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The Writing on the Wall: Why We Must Embrace China as a Partner or Face It as an Enemy

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  109 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
The prevailing view of China is that the country is an economic juggernaut sure to become the dominant power of the twenty-first century. In this provocative and stimulating book critically acclaimed author Will Hutton warns instead that China is running up against a set of daunting challenges from within its own political and economic system that could well derail its ris ...more
ebook, 432 pages
Published November 14th 2006 by Free Press
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Mike Wigal
Dec 21, 2014 Mike Wigal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slightly dated since it was written before the Great Recession. Would be interested in Hutton's thoughts since then. This is actually two books. The first half focuses on China. The second on the US and the West. Having spent a considerable amount of time in China (and of course the US where I live) I found it spot on.
Nov 29, 2015 Phil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The subtitle to this book is a little misleading: although it contains excellent background to the rise of China as a global economic power, it is at least as much about the United States as it is the so-called People's Republic.

Although the Chinese history and economic analysis is detailed and compelling, and the international context necessary and well set out - particularly Hutton's central argument that effective capitalism depends on a network of preexisting civil society institutions whic
Nov 02, 2011 Andreww rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review of Writing On The Wall by Will Hutton
Published: 10 Jan 2008 by Century

Will Hutton is always so incisive, a clever guy but also - although I’ve never met him - seemingly, a nice one. A cuddly economist, I’d venture, tackling complex subjects with a sense we’ll stay with him and can get it but also with the emphasis on social justice. He speaks openly and simply about complex ideas. The prospect of an exploration of China’s rise and rise plus a look at the economics of its future was very i
David Cheshire
Apr 10, 2012 David Cheshire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is not about China. Or rather, not just. Several brilliant chapters chart US development and also develop "Huttonism". Basically this is the notion that in the development of capitalism, free markets need more than just markets to work properly. Indeed they need "countervailing" institutions like a free press and anti-market fixing regulation to make them truly "free." Hutton calls these "Enlightenment beliefs", his point being that China lacks them; but without them its so-far spectac ...more
Jul 18, 2012 Si rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Educational read.

Focuses a lot less on China than I would have thought.

He takes the reader through the history of China over the last few centuries, from Confusianism, the Qin dynasty and colonial rule, through to communist rule.

He discusses the difficulties that lie ahead for China, politically, but more so economically, describing the current set up, how so much GDP is due to western companies constructing stuff there, rather than Chinese companies innovating, how state owned enterprises rule
James Stewart
Reading the introductory first chapter I was worried that Hutton's reputation for careful analysis may have left him, as he appeared to offer an overly simple thesis and an embrace of the United States' system of government that was too uncritcal.

Thankfully that chapter is misleading as Hutton leads his readers through a detailed analysis of China's economy that is equal parts illuminating and disturbing, and begins to build explanation on his desire to see US-style enlightenment institutions de
Socialist Party Councillor Stephen Jolly reviews Will Hutton’s new book on China…

British economist Will Hutton’s new book The Writing on the Wall: China and the West in the 21st Century is a cold shower to those who think that country will be an ever-ending and ever-growing source of profits; is fundamentally capitalist; and has a fast diminishing Communist Party (CP) government control over the economy.

For rest of review go to: http://www.socialistpartyaustralia.or...
Sep 08, 2008 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting anecdotes and a uniquely critical analysis of China's rise up to the present and into the future.

Hutton's book is strongest in the opening chapters where it identifies key stories in the evolution of China since Mao. The book benefits tremendously from an unending supply of counter-intuitive statistics and insights.

However, half way through the focus shifts onto the United States (and Britain to a lesser extent). These chapters drag a little and say nothing new.

Overall Hutton's
Richard O'Brien
An informative read on chinese economics and their relationship with the rest of the world.

Full of data and facts which I found really enlightening. After finishing, it left me feeling really postive & optimistic for the future of our planet.

A recommended read to all world leaders especally to Presidents Barack & Hu
Feb 24, 2008 Alexis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I saw this book in the Hong Kong airport and decided I had to read it. It's basically an analysis of the economic systems of the United States and China, and the history and development of the two nations. I only absorbed about half of it because it's very technical, but I still think it was worth reading.
Brendan Nee
The first half of the book is a good overview of Chinese history and culture as it relates to its current status with the US. It suggests that China is facing large internal problems and the fears that many in the US of China "stealing" jobs" it are not likely to be realized. The last half of the book doesn't really address the first half and almost seems like it was written separately.
Apr 25, 2007 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very accessible book about the current state of China. It's a bit America-heavy, but it makes sense because he's talking a lot about the global balance of power and China-America is the relationship everyone's looking at.
Alistair Rae
May 16, 2009 Alistair Rae is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
This guy's writing is like a laser it cuts out all the waffle and the result adds real knowledge to the truth seeker.This is an important book and a must read for anyone interested in their world
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