Review: China Fast Forward by Bill Dodson

Dodson’s book is a bit like China itself: fast-moving, somewhat kaleidoscopic, hard to pin down, by turns baffling, frustrating and entertaining. Reading the book is a bit like watching a movie running at twice or four times its normal speed—it is sometimes a bit jerky, but fast-paced and often entertaining.

Despite writing a book filled with often searing criticism, Dodson dearly hopes that China will somehow pull it off… yet despairs that it won’t. This is a rapidly-paced, even scattershot book, more of a quick tour than an in-depth visit. For anyone familiar with China, most of these arguments will not be new. For anyone who knows less about China or who thinks that China’s rise is unstoppable, there is much here to recommend.

This review was originally published in the Asian Review of Books. Can be accessed here

From Red to Black: Can China Turn Green?

The following is a review of When a Billion Chinese Jump: How China Will Save Mankind – Or Destroy It, by Johnathan Watts.

Jonathan Watts (華衷) is a self-confessed worrier. When he was a child there was a popular urban myth in the West that if China’s one billion people all jumped at exactly the same time, it would “shake the earth off its axis and destroy us all.” For some time, the young Watts’ bedtime prayers ended by asking God to “help all the poor and hungry people, and please make sure everyone in China doesn’t jump at the same time.”

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