Rediscovering China: Dynamics and Dilemmas of Reform

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9780847683383: Rediscovering China: Dynamics and Dilemmas of Reform
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This evocative exploration of the profound changes overtaking China examines the major dilemmas the country confronts: official corruption, growing disparities between rich and poor, the halting reform of state-owned enterprises, transportation and infrastructure bottlenecks, and environmental degradation. Shanghai-born and Western-educated, Cheng Li provides the unique dual perspective of a local resident and a political scientist who returned to his homeland to observe its remarkable social transformations. His sympathetic yet clear-eyed account provides the reader with the sounds and smells, tastes and textures of a country enduring the pangs of rapid reform.

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About the Author:

Cheng Li is research director and senior fellow at the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution. Dr. Li is also William R. Kenan Professor of Government at Hamilton College and director of the National Committee on US-China Relations.

Review:

By the end of Rediscovering China, every reader will have learned something new . . . . His cast is rich, and so are the anecdotes [the author] tells. (Far Eastern Economic Review)

Extraordinary. . . . A revealing and compelling profile. . . . The book is a delight to read. . . . Full of stimulating ideas and insights as well as useful facts. Anyone desiring to increase their understanding of the historic changes now taking place in the largest and most rapidly developing nation in the world―whether they already know a great deal or only very little about China―will be richly rewarded by reading it. (from the foreword by A. Do ak Barnett, author of China on the Eve of Communist Takeover)

Some of the freshest, most accessible, and fascinating reportage available on China in the throes of reform. It is hard to think of another book that has the same immediacy and wealth of information. (Orville Schell, University of California, Berkeley)

Li explores the meaning of China's reforms to the people who are both suffering and enjoying them. Based in Shanghai during the mid-1990s, Li (Rediscovers)

Informative and exciting. . . . Students and scholars of China will benefit from reading this book, even if they do travel to China, because Li has seen things and talked to people that are not easily accessible to Westerners. Those who have not had a chance to visit recently should also read this book simply to catch up with the monumental changes now occurring. (Journal of Asian Studies)

Cheng Li . . . provides intriguing insights into the minutiae of everday economic and social life through vignettes on the lifestyles, hopes and problems of individual entrepreneurs, migrant workers, factory managers, taxi drivers and others whom he meets on his travels. He builds a persuasive argument which needs to be taken seriously in weighing up the scenarios for China's future. (The China Journal)

Li's arguments are compelling not only because of his intellectual sensitivity but also his intellectual integrity. Balance and objectivity are strong qualities of this work. (Yan Sun, associate professor of art history, Gettysburg College)

This important book, based on Cheng's wide travels and research in China in 1993-95 as a fellow of the U.S.-based Institute of Current World Affairs, dispels several myths. (Foreign Affairs)

By walking the reader through China from the vantage point of local residents who live daily through chaotic changes and pressing concerns, the book gives a human face to China's complex transformation. . . . The depth of Li's conversations with locals and the breadth of personal contacts on which those were based are extraordinarily impressive and are unlikely to be matched by non-Chinese speakers. . . . The book's immediacy and wealth of information make a unique and major contribution. Together, the variegated data help build a strong case against what Li calls 'serious misconceptions' in the West about contemporary China. . . . Li's arguments are compelling not only because of his intellectual sensitivity but also because of his intellectual integrity. Balance and objectivity are strong qualities of this work. (Yan Sun, associate professor of art history, Gettysburg College American Political Science Review)

Li has written a warts-and-all account of 1990s China which includes numerous examples of corruption and other such vices, all the more convincing because of his Chinese background. This is certain to have a profound impact on China, begetting all kinds of new economic and social problems. He should go back and write a sequel, once the dust has settled. (Colina MacDougall Asian Affairs)

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780847683376: Rediscovering China: Dynamics and Dilemmas of Reform

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ISBN 10:  0847683370 ISBN 13:  9780847683376
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1997
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9780585080819: Rediscovering China: Dynamics and Dilemmas of Reform

Rowman..., 2000
Softcover

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