Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wake-up call, 18 Feb 2008
This review is from: The Writing On The Wall: China And The West In The 21St Century (Hardcover)
I found this work both fascinating and deeply unsettling... I am neither an economics nor political expert, but I do appreciate that there is no system or culture that operates in isolation, particularly not in the current age. Hence, for me, the title of the book was not misleading... It may seem trite to say this, but if you entitle a work "...China and the West..." then your book should cover both China and the West and I found that this book did so, and did it admirably, on both counts.

I believe that I learnt a lot about the current situation in China; I received some tantalising insights into why China has a particular view of institutions that is perhaps different from the prevailing view among Western societies about very similar institutions (Banks, Corporations, Government itself). I am motivated to read more widely on this topic.

What Hutton's work also gave me was an overview of the tensions in Western societies that lead to inherent instabilities and these, coupled with the instabilities in the Chinese system, in turn lead to deeply unsettling conclusions about the longer term stability in the region (and hence, the world). I find it rather worrying that the USA is effectively bankrupt and its hegemony threatened by it's financial situation - what will happen when the Chinese economy decides to withdraw from support of the dollar...? Let us hope that democratic principles have a stronger hold in China when that society achieves world (economic) domination and I happen to agree 100% with the notion that western societies should lead by example. Enlightenment and engagement - what a powerful message to send to all world societies and one that we in the west are manifestly failing to promulgate. I found those chapters that illustrated this dearth very interesting.

For me, the book was a resounding success!

And, as for the existence of a veritable arsenal ranged along the mainland shore facing Taiwan, then all I can say is: "ooo-er...!!"
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