Of much interest to students of international trade, geopolitical strategy, and global economic trends.



A gimlet-eyed look at an economic miracle that may not be so miraculous after all.

China’s economic transformation since the death of Mao Zedong may be impressive. However, writes Roberts, who was a Beijing-based economics and business reporter for more than 20 years, it is incomplete, and inequality reigns. One element has been the termination of the agricultural communes of old in favor of private ownership of land, but in many instances, the effect was that farmers gave up their plots in order to move to the city and its greater opportunities. The government’s response, belatedly, was to impose controls on internal migration, meaning, in effect, that many Chinese were “illegal aliens” in their own country. Now that many farmers have left the city and returned to the countryside, it has “become apparent how much the cities and their urban residents had depended on them as restaurant cooks, waiters, and dishwashers, delivery people, drivers of Didi Chuxing (China’s version of Uber), proprietors of small shops and hairdressers, and household cleaners and nannies.” At issue is how those millions of people will make a living back home; so, too, is how money is distributed in China’s evolving financial system. Most credit is extended to state-owned enterprises, Roberts writes, crowding out private entrepreneurs. Indeed, even though government policy remains a variant on the “it’s a good thing to grow rich” slogans of old, self-employment is increasingly difficult, and the Chinese version of the “gig economy” seems to be rapidly failing. Deng Xiaoping’s version of trickle-down economics, with residents of the coasts becoming prosperous first and then people in the distant interiors following suit afterward, has not worked, either. The author concludes by noting that while the Chinese government has been able to take credit for the comparative economic successes of the past few decades, it is also vulnerable to attack “for misrule when living standards deteriorate,” to which the inevitable response will be more repression, not more economic freedom.

Of much interest to students of international trade, geopolitical strategy, and global economic trends.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-08937-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?


Bernstein and Woodward, the two Washington Post journalists who broke the Big Story, tell how they did it by old fashioned seat-of-the-pants reporting — in other words, lots of intuition and a thick stack of phone numbers. They've saved a few scoops for the occasion, the biggest being the name of their early inside source, the "sacrificial lamb" H**h Sl**n. But Washingtonians who talked will be most surprised by the admission that their rumored contacts in the FBI and elsewhere never existed; many who were telephoned for "confirmation" were revealing more than they realized. The real drama, and there's plenty of it, lies in the private-eye tactics employed by Bernstein and Woodward (they refer to themselves in the third person, strictly on a last name basis). The centerpiece of their own covert operation was an unnamed high government source they call Deep Throat, with whom Woodward arranged secret meetings by positioning the potted palm on his balcony and through codes scribbled in his morning newspaper. Woodward's wee hours meetings with Deep Throat in an underground parking garage are sheer cinema: we can just see Robert Redford (it has to be Robert Redford) watching warily for muggers and stubbing out endless cigarettes while Deep Throat spills the inside dope about the plumbers. Then too, they amass enough seamy detail to fascinate even the most avid Watergate wallower — what a drunken and abusive Mitchell threatened to do to Post publisher Katherine Graham's tit, and more on the Segretti connection — including the activities of a USC campus political group known as the Ratfuckers whose former members served as a recruiting pool for the Nixon White House. As the scandal goes public and out of their hands Bernstein and Woodward seem as stunned as the rest of us at where their search for the "head ratfucker" has led. You have to agree with what their City Editor Barry Sussman realized way back in the beginning — "We've never had a story like this. Just never."

Pub Date: June 18, 1974

ISBN: 0671894412

Page Count: 372

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1974

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet