by Susie Gordon about her night out with a fabulously rich Chinese businessman who, with no second thought, plunks down $20,000 for a few bottles of wine in a single sitting. Describing one wild night with Mr. Zhou and his son and friends, Gordon transports us into the rarefied globe of China's super-rich, with all the luxuries, the trappings, the sins and temptations. She describes the behavior of Zhou's son and his obscenely wealthy mates at a lavish karaoke bar operated by a friend, Yu Haiming: "The customary libation at KTV is whiskey mixed with green tea, or watery beer from tall green bottles, but Yu Haiming's put was unsurprisingly different. He had two of the girls bring in a magnum of champagne, a small silver tray arrayed with slim white lines of powder that might have been coke but in all likelihood was ketamine, and nestled like candies in a brass bowl. At one point, I remember looking around at the girls, the men, the and the money, and wondering how long this utopia could last: the Chinese dream in its second prodigal generation."The entire story is a tour de force. And there's much more: Deb Fallows' observations on all the things you're not allowed to do in China (the story is appropriately titled Bu Keyi), and how she and her husband came face to face with the law while shooting images of Tiananmen Square on the 20th anniversary of the June 4 "incident." Jonathan Watts making a visit to an environmentalist in the rain forests of Xishuangbanna. Bruce Humes' truly harrowing depiction of his brutal mugging and subsequent experience in a Shenzhen hospital... The most poignant story is Kaitlin Solimine's gorgeous depiction of her "second mother" when she lived in China as an exchange student, who became a lifelong friend.Unsavory Elements is the title of editor Tom Carter's own story, a tale of his visit with two mates to a seedy Chinese brothel in the countryside on a lane called "Teen Street." The story has generated considerable controversy. The story is hilarious -- one of the mates is a consummate loser and Carter's description of him caused me to laugh out loud. It took a lot of chutzpah to write a story like this, and I give Carter credit for his daring to tell a story that a lot of expat men experience but usually choose not to tell to the world. I enjoyed reading this fast-paced piece, but I have to say that I understand why it is so controversial. The story is farce, and to shift gears and go the politically correct route and tell about the sorrows and tragedy of prostitution would have disrupted the tone. I thought, however, that Carter could have woven at least something into this story that conveyed a bit more empathy for the girls' plight, without being preachy. It's a hard thing to do, interjecting such a serious note into such a side-splitting narrative, but I know Carter has the skill to do this. Nevertheless the story stands out as one of the highlights of the book, another look behind the scenes of what most of us will never experience yourselves a favor and read the book. From high farce to heartbreaking poignancy, it's all here, and you obtain to peer into aspects of China you may never have known about otherwise (like Dan Washburn's trip deep into the Guizhou countryside, or Kay Bratt's moving story of a girl in a Chinese orphanage). One can only marvel at Carter's ability to obtain these stories written and then to draw them all together to form a unified whole. I've now read the book twice. It is a labor of love, and I think you'll love it, too.

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    Unsavory Elements: Stories of Foreigners on the Loose in China []  2020-2-4 15:27

    I've been wanting to read this anthology since I first heard about it a few months ago. I've been living in China since 2005 and am familiar with some of the writers featured here and am also a fan of Carter's "Portrait of a People."In the past few years I've tended to shy away from reading books about China, especially books written by foreigners. A lot of what expats write seems generic, insensitive, or just plain annoying. I tried to approach this book with an begin mind. I'm glad I did.While not all the stories are flawless and there may even be a few I admittedly didn't like, there were others that struck a cord with me. After living in China this long, most of these stories weren't shocking, but they still managed to leave an impression on me. In fact, I felt a lot of of the stories were too short and I wanted to read more. Be warned, these tales tend to portray a darker side of China, sometimes in obvious ways and in others less so.If you are interested in China or the reality of living as an expat, I think you'll definitely search something you'll have fun here.

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    Unsavory Elements: Stories of Foreigners on the Loose in China []  2020-2-4 15:27

    From crazy to cynical to innocent..this book is not really about China. It's about the odd slice of humanity that calls China their home away from home.

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    Life in Ancient China (Peoples of the Ancient World (Paperback)) []  2020-2-1 2:37

    I ordered this book to preview for my 6th grade classroom. I love this series. In fact, we have ordered enough for each student in class to have a copy. It is agreat choice. It breaks up the content into sections children can relate to such as everyday life, technology, and much more. It also has lots of graphics to obtain children interest. I highly recommend this series. We ordered several sets from the various titles. Amazing choice!!

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    Life in Ancient China (Peoples of the Ancient World (Paperback)) []  2020-2-1 2:37

    This book is full of amazing pictures and unbelievable information. It created reading is a joy! I would definitely recommend using this book.

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    Stilwell and the American Experience in China: 1911-1945 []  2020-1-27 19:59

    Amazing book to support understand America’s relationship with China, the China lobby and the broad scope of America’s Asian policies. The greatness of Stilwell and how he changed the Troops training system become clear fro Tuchman’s prize winning ilwell spent time to learn about China and particularly the Chinese soldiers, people and of the best history books I have read.

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    South of the Clouds: Travels in Southwest China []  2020-1-26 23:4

    For those who like the frontier of financial and geographic capitalism, this deserves a read

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    Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-45 []  2020-1-23 1:34

    I first read this book when it was published in the late 1960s. I even did a bok review on it for high school. Small did I realize that this book was be one who's relevancy is continuous as the United States deals with a China that has changed immensely since Stillwell left in 1944 but one wonders if policy makers are making the same mistakes now as in the ilwell is the main hero of the book, but he meets and impacts people throughout his military career. We see his service in France as a liason officer with French forces. We see his service in China over the years and the people he met and impressed. He has a tour of duty managing the Troops reserve in Southern California which was likely held with small regard by his fellows. Stilwell undertook to create these citizen soldiers ready for battle and took them seriously which was not lost on the reservists themselves.His realationship with the government and rulers of China is telling and chilling. He saw what manner of eader Chaing Kai-shek was and inspite of his warnings, we see America insisting that he is the one person who can keep China together. Stilwell didn't live to see the folly of that decision and then the recriminations versus those who counseled versus setting too much faith in the Nationalist is is a must read for anyone with an interest in China and the role and impact the United States has had on China and vice versa.

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    Unmade in China: The Hidden Truth about China's Economic Miracle []  2019-12-23 20:27

    Jeremy Haft’s book, Unmade in China: The Hidden Truth About China’s Economic Miracle, is a well-written, necessary and timely book that deserves wide e book makes a compelling case that China’s economy is still far behind the United States’ economy, with no prospects of passing the U.S. any time soon, and that China’s convoluted supply chains, not good quality control and fragmented regulatory oversight results in products that are frequently of inferior quality and, in some cases, risky to life. Haft presents his ysis in an entertaining manner with a lot of case histories drawn from his almost two decades of experience in China.Haft convincingly argues that the common impression (doented by latest opinion surveys) that China’s economy has caught up with or even surpassed the United States is based on highly inaccurate provincial and central government GDP statistics and the prevalence of “made in China” labels on low end consumer goods. Inflated GDP statistics effect from the pressure on provincial governments, and the central government, to meet unrealistic politically motivated goals. In addition, Haft correctly points out that a lot of consumer goods labeled as “made in China” are actually only assembled in China from components and designs that originate in the U.S. and other countries (Apple’s IPhone is one example).Without doubt, China’s economy has expanded rapidly over the latest 35 years and the standard of living for a lot of of its citizens has greatly improved. However, it is clear from Haft’s ysis that predictions that China’s economy will eclipse the United States’ economy in the near future are completely without merit and have as much credibility as the predictions of economists in the 1970’s that the Soviet economy would soon surpass the United States, and related predictions in the 1980’s that Japan would soon become the world’s dominant economic power.Haft’s book is necessary and timely for two reasons. First, China trade is a convenient target in the political “silly season” running up to the Presidential election in 2016. Candidates warn about “unfair” Chinese practices including currency manipulation, the dumping and subsidization of exports, substandard labor practices, corruption, intellectual property violations, and so on, all resulting in losses for U.S. manufacturing employment and a heavy trade deficit. They clamor to demonstrate who can be tougher on China. Haft points out that while there is truth to allegations of unfair trade practices, the overall impact on the U.S. economy of these practices is minimal and continued and expanded trade with China in the future will benefit both U.S. businesses and U.S. cond, U.S. consumers are at risk from goods created in China. Haft explains in detail the serious quality control and safety issues that currently exist when goods are manufactured in China. These effect from complex supply chains, not good logistics, absence of rule of law, corruption, and a fragmented and ineffective regulatory structure. The FDA, CPSC, Meal Safety and Inspection Service, Customs and Border Protection and other U.S. regulatory authorities currently have insufficient resources to protect consumers versus all these risks. Haft argues that consumers should avoid goods that originate in China – particularly meal and e “silver lining” for U.S. business resulting from quality control and safety issues in China will be the “re-shoring” of previously offshored manufacturing from China to the U.S. (General Electric is a latest example) and a growing demand for high-quality U.S. goods and services on the part of middle class Chinese consumers. Re-shoring of manufacturing to the United States will effect in investments in fresh production facilities and increased U.S. employment. Equally important, exports of food, pharmaceutical and other consumer products to China will grow rapidly, driven by the desire of China’s emerging middle class for safe, amazing quality products.

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    Unmade in China: The Hidden Truth about China's Economic Miracle []  2019-12-23 20:27

    Interesting take on China and it photo to the globe as a manufacturing Juggernaut, and a globe power. I found the breakdown of the I Phone assembled in China that showed how a lot of parts are created elsewhere in the globe to be eye opening. China is a Juggernaut assembler, and on that basis it can claim, "Made in China." Also of amazing interest was the descriptions of the long chain of little Chinese companies that add to a product and therefore add more and more risk to the product. This is a must read book to understand China's real put in the globe of commerce. I will read another book on this topic to assess the accuracy of this book.

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    Gillybean in China: The Adventures of a Wandering agenarian []  2020-7-4 19:15

    Very entertaining... looking forward to the sequel

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    Drunk in China: Baijiu and the World’s Oldest Drinking Culture []  2020-9-8 18:40

    Nicely written, interesting narrative.

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    Unmade in China: The Hidden Truth about China's Economic Miracle []  2019-12-23 20:27

    Jeremy Haft has done a true service in relating the cultural risks inherent in the Chinese society. It reminds one of the kinds of conditionsthat existed in the U.S. in the late 1800's and early 1900'ss You know...unfettered greed, lack of adherence to standards etc. Theconsumer protections and shop standards we're used to here don't yet exist in China. Caveat Emptor! This is something we all really needto be consciously aware of in our purchases of amazing which might have Chinese sourcing.I hope the a lot of US retailers sourcing in China have and keep to rigid quality assurance e book reads well but there are repeats and redundancies as Jeremy progresses through his comments on the Chinese culture.

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    Life in Ancient China (Peoples of the Ancient World (Paperback)) []  2020-2-1 2:37

    I used this as a spine book for our homeschool's study of ancient China. We read a small of this book them stopped to read another book specific to a certain aspect of china (great wall, clay soldiers, Silk Road, ect) I used it as a read along for my 7 year old, 5 year old, and the 3 year old listened as she played near by us. We loved the pictures and the writing style was simple to follow along with. I really recommend this book to any one wanting to learn an elementary understanding of Ancient China.

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    Stilwell and the American Experience in China: 1911-1945 []  2020-1-27 19:59

    Barbara Tuchman was a superb historian and a talented writer. This is the fourth book of hers that I have read. They have all been top notch. This one combines a biography of Gen. Joseph Stilwell with a detailed study of the relationship between the United States and China during the first half of the twentieth century, with particular emphasis on Globe Battle II. Tuchman was uniquely qualified to write this having spent time in China. She also had access to a rich trove of basic sources. The book is somewhat lengthy and quite detailed so my recommendation would be qualified to the extent of the reader’s interest, 4.5 stars. But if that contains you, you will not regret your time with this book.

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    Unsavory Elements: Stories of Foreigners on the Loose in China []  2020-2-4 15:27

    I’m a newbie female expat in China (6 months and counting!) and was glad to have the kindle ver of this book on hand during my “culture shock stage”, which served as a comforting host during my lowest moments of acclimation. The stories walk us through the lifecycle of expatriate life in China, from clumsy first arrivals to well-oiled “old China hands”. The only author I’d heard of before was Peter Hessler, but I more closely identify with the perspectives of Michael Levy and Matt Muller, who write about their difficulties adjusting to China’s casual adherence to ethics and standards. But at the rate I am currently making mates here, I can someday soon expect experiences related to Susie Gordon’s Shanghai bender and, hopefully, Jocelyn Eikenburg’s inter-racial romance. Nice book, will turn to it often for insight, diversion and commiseration.

