This book was assigned reading for me in a graduate-level Chinese foreign relations class. I didn’t expect much going in, but I was pleasantly surprised, both with the level of analysis offered by Jacques and with the readability. Like many students, I’ve been inundated for years with wordy scholarly pieces that make little sense to my homework-addled mind, but this book was actually fun to read, exciting and interesting with each turn of the page. It made me interested to learn more about China and its growth in the international arena. It’s by no means perfect (hence the 4 stars) but as a student looking for something exciting and new, it filled the bill.
Where it loses a star, though, is the fact that some of the offered analysis doesn’t seem entirely factual, more like opinion based on here say you might say. It doesn’t add up to create a truth, it’s just something Jacques threw in. From other reviews on Amazon I’ve learned more about Jacques and the basis behind his writing and pursuits, which could potentially lead me to my conclusion that bits were led more by his political leanings than by actual evidence. However, it did present a different viewpoint on the issue, and there is plenty of interesting facts and backed evidence. My professor seemed to be a big fan of this work, so maybe I’m a bit off.
Among all my mandatory reads for grad school, this was probably one of my favorites. While not entirely believable at times, it creates an interesting and engrossing look at the rise of China in the international arena.