4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Not as expected,
This review is from: Tiger Head, Snake Tails: China Today, How it Got There and Where it is Heading (Hardcover)
Sounds good, but ends up as a read of superlatives. His book has also been overtaken by events with the arrest of Bo Xi Lai and his wife. But what is more dissappointing is his lack of analysis. Instead he sits on the fence and gives us little of what the implications of modern China is likely to become domestically or internationally. "There are speed bumps ahead". Doesn't quite do it. Disappointing.
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Initial post: 2 Aug 2012 08:42:20 BDT
J. Fenby says:
Did you read to the end? My conclusion which is argued from the analysis throughout the bok is that 'If basic economic, political and legal reformsleft undoen since the 1980s are not addressed, China's onward march wil be hobbled, and the world as a whole will feel the consequencesas the snake tails wrap themseklves round the tiger head.' That seems quite plain to me.
In reply to an earlier post on 2 Aug 2012 17:38:40 BDT
I've often wondered whether authors read these reviews, and feel a bit guilty when I attack a book harshly.
It's good to see an author defending his work robustly. You are justified in that this book describes modern China warts and all. My only reservation is that some of the statistics provided are a bit hard to digest, and don't seem worth committing to memory since they are already out of date. Bo Xilai's fall may also seem to make the book seem too rapidly overtaken by events, but you could argue that his plight illustrates some of your points about corruption and politicking in modern China - a terrifying place in some ways where I am very grateful not to live, only who knows what fate awaits the "green and pleasant" land of the UK as we fall behind in the global rat race.
In reply to an earlier post on 2 Oct 2012 12:39:30 BDT
J. Fenby says:
Well that 'only reservation' hardly seems consonant with your harsh judgement or to earn the demerit of a single star - but I would say that wouldn't I?
Of course individual statistics from the time period of writing will be overtake but I don't think this means that they shd not be used especially when they indicate a trend. The book was finished before Bo fell, indeed, but I did refer to him as a tall poppy who risked earning the disapproval of colleagues for his independent ways - as happened.
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