The specter of Chinese dominance, McMahon writes, is less daunting than the likelihood of the Chinese economy’s failure. Of...

CHINA'S GREAT WALL OF DEBT

SHADOW BANKS, GHOST CITIES, MASSIVE LOANS, AND THE END OF THE CHINESE MIRACLE

China is poised to overtake the United States, and the rest of the developed world, economically by the year 2030. Or is it? To gauge by this account, Western capitalists can breathe a little easier.

Business journalist McMahon, a longtime China reporter for the Wall Street Journal and current fellow at the Paulson Institute, contends that for all the anti-corruption rhetoric of the Xi Jinping government, corruption is still rampant, adding burdens to an economy already bound by strains of command-economy socialism, free-market capitalism, crony capitalism, and state capitalism, all designations that fail “to sufficiently describe the nature of the Chinese economy.” Suffice it to say that nothing is as it seems: the data are fudged, the numbers untrustworthy and incomplete, and while the government presence is inescapable, there is evidently little coordination among the sectors. One thing that all seem to agree on is that growth is of paramount importance, even if demand does not always approach considerations of supply. For that reason, China has too many industrial facilities, for instance, and too many “shadow cities” and empty housing developments. Even so, McMahon writes, the Chinese government is planning to grow its way out of current problems, including massive, underreported debt, whether through supply-side reforms and expansion into new areas of economic activity or falling by old standbys. The old ones certainly seem not to be working. By the author’s account, consumer dissatisfaction is high, and all the more so the dissatisfaction of investors in failed sectors. If China fails to build its economy and become truly wealthy, he notes, then demographic pressures caused by an aging population will mean that the “nation’s ambitions of national rejuvenation will be postponed for at least another generation.”

The specter of Chinese dominance, McMahon writes, is less daunting than the likelihood of the Chinese economy’s failure. Of considerable interest, especially to investors in the Chinese market.

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-328-84601-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: Jan. 9, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN

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

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This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

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BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME

NOTES ON THE FIRST 150 YEARS IN AMERICA

The powerful story of a father’s past and a son’s future.

Atlantic senior writer Coates (The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, 2008) offers this eloquent memoir as a letter to his teenage son, bearing witness to his own experiences and conveying passionate hopes for his son’s life. “I am wounded,” he writes. “I am marked by old codes, which shielded me in one world and then chained me in the next.” Coates grew up in the tough neighborhood of West Baltimore, beaten into obedience by his father. “I was a capable boy, intelligent and well-liked,” he remembers, “but powerfully afraid.” His life changed dramatically at Howard University, where his father taught and from which several siblings graduated. Howard, he writes, “had always been one of the most critical gathering posts for black people.” He calls it The Mecca, and its faculty and his fellow students expanded his horizons, helping him to understand “that the black world was its own thing, more than a photo-negative of the people who believe they are white.” Coates refers repeatedly to whites’ insistence on their exclusive racial identity; he realizes now “that nothing so essentialist as race” divides people, but rather “the actual injury done by people intent on naming us, intent on believing that what they have named matters more than anything we could ever actually do.” After he married, the author’s world widened again in New York, and later in Paris, where he finally felt extricated from white America’s exploitative, consumerist dreams. He came to understand that “race” does not fully explain “the breach between the world and me,” yet race exerts a crucial force, and young blacks like his son are vulnerable and endangered by “majoritarian bandits.” Coates desperately wants his son to be able to live “apart from fear—even apart from me.”

This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

Pub Date: July 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8129-9354-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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