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    Unsavory Elements: Stories of Foreigners on the Loose in China []  2020-2-4 15:27

    I enjoyed reading this book. I have spent over five years living in the dongbei region of China. Most of these stories I experienced myself or knew someone who knew someone who had. I thought that it expressed the true China which can be difficult to do.

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    Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-45 []  2020-1-23 1:34

    This is an amazingly well-researched book which gives amazing insights on a lesser-known (but not less deserving) WWII US general. The insights on China are also particularly interesting and actually give you a better read on today's China than a lot of more latest e only problem I have is that it is so well researched that it makes for sometimes fastidious reading. I am an avid reader and not one to give up easily, but I could not finish this book before reading others to obtain some new air. It is thanks to David Halberstam that I picked up this book (he mentions it in The Best and the Brightest) and I don't regret it, but it could have been created probably 100 pages shorter and still create as much sense.

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    Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-45 []  2020-1-23 1:34

    Twice Pulitzer champion Barbara Tuchman is one of America's predominant historian. Incredibly researched, her books cover a number of topics covering WWI, Vietnam, other happenings of historic significance.

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    Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-45 []  2020-1-23 1:34

    A multi topic book about pre 1945 China, Japan, the West, and the personalities involved. Makes the topic so clear and understandable. The best book I have read on the situation leading up to the Communist take over. I would recommend this book for everyone interested in Asia. If only our politicians and diplomats would read and quit relying on Staffers to do what they should be doing ie: learning for themselves, maybe we would not have the constant stream of failures to contain China, Viet Nam, Iraq, Iran and Afganistan.

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    South of the Clouds: Travels in Southwest China []  2020-1-26 23:4

    Read this book even if you're not panning a trip to China. In it, Bill Porter provides a day-by-day acc of his observations and experiences during a challenging solo tour in one of the most remote and interesting regions remaining on this planet: southwest China. Each of the chapters in the author's travelogue features one of the a lot of towns and villages where he stops to observe and describe the people and their special customs as well as the history, folklore, and natural wonders associated with the locale. The narrative is supplemented by well-chosen photographs and punctuated with wry humor. My interest in this book stems from a year (1987-88) I served in China as a Fulbright scholar. That was some four years before Porter ventured there. I had visited a lot of of the same locales the author traverses and describes in engaging detail. Much to my regret, I lacked the language skills required to satisfy the intense curiosity generated by what I was experiencing. Thus, it was a privilege to be guided along this itinerary by someone who, though a westerner, obviously has a deep understanding of Chinese culture as well as the language skills required to interact with the people he encounters in this enchanting realm "south of the clouds."

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    South of the Clouds: Travels in Southwest China []  2020-1-26 23:4

    Bill Porter is one of the few translators and China spets who can speak, with equal elogence and ease, on the Chan Buddhist priniciples underlying the all American sport of baseball. He continues on as the current bodhisattva for the lineage of the Beat Generation. Buy ANY and ALL things that Sir Red Pine writes! In this visit to South West China, he reveals the non-Han patchwork underlying this part of China. His travel books are the China ver of Steinbeck's Travel's with Charley and thus a deeply rewarding investment of your time and attention.

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    Drunk in China: Baijiu and the World's Oldest Drinking Culture []  2020-6-24 19:19

    Nicely written, interesting narrative.

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    Gillybean in China: The Adventures of a Wandering agenarian []  2020-7-4 19:15

    Don’t allow the playful title fool you. _Gillybean in China_ follows the literary footsteps of traveling women writers like Mary Kingsley, Rebecca West and Elizabeth Gilbert, women who left the familiar behind and refused to allow cultural norms dictate how they would lead their lives. This memoir tells the story of Gill Puckridge who approaches sixty knowing something is missing from the comfortable life she worked so hard to create. Buoyed by her sense of humor and enthusiasm for people, Gill, or Gillybean, steps away from her globe to search herself in China. The book is joyful and profound, and when I finished it, I was inspired by all the promise that life still holds.

