George Walden is uniquely placed to trace China s epic journey from Maoist hysteria to economic giant over four decades. One of a handful of Chinese-speaking Westerners who was in China during the Cultural Revolution in the 60s, he has visited the country many times since as diplomat, politician, journalist and writer. For years the West has mythologised China as sphinx, utopia or demon. Now that we face the fact of Chinese power, we cannot afford to get China wrong and need to understand what really drives her. Covering Chinese life from economics and politics to sex and the arts, Walden writes controversially and colourfully about a country he knows and admires though now is a time for realism. No major country in history has emerged into the international arena without asserting itself forcefully. China will not easily forget her past humiliations at the hands of the West.