RaveThe New York TimesAge of Ambition is...a riveting and troubling portrait of a people in a state of extreme anxiety about their identity, values and future ... eclectic portraits are drawn from across the political spectrum ... Some of these characters appear several times, giving the book a cumulative impact that helps persuade the reader that China has lost its way. The remarkable story of Lin Yifu, the Taiwanese defector who swam across the strait to become the World Bank’s chief economist and later a cheerleader for China’s economic prosperity, provides a strong narrative thread. So, too, does the story of the persecuted artist Ai Weiwei ... Mr. Osnos has a keen grasp of how the Internet has transformed China’s political landscape, circumventing the government’s efforts to manage information about public incidents.
RaveThe New York Times Book Review...argue[s] persuasively that adjusting to this global power shift will require great skill on both sides if conflagration is to be avoided ... helpfully illustrated with maps and charts...with wide-ranging, erudite case studies that span human history ... this fine book show[s] that China intends to evict the United States from Asia in order to restore its dominance over what it considers its historic spheres of influence. Unfortunately, Washington is poorly prepared to deal with a China that strategizes in terms of the symbolic undercurrents and sensitivities illuminated so dramatically by Allison.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewFrank Dikotter’s gripping, horrific and at times sensationalistic The Cultural Revolution: A People’s History, 1962-1976, the third volume of his work on the Mao years, challenges the Chinese people to address those missing years. Drawn from hundreds of English-language and Chinese eyewitness accounts, newly available archival records, online Cultural Revolution documentary projects and foreign and Chinese scholarship, the book paints such a damning portrait of Mao and Communist Party governance that if it were widely circulated in China, it could undermine the legitimacy of the current regime ... At times Dikotter’s account focuses on the sensational rather than the nuanced. Some discussion of just how reliable his disparate sources are would have been welcome.