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The Contest of the Century: The New Era of Competition with China--and How America Can Win
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The Contest of the Century: The New Era of Competition with China--and How America Can Win

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  47 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
From the former Financial Times Beijing bureau chief, a balanced and far-seeing analysis of the emerging competition between China and the United States that will dominate twenty-first-century world affairs—an inside account of Beijing’s quest for influence and an explanation of how America can come out on top.

The structure of global politics is shifting rapidly. After de
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published February 4th 2014 by Knopf (first published January 1st 2014)
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Michael Gerald Dealino
Dec 29, 2014 Michael Gerald Dealino rated it really liked it
A rational, updated, and sober take on the so-called emerging power that is China, this book tells what I already know about China: hubris. From the apocryphal tale of a 15th century Chinese admiral that sailed around Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean in a version of imperialism that predated the European ones, to its fragile nationalism/jingoism that glosses over its own faults and excesses like its own people's plundering of its cultural treasures and Mao's Famine of the 1960s. It is all abo ...more
Andrew Carr
Jun 08, 2014 Andrew Carr rated it liked it
In the latest edition of good books with terrible titles, the final subtitle "And How America can Win", doesn't appear in the British version of this book.

I'm glad it doesn't as that kind of shlocky title just takes away the credibility from what is otherwise a very sensible, if straight forward reading of the current US-China relationship and regional competition. This is not a book proposing simple solutions, in fact the strength of it is Dyer doesn't attempt to divine an 'iron logic of strat
May 19, 2014 Robert rated it liked it
The Contest of the Century––U.S. vs. China by journalist Geoff Dyer is a well-written, interesting book about a somewhat imaginary subject.
As humans, we are given to fallacies. One of our fallacies is to think that the way we conceptualize the world is how the world “is.” That fallacy leads to the tired, smug saying, “Perception is reality.”
Not so within the scope of history. By twisting and turning, many writers on the U.S. and China find ways to link them, sometimes fatally. We read that C
Jun 02, 2015 Larry rated it really liked it
Despite the unfortunate, almost shrill subtitle, "How America Can Win" (tacked on to the US edition only), Dyer presents a well-balanced picture of the current state of China's international political and economic ambitions. Dyer really gets China, and for the most part keeps his own biases in check. In fact, the "how America can win" part is limited to the last six pages of the penultimate chapter, arguably the weakest six pages in the book, which I wonder were also hastily penned for American ...more
Scott Laws
Dec 07, 2014 Scott Laws rated it liked it
A few observations:

The content is less pulpy than the title would suggest.

Because of Geoff Dyer's background as a novelist and literary critic, I felt his writing style was more enjoyable and easily digestible than the typical observer of Sino-US power relations.

Dyer does seem to get below the usual predictions of US decline/Chinese rise and touch on a lot of the meat of real shifts in Sino-US power relations. Each of his chapters could be fleshed out into entire books in themselves. Altogether,
Mar 19, 2014 Richard rated it liked it
A few odd bits of information and facts that I didn't know, other than that a lot of 'regurgitated' stuff. Almost seems like China bashing from a pommey who are well known for their "kindness and generosity" in colonizing 25% of the world population at the turn of the 20th century. If we can't colonize the yanks, then we'll get in bed w/ them philosophy. Bush and Blair are secret lovers...
Aug 25, 2014 Tobias rated it really liked it
Well-written, subtle account of Asia and the rise of China. Far superior to Robert Kaplan's 'Asia's Cauldron,' which covers some of the same ground. Steers clear of fearmongering and is driven by an interest in the intellectual underpinnings of China's rise.
Well-written, straightforwardly descriptive account of the great power rivalry between the US and PRC. It covers naval strategy (including Mahan), diplomacy, soft power and financial issues but rarely rises above the level of newspaper op-ed.
Joc Tay
Apr 23, 2015 Joc Tay rated it it was amazing
This has been a really good introduction to geopolitics through an in-depth analysis of China's ambitions versus American apprehension. From the importance of military power projection to nationalist fervency in influencing party decisions, and to the irony in establishing a reserve currency in renminbi, the author has been immensely persuasive in his erudite and well researched arguments. Must read for anyone who wants to understand today's and tomorrow's headline news.
Scott Richardson
Dec 07, 2015 Scott Richardson rated it really liked it
Very good overview of current topics in U.S.-China rivalry.
May 21, 2015 Giulia rated it really liked it
A very interesting and relevant book. Enjoyed reading it, great anecdotes and insight, but 'How America can Win'? Didn't appreciate that. It gave sound advice but that's it.
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