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Tide Players: The Movers and Shakers of a Rising China
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Tide Players: The Movers and Shakers of a Rising China

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  124 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
In Tide Players, acclaimed New Yorker contributor and author Jianying Zha depicts a new generation of movers and shakers who are transforming modern China. Through half a dozen sharply etched and nuanced profiles, Tide Players captures both the concrete detail and the epic dimension of life in the world’s fastest-growing economy.

Zha’s vivid cast of characters includes an u
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by The New Press (first published February 10th 2011)
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Jan 08, 2012 Linda rated it really liked it
Like Zha Jianying's earlier book, China Pop, Tide Players is a terrific, nuanced and thoughtful collection of essays that centre on some of the major personalities and cultural phenomenon of China today. Zha, who moves between the two worlds of the US and China (mainly her hometown of Beijing) is a perceptive and thoughtful observer whose best profiles are of people she's known over many years. My favourite chapters in this book are the final two: Enemy of the State, about her dissident brother, ...more
Sep 07, 2011 Ben rated it really liked it
It is easy to make sweeping generalizations about China, and almost all articles and books about it start with them: China's economy is growing by X percent, China is a police state, China is the next hegemony, etc. What is often lost in these books are the men and women who are shaping China. In this short book, Zha profiles several people who are shaping China's economy, culture, and political situation. She looks at how a few moguls made their fortune, writers and dissidents who are sorting o ...more
Usman Chohan
Jul 12, 2014 Usman Chohan rated it did not like it
1) The reading was going so well, until she had to say "Beida" (her alma mater) was the best university in China, instead of Tsinghua. Book Summarily Dismissed!

2) There isn't anything new in this book for someone who has spent even six months in China. No deeper investigations - just an exercise in basic reporting.
Jan 21, 2012 Steve rated it really liked it
A good, nuanced account from an elite, 'Beida' insider from a generation that is now largely in power and whose lives and paths were tempered during the exciting and ultimately explosive 80's in China. I just wonder to what degree many of these insiders, whom the author knows well - some alienated in prison staying resolute to ideals that have been transplanted by the general consumerism in China today, or those absorbed by that great rush of commerce over the past two decades - are really the m ...more
Jun 21, 2015 Alice rated it it was amazing
Very interesting book on contemporary China and people we never hear about.
William Shoemaker
Zha's writing is a tad cloying at times, and she uses way too many exclamation points; but it's fascinating to get an "insider's" look at some stories about China from the past decade. I will also say that she seems pretty unscrupulous and she always talks about how much money someone has with barely hidden admiration; she tends to fawn over characters who are probably much more despicable than she makes them out to be.
Feb 28, 2012 Meish rated it really liked it
A very thoughtful exploration of modern-day China and those entrepreneurs and intellectuals who live and breath through the the country's complex social, economic, political, and cultural fabric. Great insight into the culture and development of the country post-Mao. The essay on the author's brother, a political prisoner for 9 years, was especially moving for me.
Apr 14, 2015 Tony rated it liked it
An interesting set of portraits, but a bit credulous about the conduct of billionaires in a land of flexible laws. Also displays the nation-straddling semi-liberalism so common among Chines academics, lightly chiding the regime while supporting its view of the country and its prescription for only gradual (and government-managed) change.
Sep 20, 2013 Tony rated it really liked it
Tide Players by Zha Jianying. A great book on the changes of Chinese economy and society. It captures the complexities of modern China with a shrewd microscopic perspective. The common mistakes of sweeping generalization and orientalism are not seen in this book. (Waaaaay better than Mr.Yu Hua's disappointing flop "China in 10 words")
Oct 29, 2013 Xiaoran rated it really liked it
Is it fair to ask for more illuminating opinions beyond all these materials Zha collected from her amazingly broad connections...?
Sep 03, 2012 Patty rated it liked it
Shelves: history-and-bio
Better if you are an insider and China scholar, interested in the messy arcane politics of Chinese intellectuals and dissidents.
May 05, 2012 Marilyn rated it really liked it
Excellent view into China yesterday, today and beyond--highly recommended!
Christine Nie
Jul 28, 2012 Christine Nie rated it really liked it
Good way to understand modern China, even/especially for a Chinese.
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