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East and West: The Last Governor of Hong Kong on Power, Freedom and the Future
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East and West: The Last Governor of Hong Kong on Power, Freedom and the Future

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  127 ratings  ·  12 reviews
'Patten's East and West is a must for anyone who wants to understand the forces that will shape the world of the 21st century.' New York Times
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 10th 1999 by MacMillan General Books (first published January 1st 1998)
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A particularly fascinating read, especially when considering the current student protests happening in Hong Kong. Patten provides a unique insight into the pre-handover period and the uphill struggle of negotiating with 'Peking'. Over the course of 150 years of British rule, it wasn't until 1984 that the idea of electing a Chief Executive was spoken about. Previously the British government appointed a governor with not an ounce of democracy present. Now protestors sprawl the streets of Hong Kong ...more
While it's easy to pick faults with a book written fifteen years ago, much of what Patten writes regarding the West, Asia/China and world politics is as resounding as it was the day the ink touched the page.

His experiences dealing with China up to and during the handover are exceptionally interesting (with the Chinese basically doing a lot of backhanded stuff), however it's his opinions in the second to last chapter that really should be read by all Western people in politics.

One key message is
May 23, 2009 Ed rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in Hong Kong or Asia.
When my wife, Pam, and I first moved, more or less permanently to Hong Kong, Chris Patten was the newly appointed and last Governor. I think we both missed much of the drama that was evident in the five years he was here. We were too focused on our jobs and figuring out how to live in this incredible city.

Reading his memoir and advice, 12 years after the handover and 10 years after publication of this book, was a much needed trip down memory lane and a much needed reminder of how China operates
Great book! If you want to learn about China's development to a capitalist economy and its industrialization while navigating away from a strictly communist method while discovering the birthplace of today's Hong Kong this is a good novel to read. Powell gives historical perspective from his tenure without disrupting delicate relationships within the global Political and Religious environments.
Ten years after the Hong Kong Handover I decided to read Chris Patten’s East and West, written after he left Hong Kong in 1997. Interesting, but difficult to say whether it was good or not as it’s so dated. It felt like he was going on and on about things that were obvious, like why capitalism is superior to socialism. But this was pre-Blairism and I suppose these arguments did need to be spelt out. He’s extremely critical of China, and I do like his plainspoken style. The Tiananmen killings are ...more
Being the last govenor of Hong Kong Chis Patten is in the perfect position to analyse the way in which the Chinese govenrment functions and the way the rest of the international community kowtow's to them even while grumbling about their human rights practices. What makes this book more remarkable is that China tried to prevent it from being published by putting pressure on media groups who also wanted to break into the Chinese market. It is with great relief that it was produced as the insights ...more
Thought, at one stage, that Chris Patten may have become a leader of the Tory Party. Also thought he was a reasonable sort of bloke. But it turns out that he was pretty much like most Tories - a stuck up tosser that only cares for those with money or those making it.
Casper Gasper
the first quarter deals with patted's stint as governor of Hong Kong, and this part is indeed fascinating. the remainder of the book however deals with his political values and this is far less interesting - possibly because I completely agree with them :-)
Interesting perspective on Hong Kong during the handover period when Chris Patten - Last Governor was at the helm.

He was not the most loved fella by the Chinese at the time, but this account is worth a read.
Whilst obviously dated, I like Patten's style and his description of the political issues that he faced in his tenure was an interesting accompaniment to a trip to HK.
Probably the best book on East/West market relationships and Asian economies I will ever read. Probably the only one I will ever read too.
I wanted to like this book, but find that, surprisingly, Patten really cannot write very well.
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