The China Fantasy

  • by James Mann
  • Narrated by Jeff Riggenbach
  • 4 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Does America's policy toward China make sense? In this vigorous look at China's political evolution and its future, James Mann explores two scenarios popular among our policy elite: The "soothing scenario" foresees the gradual spread of democracy and human rights. In the "upheaval scenario", the contradictions in Chinese society between rich and poor and between the openness of the economy and the unyielding Leninist system will eventually lead to a revolution, chaos, or collapse. Mann poses a third scenario: What will happen if Chinese capitalism continues to evolve and expand, but the government fails to liberalize? And why should this matter to Americans? Mann explores this possibility and offers a startling vision of our future with China that will have a profound impact for decades to come.


What the Critics Say

"Like all good polemics, this one raises more questions than it answers....Is there no possibility of the Chinese middle classes, or at least part of them, joining forces with the country's long-suffering peasants to push for greater democracy? We will have to wait and see, but, in the meantime, Mann has done a fine job of making sure that we won't do so complacently." (The Washington Post's Book World)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Over Simplified

When you write a book like this you have to be cautious. It is easy to get too detailed, but you have to do a lot of heavy theoretical, historical, and cultural lifting. After about the first thirty minutes I was left with the impression that the author either didn't do the requisite research or was simply writing from his own myopic view point. This will never cut mustard in the academic word and I am not sure how it got through as a popular read, perhaps the title.
The main issue I have is the idea that the author lacks a complete understanding of evolutionary processes involved in economic growth and political development. He assumes that because China's growth is focused on the east coast sea trade that the interior of the country, where most of the peasant farmers are located, that the growth will not stretch westward. He doesn't seem to take into account that as economic development improves that the infrastructure on the interior will necessarily improve thus spreading growth and quickening communication and the transport of ideas. The concept is much too much to try and explain in this review, but, like this book, the tip of the iceberg has been offered in a nearly useless over simplification.
Note to the narrator, if you are going to say Chinese words and names at least pronounce them properly.
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- Elton

Great Overview of Chain on the Rise!

I have read several books lately on China and it's oncoming economic might. It's true, and this book does a really good job helping us to understand that.
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- James

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-16-2007
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.