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Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China
 
 

Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China [Kindle Edition]

Evan Osnos
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

A young army captain who risked execution to swim from free-market Taiwan to Communist China.


A barber who made $150 million in the gambling dens of Macau.


The richest woman in China, a recycling tycoon known as the 'Wastepaper Queen'.



Age of Ambition describes some of the billion individual lives that make up China's story - one that unfolds on remote farms, in glittering mansions, and in the halls of power of the world's largest authoritarian regime. Together they describe the defining clash taking place today: between the individual and the Communist Party's struggle to retain control.



Here is a China infused with a sense of boundless possibility and teeming romance. Yet it is also riven by contradictions. It is the world's largest buyer of Rolls Royces and Ferraris yet the word 'luxury' is banned from billboards. It has more Christians than members of the Communist Party. And why does a government that has lifted more people from poverty than any other so strictly restrain freedom of expression?



Based on years of research, Age of Ambition is a stunning narrative that reveals China as we have never understood it before.

About the Author

Evan Osnos joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2008. He was the magazine's correspondent in China, where he lived in a restored house in Beijing north of the Forbidden City, from 2005 until 2013 when he moved to Washington, D.C.

He has received many prizes, including the Asia Society's Osborn Elliott Prize for Excellence in Journalism on Asia and the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. Osnos previously worked as the Beijing Bureau Chief of the Chicago Tribune, where he contributed to a series that won a 2008 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2013 KB
  • Print Length: 417 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0374280746
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (26 Jun 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IN87YMS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #56,929 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting look at recent Chinese development. 14 Sep 2014
By JLT
Format:Hardcover
Interesting but a bit clunky. Intersperses interesting facts with a variety of human stories set against modern China's authoritarian system of government, It doesn't really flow too well in places. This is probably because it tries to marry together the enormity of the social and economic changes in China with individual human stories. These disappear only to re-emerge at seemingly random points in the book. I would recommend it though.
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4.0 out of 5 stars interesting read 13 Sep 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Good book with some good stories and a little look at the Chinese way....
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  86 reviews
69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare balance 18 May 2014
By Oracle of Adelphi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
China books seem especially tricky to write, because the writer has to please two very different types of American reader: the one who has a great deal of experience with China, and the one who does not. The first reader cringes if he has to read yet another description of how Shenzhen used to be a fishing village; but the second reader can't really understand Shenzhen unless you explain this fact. (As a strange hybrid of these two readers -- I lived in China but have no deep expertise in its history -- I often experience the worst of both worlds.)

This book strikes a rare balance. It's a very absorbing read, and its multiple story-lines are impressively woven together, without any of the stitches showing. The people Osnos writes about run the gamut from a public figure like Lin Yifu (the World Bank economist who defected to mainland China from Taiwan in 1979) to an obscure figure like Michael Zhang, a young energetic optimist whom Osnos first meets at a Crazy English conference and then follows for a few years. (Zhang turns into one of the most interesting characters in the book.)

Osnos tells all these individual stories against the backdrop of most of the major events in China of the last five years: the violence in Xinjiang, the Liu Xiaobo fiasco, the "Jasmine" events of 2011, Ai Weiwei's ordeal, the flight of Chen Guangcheng, the Bo Xilai scandal, the bullet train crash, and so on. You learn a great deal about all these events, but the book is anchored in its very humane profiles of individual Chinese who are trying to make their lives better.
62 of 68 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a book for Americans 28 May 2014
By TracyF - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I am a Chinese in the USA. An American friend recommended this Age of Ambition to me, saying it's amazing. But I found myself almost gave up when I read the first chapter on the Taiwan defector Lin Zhengyi. This is a story you can find on wikipedia, and lots of Chinese are very familiar with Lin Zhengyi too. I guess Americans will find it interesting, never mind. I decided to read on since I liked the writing style. The people and their stories in this book are nothing new to me. Even Ai Weiwei's part, I would just go to watch the movie Never Say Sorry again. The more I read, the more I think something is missing. Seems Mr. Even Osnos is keen on predicting the future of China. But the characters in his book are not representing the whole picture. I am not saying Hu Shuli, Lin Zhengyi or Han Han are passé, just the grass-root young strivers in the book are not those who are more likely to take over the throne. China is a elite society, even if you don't like the children of the officials, of the rich business men's, the truth is they are educated(some overseas) and have resources. They are more likely to govern the country in the future. I don't know why there is no voice from this group. If you are talking about ambitions, without input from that group, the picture of new China the author draws is just not completed. But again, for those who don't live in China, or never experience the culture, it's a good read.
38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great look at sociological shifts in modern China 15 May 2014
By W. Sherer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If you've been following Osnos's New Yorker pieces, you know he has a gift for finding seemingly eccentric anecdotes and using them to explain a larger point. In this new book, he takes that a step further and illustrates the overwhelming social change that has taken place in China over the past fifty years through the experiences of individuals that have lived through it. It's a wonderfully readable blend of idiosyncratic stories and insightful analysis that brings any reader, whether new to the topic or an experienced China watcher, a greater understanding of this emerging force in world events.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chasing Faith in a hurry.... 19 Jun 2014
By CLOZIER Sandra - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Evan Osnos has worked hard and taken care in writing his book on contemporary China. As a China watcher (and worker) for 10 years, I was most impressed by the element of Faith. Chinese ask me what I think of their government and their desire for democracy, far more openly and freely than before. They invoke the fraud, corruption and “relationships” that surround their daily lives. My only reply is that the West has a culture based on Judaism and Christianity, that these religions have never been banned, and that today those values still preside even if actual practice of the religions is less strong. This does not say that the West has no corruption or fraud, but it can be investigated by journalists, by the different legal systems, and is widely published. Which Osnos explains is not the case in China, by telling different stories about many different people, in a very readable book. I would recommend for anyone who wants to know a bit more than we are generally told by Western media.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars lots of fascinating grass roots stories. 21 May 2014
By Perry M. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is well worth your time since it gets down in the weeds and gives a feel the person on the street in various parts of China. Osnos's interest in China's youth is especially enlightening. China's youth of 25 years ago is much different and more diverse than China's youth today--many camps, some very chauvinistic, others highly critical of the government. A better title might have been Age of Aspiration or Age of Expectation.
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