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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My specialised LLM thesis paper in International Law and International Relations was dedicated to issues of Environmental Law and the challenges ahead for the European Union. I saw this book as part of the Vine list and thought it might be a very interesting read.

The book is made up of chapters that are essays written on the various challenges that lay ahead for China in terms of Environmental Policy. What I liked about the book is that the various chapters take you through the various issues, but it starts by giving the reader a detailed contextual account of China's political and historical past. The author then delves into aspects of environmental policy examining issues such as the use of water, chemicals, wood and coal and the pollution they cause. IT examines the challenges of economic growth and the push and pull problems of balancing the growth with pollution control.

The book is well written and is very illuminating if you want to learn all about the environmental challenges facing modern China. Highly recommended.
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on 6 December 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a handy, accessible little book that is an illuminating collection of inter-connected essays that give a fascinating outline not just of the environmental challenges China faces this century [and by default the rest of the world], but the make-up culturally and politically of modern China.

The book is therefore surprisingly holistic in the way it tackles the many issues the Middle Kingdom faces in the coming decades. Shapiro deftly shows how the country has recovered from it's humiliations of the 19th century and its violent political upheavals of the 20th, to reach the 21st century confident and- crucially- politically and cultural distinct from the West. Considering how western influence and political structures are creaking at the moment, crippled by short-termism, identity crises and almost out of control levels of corruption, that of course may not be too bad a thing.

So this book is a very intriguing look through an opening window into a new superpower and is all the more powerful for the fact that the author has spent a long time there herself, and so we never lose sight of the very real, human side of Chinese society.
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on 13 January 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This book provides an analysis on China's previous and current environmental impact globally with some pointers to what the future may hold. Although less than 200 pages, the author Judith Shapiro manages to go into a lot of depth whilst keeping the reader interested (well, fairly interested.. I must confess to skipping a few chapters in the middle of most chapters). Each chapter presents what is going to be analysed and there is a conclusion for each chapter, so this skipping doesn't necessarily spoil the reader's enjoyment of the book (well, mine anyway).

Overall I found the book to be well-balanced. Shapiro considers the environmental impact of China's economic growth locally (eg. factory waste) but also internationally in its hunger for resources. Analysis is given to internal politics and NCOs which I found a little boring, but the positive efforts regarding solar energy and environmental standards are also detailed.

Overall very interesting and an enjoyable read... it loses a point because I felt the need to skip some paragraphs.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A "comprehensive introduction" may seem like a bit of an oxymoron at a glance. I wasn't expecting too much within 180 pages of text however Shapiro addresses a complex and important subject matter with an unbiased credibility which lent much weight to the star-rating I have given this book.

I'm no expert on international governance and know as much about environmental law as I do about brain surgery, however anyone paying attention to current affairs will know that China's impact on the environment is a massively important subject matter and one that will in some way or another affect us all.

This is a great introduction for anyone that, like me, perhaps doesn't know as much as they would like about this subject but have enough curiosity to find out exactly what is happening, and what we can prepare for in the future. It's expensive for the size of the book, but it's an accomplished and thought-provoking read.
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VINE VOICEon 1 February 2013
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a very good book about China historically and currently and all of the major changes and upheavals and how it has helped shaped the emerging China, through the political, sociological, ecological and economic means.

China is a massive force to be reckoned with today and globally it is very powerful. Economically it has emerged as a leader and it is going through its own industrial revolution, at an alarming rate which is having a huge effect environmentally. Shapiro addresses these issues and how China, being complex and insular in many ways, politically and socially speaking.

This book isn't for the light-hearted as it is very in-depth and may leave some people cold, but anyone studying the global economy or ecology would find it very interesting.
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is an in-depth study of China, its economic politics, industry and the changes being made to Chinese society.

Few can be unaware of the differences between the China of Chairman Mao days, when it was an agricultural economy barely able to feed its own population and when industry was almost a swear word, to the modern-day and largely industrial China. Its population is being moved from the largely rural and numerous small villages of yesteryear into large modern cities many of which are intended to serve the factories designed to produce either a single product type or a few related products primarily for export.

Products and a lifestyle eschewed under Mao are now commonplace in many Chinese homes with TV and vehicles available to many. China, as a nation, is the fastest growing economy currently known and is about to overtake the USA and remove it from its Number One slot in world rankings, if it maintains current growth expectations. However, it is a fragile economy and a major consumer country, or a group of such countries, which defaults on its debts to China could very easily upset an economy which is unable to be entirely self-supporting in a wholly free environment. China is a Communist state and the history of such bodies is one of high ideals which may be met in the short-term but fail to provide long-term stability. The bubble may one day burst!

This book attempts to explain all the issues but does so in a manner that makes it a difficult book to read. Factual it may be but it also unfortunately also boring. It is a book which should be of wider interest but it is also one likely to be read by a few Sinologists and possibly those involved in trading with China.

Academic, economic and political at the one time, may make it a book on the reference list of some institutions, but it will not appeal to a wider public and will probably attract a rather small audience. Few may read it from cover to cover. I certainly could not!
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VINE VOICEon 19 October 2012
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have tried very hard with this book, I desperately want to know about modern China - but a month in and barely past the second chapter I have given up - it is just too boring.
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