Tiger Head, Snake Tails: China today, how it got there and why it has to change
A little difficult a first, feeling like one sentence links yet another easily found statistic via google, it isn't until you hit about Chapter 4 that Fenby's main ideas start to hit home. Easily manages the history of the region amidst quintessential and informative anecdotes, backed by loads of economic information. Especially noteworthy for his academic courage: when most in academia tend to get the PRC horribly wrong or clad in their Sinophile goggles, endlessly pra ...more
The trouble is, this can sometimes be too much of a good thing. After a couple of chapters, I realised that while every page was in ...more
The task he has taken on, however, does run the risk of drowning the reader in statistics and anecdotes explaining China’s progression to world power status.
The book opens with a chronicling of the recent explosive growth that China has experienced and the way that it has been seen by the outside world. It sets the reader up for ...more
Tiger Head, Snake Tails is an overview of the nation by a former journalist. I thought the book was well-written, but sometimes the vastness of the subject became overwhelming. Fenby covers such topics as the current political leaders, the political culture that current leadership inherited from the imperial dynasties, the relationship between the population and the political leaders, China's foriegn policy, the uneasy relationships between the larger ethnic minorities, caused to the natural en...more
In this ambitious work, Jonathan Fenby proves himself once again, a writer unafraid to take on massive subjects. From a point in time when China stood on the verge of its generational change of leadership in 2012, Fenby takes an in depth snapshot of where China is, how it got there and where it is going. In so doing, he gives us a superb analysis which dives deeply into the complexities of China's political, economic, social, regional and demographic strands.
What emerges from Fenby's book is tha ...more
Tiger Head Snake Tails is a metaphorical title referring to the all powerful head of China, it's fast paced economic growth and potential for world dominance, the Tiger's head, contrasting ...more
Now, for the not-so-good. This book is so crammed full of statistics and recent events, in parts it reads more like an endless list of information than part of a wider narrative.
Ultimately though, this book works well: There is enough historical and cultural context to give lay people (such as myself) a decent understanding o ...more