Neither alarmist nor apologist, one of the clearest and most enjoyable accounts of China currently available.

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POSTCARDS FROM TOMORROW SQUARE

REPORTS FROM CHINA

Dispatches from Atlantic Monthly national correspondent Fallows (Blind Into Baghdad: America’s War in Iraq, 2006, etc.) capture with clarity and humor the present and future of the country that could be the next world superpower.

China is in the midst of an astonishing economic boom that is fantastically anarchic, despite the heavy-handed political controls of the Communist Party. Those who are young, smart and ambitious, writes the author, can seize unprecedented opportunities for wealth and success. A popular reality-TV show, Win in China (loosely based on Donald Trump’s The Apprentice), which has would-be entrepreneurs competing for a million dollars in seed money, conveys the message that anyone might have such chances. Fallows profiles visionary billionaire technology whiz kids who have created entire cities to house their production facilities. He travels to the Pearl River Delta in southern China, where factories the size of airports employ, feed and house as many as 250,000 workers, and five factories turn out 90 percent of the laptops sold by “competing” Western companies. At the local Sheraton, Fallows details the delicate dance between Western company representatives who want to set up production in China and expatriate middlemen who locate the factories they need. He also offers sober analysis of China’s dire environmental state, as well as a moving and enlightening portrait of earthquake-ravaged western Sichuan. Finally, amidst the cacophony of Chinese productivity, Fallows pauses to consider what it all means to the United States. China is simply too busy to be a political or military threat, he concludes. If our economic relations with this powerhouse leave us worried and uneasy, he notes, that is not China’s concern but our own. It is our responsibility to learn how to compete successfully in the new economic order it exemplifies.

Neither alarmist nor apologist, one of the clearest and most enjoyable accounts of China currently available.

Pub Date: Jan. 6, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-307-45624-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Vintage

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2008

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

NIGHT

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

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A sleek, vital history that effectively shows how, “from the outset, inequality was enforced with the whip, the gun, and the...

AN AFRICAN AMERICAN AND LATINX HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

A concise, alternate history of the United States “about how people across the hemisphere wove together antislavery, anticolonial, pro-freedom, and pro-working-class movements against tremendous obstacles.”

In the latest in the publisher’s ReVisioning American History series, Ortiz (History/Univ. of Florida; Emancipation Betrayed: The Hidden History of Black Organizing and White Violence in Florida from Reconstruction to the Bloody Election of 1920, 2005, etc.) examines U.S. history through the lens of African-American and Latinx activists. Much of the American history taught in schools is limited to white America, leaving out the impact of non-European immigrants and indigenous peoples. The author corrects that error in a thorough look at the debt of gratitude we owe to the Haitian Revolution, the Mexican War of Independence, and the Cuban War of Independence, all struggles that helped lead to social democracy. Ortiz shows the history of the workers for what it really was: a fatal intertwining of slavery, racial capitalism, and imperialism. He states that the American Revolution began as a war of independence and became a war to preserve slavery. Thus, slavery is the foundation of American prosperity. With the end of slavery, imperialist America exported segregation laws and labor discrimination abroad. As we moved into Cuba, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico, we stole their land for American corporations and used the Army to enforce draconian labor laws. This continued in the South and in California. The rise of agriculture could not have succeeded without cheap labor. Mexican workers were often preferred because, if they demanded rights, they could just be deported. Convict labor worked even better. The author points out the only way success has been gained is by organizing; a great example was the “Day without Immigrants” in 2006. Of course, as Ortiz rightly notes, much more work is necessary, especially since Jim Crow and Juan Crow are resurging as each political gain is met with “legal” countermeasures.

A sleek, vital history that effectively shows how, “from the outset, inequality was enforced with the whip, the gun, and the United States Constitution.”

Pub Date: Jan. 30, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8070-1310-6

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Beacon

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

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