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    Gillybean in China: The Adventures of a Wandering agenarian []  2020-7-4 19:15

    This book, written with such wit and flair, exemplifies that adage!From South Africa to China, this seemingly light-hearted novel sparks a hunger for adventure and travel to exotic locations where the roads have no name. Not only does this book tell the tale of a dynamic woman who wants to squeeze every latest drop of fun - and prosecco out of life, but it offers a true view (not a glamourised two day trip) into the locations she has travelled to. I obtain the distinct impression that she has lived among the people, walked in their shoes and this gives the book a special perspective.What's next? Because I am certain that this energetic, vivacious woman is not done with LIFE and the globe yet!

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    Unmade in China: The Hidden Truth about China's Economic Miracle []  2019-12-23 20:27

    Yet again, Jeremy Haft puts forth a book that brings actual knowledge and intelligence to the U.S.-China dialogue. This book was released at the excellent time as pundits in the media are not quite sure how to discuss China's stock shop collapsing as it doesn't fit neatly into the narrative that China is going to surpass the United States in every major economic rough multiple well-grounded and well-researched arguments, Haft completely tears down the nonsense that we hear in the media regarding China as the world's economic superpower and China as the world's leading manufacturer. This book is refreshing and inspiring for all people who have been told the same story over and over again that China is overpowering the U.S. and that this will be the "China century." Further, this book not only removes these fallacies from the table, but it also provides numerous opportunities and reasons to believe in America as there are so a lot of opportunities to turn China's problems into businesses and other positive outcomes. I would recommend this book to anyone who is seeking a various and, ultimately, positive and optimistic perspective on the U.S.-China relationship.

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    Unmade in China: The Hidden Truth about China's Economic Miracle []  2019-12-23 20:27

    David Ricardo an Adam Smith create room. This is one of the most thoughtful books available to support the United States and China address their future together. It is an "American Dream with Chinese characteristics."The book shares a formula for how the US and China can live together in a global economy. This book strips away the fluttering around "currency manipulation" and "differences in GDP growth" and explains the real stake China and the United States have together. Read it, as most other huge time sinologists have. These are insights from a true businessman about true comparative advantage. What is right and what is wrong. A true keeper. I am proud to be included in references and influences.

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    Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-45 []  2020-1-23 1:34

    This terrific book by the late Barbara Tuchman is a must for history and military buffs, but especially for anyone who wants to understand the overthrow of Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang by the communists after the WWII. I came away with a much higher appreciation for Stilwell's military talents, sense of duty and character. He could have successfully commanded in any of the theaters of the war, but do to the fact he was a china expert and fluent in Chinese, his talents were wasted on a mission impossible in China. This is not to distract from his amazing accomplishments, especially given that Chiang's unchangeable tactic was to hunker down, allow the Americans victory the war, and not war the Japanese, preserving the units and materials for the war with the communists after Japan was defeated. Given that he was afraid that the reform of the Troops and increase in effectiveness of his divisions would raise a rival to overthrow him, Stilwell had no possibility of developing the Nationalist Troops into an effective force to war Japan, his main objective. Chiang was so out of touch and shielded from poor news, that he had no idea how poor the corruption and deterioration of the Kuomintang forces and government were. Tuchman is a terrific writer. She has a liberal political view, but spares no one in bringing out facts and excoriating the leadership of China, Britain and the US, including FDR. This is well worth bert A. HallAuthor: The Coming Collapse of the American Republic

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    Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-45 []  2020-1-23 1:34

    I had difficulty getting into this book as the early chapters were as much, if not more, about China than about 'Vinegar Joe'. But by the middle of the book I was enthralled by what the General achieved, and obviously at such a price. Should he have been a Corps Commander with General Eisenhower? By the story told here I would have thought so. He had so a lot of nightmares to overcome and always stuck to his guns. His march back into India is a classic tale that should be used as essential reading for all aspiring officers. Dealing with General Chang Kai-shek alone would have been enough for most people, but to cope with the added weight of the British Raj as well deserves high praise. English historical books containing comments about him are less than favourable. This is one reason that I bought the book - to search out more about him from a US perspective. I have ended up full of admiration for what the General achieved. He is my type of General - one who I would have enjoyed working with. I would definitely use this book as study material for all military history courses. A jolly amazing read.

