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China Shakes The World: The Rise of a Hungry Nation Hardcover – 30 Mar 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; First Edition edition (30 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0297852299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297852292
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.5 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 549,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


balanced and very readable account¿ China Shakes the World is an excellent book, far more useful and sensible than most business bestsellers or the majority of general introductions to modern China¿

As Kynges wisely remarks, China owes its emergence as global powers to the freemarket system pioneered by the US, but has very different values from those in most countries that have grown up under the Pax Americana.The more it adapts those values, the more the rest of us are likely to applaud and make way for its continued extraordinary progress. (Chris Patten Financial Times)

particularly well-written.... brings alive all the complexities and contradictions of China's development.... combines a fresh perspective with an eye for arresting detail. (THE ECONOMIST)

sweeping, fluent essay... The author's touch is as deft as the brushstrokes in a Chinese landscape... it is the conclusions of the book that make it worth the reading time... He makes a sophisticated argument that by interweaving Chinese interests in peace and prosperity with those of the west, both parties will ultimately benefit. From a global point of view, he explains, China's emergence is of enormous virtue. (SUNDAY TIMES)

... pungent and discursive... This feels like China as it really is... The conclusions of Kynge's courageous essay are harsh but persuasive. (MARTIN VANDER WEYER SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

he is admirably knowledgeable about the subject and the country. He tells the story of China's rise with sympathy and insight. (THE GUARDIAN)

a business book, but one with a strongly beating human heart,and it's a splendid introduction to what is happening in, and to, China today. What Kynge brings to the subject is a real passion fuelled by his years living there, which has also given him a depth and sophistication that few other China books can match. (IRISH TIMES)

James Kynge's absorbing essay on the global effects of China's emergence as an economic superpower is filled with...telling colour and detail... he offers a wide-ranging analysis of the unprecendented challenge which China now offers to the West. (SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY)


captures the ambivalence that many intelligent people feel about the rise of China... excellent reporting. (FAR EASTERN ECONOMIC REVIEW)

an in-depth study of China's recent , rapid economic growth... analyses the implications of this on the balance of world power and the global environment. (FINANCIAL TIMES - SUMMER BOOKS)

This is the best type of reporter's book. Through direct observation and interviews James Kynge captures the awesome global phenomenon that is China... he draws thought-provoking conclusions. (THE TABLET)

looks at China's rise from the inside out. (TRAVELLER MAGAZINE)

If you can't make time to visit China - and you really, really should - invest some hours in this book instead to glean valuable insights into the coming revolution... switches seamlessly between critical and enamored, objective and immersed, from discerning detail to sweeping statement, backed by facts, figures and examples of a first class reporter. (BLOOMBERG)

A sweeping and fluent account of how China is changing every aspect of the modern world. (SUNDAY TIMES - SUMMER BOOKS)

Book Description

Authoritative account by leading China expert on how China's economic rise and how it will affect the world

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Anyone unimpressed by the general run of business books will find this a refreshing exception. First up, it is beautifully crafted. James Kynge brings an evocative personal perspective to China and the Chinese. The former Financial Times bureau chief in Beijing also has a topic which is vast and important - the book's publisher has classified it as history, not business. The themes - not least how it has taken a nominally socialist bureaucracy to destroy hundreds of billions of dollars worth of foreign capitalists' intellectual property - are intriguing, amusing and insightful. The book also bravely touches on issues such as the way China is ravaging the environment, its own and that of its neighbours. A rare buy-two-copies-and-give-one-to-a-friend book that is far better than the much-hyped The World is Flat, by Thomas L. Friedman, which takes a rather banal conceit and milks it dry.
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Format: Paperback
Unlike most books on China, this one does not concentrate on how to do business there, but rather on how Chinese business practices and economic prospects are affecting the whole world. Hardly a sensationalist, Mr. Kynge nevertheless arrives at highly troubling conclusions: China has vast potential for growth, but is also full of very real weaknesses - a combination that can throw the global economy into turmoil if it becomes unbalanced.

The author writes in a fluid easy to read style that grabs your attention, with personal stories and observations, while also providing enough data to make his points convincingly.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a very serious book on China written by a veteran journalist. Good story, but its understanding about China vast changes and factors behind remains very much on the surface. One basic weakness is its insufficient knowledge about the Chinese communist government and its motives for reform. A more insightful book on this issue comes from a Chinese reporter named George Zhibin Gu: China and the new world order, which identifies China's main problem: a self-appointed, overextended, and abusive government bureaucracy. Both books should be helpful in understanding what is inside China and its changing relations with the world.
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Format: Paperback
An excellent book. A few broad insights, particularly that China is struggling with a top-down system which means there's no dialogue from the grassroots up which in turn means there's nepotism, a lack of trust in officialdom and state institutions, an 'everyman for himself' ethos, regular military crackdowns (as there's no dialogue and therefore no safety valves), gross resource depletion (the State hasn't adapted to the almost overnight industrialisation whilst as the rivers literally dry up individuals and groups don't give a damn because it's everyman and every regional area for themself) and appalling pollution.

There's also been clampdowns on 'spirituality' which in turn means materialism rules which in turn means there's a declining moral structure.

In the long-term there's no way X billion people can live like Europeans (there's not enough resources on the planet) but at the same time this is the dream that's being peddled to the masses.

So China is being twisted and turned this way and that, a billion trapped individuals suddenly seeing a glimpse of freedom, Russia writ larger, the rich getting appallingly richer, the nation consuming insatiably but without a tried and trusted political system to absorb the forces unleashed.

Watch out for a cabal of individuals promoting George Zhibin Gu: China's global reach - see the review by 'A business researcher' on that book's page. For example, Expat-biz-Hong Kong has reviewed THIS book but has only ever made two reviews, posted on the same day and both promoting the above mentioned book by George Zhibin Gu.
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Format: Hardcover
Following my previous review of this book on 6 August 2006, China Shakes the World won the 2006 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year award on 26 October 2006.

I congratulate author James Kynge, and write the following further comments on the book as Part 2 of my review.

My previous review focused on assessing the book from the perspective of PRACTISING BUSINESS PEOPLE who are already engaged in doing business with China. I think that it is fair to say that China Shakes the World does little to relieve the difficulties we encounter on a daily basis. So, for practising business people who are planning to do or are already doing business with China, I still recommend The China Executive.

That said, I think that it is also fair to say that China Shakes the World deserves a five-star rating for being an entertaining book for the GENERAL READER. There have been many books trying to achieve the same mission as China Shakes the World does, but the latter simply does it most brilliantly. James Kynge weaves the stories in such a way that you, as a general reader, will experience not only bones (dry statements which most books of this nature make) but also flesh and blood (how the very fabric of China is intertwining with that of the rest of the world).

So, to understand the general implications of China for the 21st century, I recommend China Shakes the World.
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