File Size: 3030 KB
Print Length: 417 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (May 13, 2014)
Publication Date: May 13, 2014
This book strikes an unusual balance. It's a very absorbing read, and the multiple story-lines are impressively woven together, without any of the stitches showing. The people Osnos writes about run the gamut from a public figure like Lin Yifu (the World Bank economist who defected to mainland China from Taiwan in 1979) to an obscure figure like Michael Zhang, a young energetic optimist whom Osnos first meets at a Ridiculous English conference and then follows for a few years. (Zhang turns into one of the most interesting characters in the publication. )
Osnos tells all these individual stories from the backdrop of most of the main events in China of the last five years: the violence in Xinjiang, the Liu Xiaobo frenzy, the " Jasmine" activities of 2011, Ai Weiwei's ordeal, the flight of Chen Guangcheng, the Bo Xilai scandal, the topic train crash, and so on. You learn a great deal about all these events, but the publication is anchored in the very humane profiles of individual Chinese that are seeking to make their lives better., Age of aspirations is a highly helpful entertaining and educational book about life in modern The far east. Having occupied China for almost a decade and being highly conversant in the language, osnos was able to look into the structure of the culture far more than any tourist could hope to imagine. My wife and I recently had the chance to visit China for around a month this past spring. It absolutely was a fascinating trip and an actual eye-opener for us because we grew up at the height of the Cool War between communism and American capitalism. Wewere raised with a lot of stereotypes! Had I read Osnos' book before my trip, I might've critically considered not going at all.
I typically may even like biographies at all but reading about different individuals and their reports we were young and surviving in The far east turned into really fascinating. Just what starts out as an interesting read gets progressively darker and darker as Osnos exposes the corruption and empty materialism and, uncontrolled capitalism of Chinese society. What struck me as a visitor was that the government was simply buying everybody's peace and peaceful by providing these this much material goods as they could possibly take in. Are we really all that different? In many respects, which the very essence with this book, at least for me personally. at the very the very least for anybody enthusiastic about world affairs and the express of American society this book is certainly really worth a read., I've read Osnos' work in The New Yorker, and have enjoyed his reporting and writing. It was a pleasure to read his personal activities in The far east. His insights and observations are on-point, and provide insight into this nation of amazing accomplishments., Age of Ambition won the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2014, and no wonder. Nothing I have read about the rise of China for many years has immersed me personally so deeply into the texture of life in that country or more memorably portrayed its yawning contradictions.
Twenty years back, the extraordinary husband-and-wife confirming team of Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn posted China Wakes: The Challenge for the Soul of a Rising Power. According to five years of work in China — they won the Pulitzer for their reporting on the Tiananmen Square massacre — China Wakes introduced United states readers to the dynamism and the clashing contradictions unleashed a decade . 5 earlier by the monetary reforms of Deng Xiaoping. Now, two decades further on, Evan Osnos adroitly updates the story with Age of Ambition.
Osnos brings to bear the insight that comes only with extended experience and facility with the terminology in an alien culture, the sort of understanding that no reader can discover from the daily reports, no matter how deeply reported. “The Party experienced always prided itself on articulating the ‘central melody’ of Chinese life, ” Osnos writes, in a perfect example of this insight, “but as the years passed, the Party’s rendition of that melody appeared increasingly out of tune with the cacophony and improvisation setting up all around it. It was impossible to really know what ‘most Chinese’ believed because the express media and the political system were designed not to amplify public view but to impose a condition on it. Nationalism, like any other note in the melody, might surge to the surface at just a minute and fade into the background at another, but was it the mainstream view? The nationalists didn’t think so. ”
Osnos focuses his penetrating repertorial eye on ten or a dozen main figures whose reports resume from time to time through the pages of this brilliant study of modern day China. The heroic young captain in the Taiwanese Army who defects to the Landmass and later — much later — becomes one of the country’s most celebrated economists, garnering the job of chief economist at the World Bank. The self-promoting English teacher who builds a nationwide grownup education empire based on urging his students to shout English at the top of their lungs. A Ph. D. prospect in philosophy at a leading university who spearheads an ultranationalist campaign online. The sad story of the driven railroad man who rises to preside over one of the most corrupt ministries in a country of legendary problem, building China’s network of high-speed trains along the way — and is almost performed for his achievements. These and so many other fascinating characters bring the reality of present-day The far east to life in ways that episodic journalistic reviews so rarely can. Evan Osnos knows his subject matter, and he follows them for years. Read Age of Ambition, and you’ll get to know them, too.
Still shy of 40, Evan Osnos reported from China for that New Yorker from 2008 to 2013. Earlier, as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, he was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. Age of Ambition is his first book.
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