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    South of the Clouds: Travels in Southwest China []  2020-1-26 23:4

    Bought the soft cover edition of 'South of the Clouds' and enjoyed the authors style as he brings you in on his tour of 1992 Yunnan. I'm sure things have changed immensely but still enjoyed the content and style.... and the black and white photos.

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    Stilwell and the American Experience in China: 1911-1945 []  2020-1-27 19:59

    I knew nothing about China in WWII until I read this book. Yet the Japanese incursion into China was beautiful much what this half of the battle was about, just as the German invasion of Russia was the main happening of the other half.But, wow, China is a large country with a large history. I started off with a biography of the Empress Dowager by Jung Chang, which I recommend, with reservations, as a very useful prelude to this book (if like me you don't know the history of China). Jung Chang's book is a small too obviously bent on reforming the photo of the Empress Dowager, but it's nevertheless to me a nice idea to obtain one's history from biography. The Empress died just three years before Stilwell first set foot in China, so I found it a amazing segue and culturally back to this one. Our main protagonists are Stilwell and, yes, Chiang Kai-Shek. The author does a amazing job of telling the huge story - China's relative absence in WWII - by contrasting these two people. Stilwell is there to do a job: war Japan with Chinese soldiers. Chiang has a very various purpose: war Chinese communist soldiers with Chinese nationalist soldiers after the battle is over - with American arms from Lend-Lease. He's going to allow the Allies handle the Japanese - yes, even though they occupy the entire Chinese coast. One reason the story can take up hundreds of pages is that Chiang, naturally, never said this directly. It's all in his holding back of soldiers and arms and the method he would hem and haw all those years.Another story the author tells well is of the hoodwinking of the American public and, yes, president, particularly by Chiang's wife but also by the early American press. By the time the scales fall from FDR's eyes, it's too late for Stilwell to be of use.I did not know anything about Stilwell. Truly a waste of a talented leader. By the time the book is over you'll wonder why he was there at all - and why were we? One will never know exactly what would have happened, but we had at least two reasonable possibilities it seems: (A) ignore mainland China earlier or (B) help the communists. If (A), Stilwell could have been place to so much better use. If (B), it seems he was willing to lead and at least some of them were willing to follow. It would have created for fascinating history and perhaps a better outcome after the revolution (the reality could hardly be worse).My usual complaint about these books: I need more maps. Maybe it's just me, but if a whole chapter is going to be about troop movements I wish a map for every paragraph. Also, a small repetitive. Not horribly, but more than I the way, you might search the middle sections far too detailed, but this does give the reality of Stilwell's expenditure of energy in trying to help a nearly hopeless cause.

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    Stilwell and the American Experience in China: 1911-1945 []  2020-1-27 19:59

    Book was an decent read..... It deserves 4 stars because it is the best description of China between the years 1930 - 1950 that I have read. The interchange between Stilwell and the Nationalist and Communist leaders and the US position was very interesting. Also interesting was the Christian lobby on behalf of the Nationalist that ultimately determined US policy.

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    Life in Ancient China (Peoples of the Ancient World (Paperback)) []  2020-2-1 2:37

    This book includes a lot of interesting and colourful photos that really interest children and supports the text.

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    Gillybean in China: The Adventures of a Wandering agenarian []  2020-7-4 19:15

    Thoroughly enjoyed the book. Simple read, light hearted. An inspiration for others thinking of doing solo travels. Look forward to the next one.

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    Unsavory Elements: Stories of Foreigners on the Loose in China []  2020-2-4 15:27

    I'm not finished reading this, but it has not reached my excited expectations. I spent time in China, too, a long time ago - just a few years after the Cultural Revolution. I loved my time in China, it was life-changing for me. And I have a lot of funny stories from my visits - as West meets East, differences in culture, society, really everything. I thought the stories in this book would be recounting such moments. But, and maybe I haven't read the truly good/great stories yet - so far, I'm not sure what I've read; postings in one's journal might come closest to describe what I've read. I hold waiting for the 'story' to begin, then the writing stops. I'm really disappointed. The writing itself was fine. But so far, the authors don't seem to have anything they wish to say. This is a amazing idea for a book ... Just not this book.

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