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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good analysis
Kerry Brown is one of the best analysts we have who write about current events in China. The title of this book (Princelings) seems to carry a derogatory tone but in fact it does not. Its a realistic look at how networking and family connections work within a very complex society in which the biggest business company in the world - the CCP - has a monopoly on national...
Published 5 months ago by Sally

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Power and the Princelings and the Complete Absence of Copy-Editing
I am a little loathe to do this. As the other reviewer has said, this is an insightful book and Kerry Brown seems to be a gifted analyst. It would appear, however, that his/her* gifts do not include crafting competent sentences. I don't have the heart to include more than a couple of examples;

'This book has looked at the networks that we find around the new...
Published 4 months ago by William Kemp


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Power and the Princelings and the Complete Absence of Copy-Editing, 12 Aug 2014
By 
William Kemp - See all my reviews
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I am a little loathe to do this. As the other reviewer has said, this is an insightful book and Kerry Brown seems to be a gifted analyst. It would appear, however, that his/her* gifts do not include crafting competent sentences. I don't have the heart to include more than a couple of examples;

'This book has looked at the networks that we find around the new leadership in China who came into power at the Eighteenth Party Congress in 2012. It has been an attempt to map and understand a little more the dynamism of these networks, and both the political as well as the personal meaning that they carry.'

That is the first paragraph of the conclusion. We already know about the Congress, the new leadership, and his theory regarding networks. He could have stopped the first sentence at the word China and lost absolutely nothing. (Although it still wouldn't have scanned very well.)

Why he feels the need to remind us what year the Congress took place in I don't know. Why he chooses to ram four sentences worth of content into two sentences I don't know either. I'm not even going to start on the usage issues.

'The founding fathers of the Communist Party over nine decades before came from a tight-knit community. Many were from specific geographic locations in China.'

I would be inclined to assume they all came from specific geographic locations unless those rumours about Chen Duxiu being a Frankstein's Monster type creation made from the bodies of three men, a wombat and a three-ton sack of gravel turn out to be true.

Brown also has fondness for using commas to wander off on tangents halfway through a sentence. I'd include an example but frankly I haven't the patience.

The whole book is like this. The content is so engaging that most of the time you can block out the sound of the authorial voice but occasionally it becomes too much to bear. This is essentially a very well-researched, very badly-written P.h.D. thesis.

Read it. Savour it. Write a letter to the publisher telling them to fire their copy-editor.

*Gender unknown. I'm in China and researching a book like this is a little fiddly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good analysis, 20 July 2014
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This review is from: The New Emperors: Power and the Princelings in China (Hardcover)
Kerry Brown is one of the best analysts we have who write about current events in China. The title of this book (Princelings) seems to carry a derogatory tone but in fact it does not. Its a realistic look at how networking and family connections work within a very complex society in which the biggest business company in the world - the CCP - has a monopoly on national political power. In some ways, the way things work in China seem very similar to the systems in the West that produce Kennedys and Bushs in succeeding generations or, in the UK, the conveyor belt of old Etonians (perennially privileged private schoolboys) into government. In other ways they definitely do not and it is here that Brown's analysis is truly valuable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A for details force of China's current leadership, 26 Nov 2014
By 
A. J. Smith (UK) - See all my reviews
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New Emperors, despite it's somewhat cliche'd title, is a truly academic work. Kerry Brown, a diplomat by trade has provided an incredibly insightful expose on the new line-up of Chinese Politics. A key theme of this book is networks and how people benefit from such networks, but it also contains unique insights into the now 7 member Politburo Standing Committee. Of course detailed information on Xinhua Jinping and Li Keqiang are included but also of note is info on the other 5, of particular interest being Wang Qishan.
The first part of the book contains much info on the strongly established Jiang Zemin network and how Xinhua Jumping was able to benefit from this via Zeng Qinghong. However, once Xinhua Jumping's rise is established, the book transfers it's interest to the role of the other 6, their background and networks and their current roles.
The concluding chapter offers an insight into the future for the Chinese Communist Party and how it can respond to the challenges it faces, which may be familiar to China observers, but a worthy read nonetheless.
Having read many books on contemporary China, this is by far and away the most detailed expose on the current leadership and essential reading for any would be Sinologists or followers of current events.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Gaining a concept of China's Government., 16 Aug 2014
Well written and very readable but certain points are laboured. Certainly one gains a good understanding of how China chooses it's leaders with a good history lesson of the modern era. The stage of economic developement the county is at politically, socially and envoirnmently there seems many set backs ahead before China is world power number one. An excellent book to gain a grounding or understanding of China today.
I cannot but feel that no matter the system of selecting the government is that most of the same people would emerge.
This is my first book read on my phone. Love the concept as one I always have my book with and I can adjust font size.
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3.0 out of 5 stars It was easily written and was reasonably easy to understand, 25 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The New Emperors: Power and the Princelings in China (Hardcover)
It was a fascinating book which perhaps needed some prior knowledge of Chinese politics, one also needed to be able to properly read the Chinese names. It was easily written and was reasonably easy to understand. It suggests that a subsequent book will be needed to be able to follow up the individual outcomes of the senior politicians ambitions snd how they were met. Will the senior seven be able to sustain their popularity as well as build the fortunes of China.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Generally a easy book to read, 26 Oct 2014
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Generally a easy book to read, some interesting comments, but poor research - mistakes such as Wen graduated from Qinghua really could be avoided.
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The New Emperors: Power and the Princelings in China
The New Emperors: Power and the Princelings in China by Kerry Brown (Hardcover - 30 Jun 2014)
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