This was a very good introduction to the country of China. If you all you know about China is that they are Communists and big, then you really need to read this book. The author delivers on a big challenge: presenting a primer on Chinese history and culture that is accessible and concise. I think he achieves that pretty well. You get the key points of Chinese culture and history, and you will certainly feel like you learned something by the end of the book. The strength of the book lies in the fact that the author clearly strives to be objective. The best part, for me at least, is when he goes over the similarities between the United States and China. He is basically showing readers that while the nations are different, they also have many things in common. This book is definitely a must-read if you want to learn more on this topic. And given China's ascendancy in the world, what we may hear in the news (truth or speculation), this book goes a long way to put things in context.
Oxford so far is doing a good job in this series. The one on Cuba I read (which is reviewed here on GR too) is also excellent. These are books that as a librarian I would not hesitate to recommend to readers wanting to learn more on a topic.