Two Innocents in Red China

Two Innocents in Red China Pierre Trudeau and Jacques Hebert; Douglas and McIntyre, 2007 (first published in 1961)   Canada recognized China 2 years before Nixon’s trip to China in 1972. For years China had been issuing invitations to Westerners to come and see China. Most Western nations still regarded Formosa/Taiwan and the Kuomintang Nationalists as the legitimate government of China. This trip in 1960, was not Trudeau’s first time

Dreaming in Chinese

Dreaming in Chinese, Mandarin lessons in life, love and language. Deborah Fallows, 2010 Reviewed by Graham Mulligan Deborah Fallows is a linguist married to a journalist, James Fallows. They have lived in Shanghai and Beijing and struggled to learn some Mandarin. This is her collection of fourteen useful, commonly-heard words or phrases and some cultural tales that they inspired her to relate.

Country Driving

Country Driving, A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory, Peter Hessler, Harper Collins, 2010   Reviewed by Graham Mulligan   This is a book inspired by solitude and yearning. After leaving the Peace Corps (Rivertown) and moving to Beijing as a journalist (New Yorker and National Geographic) the author gets his Chinese driver’s license and starts a road-trip. The route is defined by its proximity to an icon of

China’s Megatrends

China’s Megatrends, The 8 Pillars of a New Society John and Doris Naisbitt Harper Collins, 2010   Opinions about this book fall into two very separate categories, those who see in it an explanation of how China has achieved such great change in a short time, and those who see it as merely propaganda for the government.

China in the 21st Century

China in the 21st Century, What Everyone Needs to Know Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom, Oxford Univ. Press, 2010   Reviewed by Graham Mulligan     Part 1            Historical Legacies   Schools of Thought Imperial China Revolutions and Revolutionaries   Part 2 The Present and the Future   From Mao to Now U.S.-China Misunderstandings The Future   This is a short  book, 135 pages, with brief sections titled ‘Who was Confucious?’, ‘Why

China 2.0

China 2.0   Reviewed by Graham Mulligan   Marina Yue Zhang with Bruce Stemming, Wiley, 2010   The opening chapter builds on the metaphor of ‘Internet 2.0’ as a way of understanding the new China. Just as Internet 1.0 was ‘read only’ and shifted to ‘interactive and participatory’ as Internet 2.0, so China has gone from one phase to something much more interactive. The authors develop the argument that Western

2000 Days in China

2000 Days in China; 1998 – 2009 A Western Experience John Hemingsen; published by Reviewed by Graham Mulligan This book is a personal account of the author’s business dealings over a ten year period. The author was a senior executive with an American steel fabricating company that decided to take up a Chinese invitation to engage in making product in China at an early stage of the Reform and

Suzhou Museum

I.M. Pei designed the Suzhou Museum (opened 2006). I visited the museum in 2009 when I took this photo. It is a stunningly beautiful place, both ancient and modern. Last evening I watched the PBS broadcast on American Masters

When China Rules the World

When China Rules the World; The Rise of the Middle Kingdom and the End of the Western World Martin Jacques; Penguin Books, 2009 Summary by Graham Mulligan Martin Jacques writes from a scholarly perspective, and has a solid background that gives substance to his voice. His website description says ‘He is a visiting senior fellow at the London School of Economics, IDEAS, a centre for the study of international affairs,

Post Cards From Tomorrow Square

Post Cards From Tomorrow Square; Reports From China. James Fallows, 2009 Reviewed by Graham Mulligan Fallows is the Atlantic Monthly correspondent for China. In his introduction to the book he categorizes some of the collection of essays as ‘policy’ oriented explorations of the tremendous variety of cultural developments that so frequently lead Western observers to take positions about ‘China’ as though it were one, indivisible reality. His portraits of individuals