4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
This book is a triumph., 14 Mar 2011
A visually absorbing account of modern China that manages to reflect the effervescent dynamism of the emerging new superpower through the eyes and lens of a travelling photojournalist. Over 600-plus pages, Carter has successfully weaved together the titular `portrait' from a series of images ranging in subject from urban sprawl to bucolic serenity and seemingly everything in between; the one constant pervading this admittedly unwieldy volume being his unwavering focus on the faces and back stories that define a nation in the midst of rapid 21st-century development. This balance between poignant laments for the loss of an old China the West never really got to know and hubristic assertions of its now-imminent dominance is perfectly struck as Carter gets into the nooks, crannies and peepholes of a nation that, for now, still exists on the periphery of our cultural radar. Not for much longer.