Becoming China: The Story Behind the State (Paperback)Jeanne-Marie Gescher (author)
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 784
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm
For the first time, a history of China that tells you why it thinks and acts the way it does. Jeanne-Marie Gescher has lived for 25 years in China with open eyes and an inquiring mind, and shows how its history, politics and culture are far more exciting and revealing than most of us steeped in its various cliches understand. China's image of itself and its relations with the outside world derive neither from mysterious aphorisms nor 60 years of eccentric communism, but from a rich and diverse history, including that of the last 100 years. It is a story which has been largely overlooked in the rush to preach to it or make money from it. In truth, you can achieve little in China today without some understanding of its extraordinary past. Gescher's recommendations for the way forward should be read by everyone who cares about the fundamental questions raised by China's reemergence as a global power." -- Richard Spencer Former China bureau chief, Daily Telegraph
If you can only read one book on China this year, read this. If you have time to finish two, read Hank Paulson's as well-but read All Under Heaven first. -- Peter Wheeler Former Goldman Sachs partner (and first Chief Representative in Beijing)
If China is the heavenly empire, then Jeanne-Marie Gescher is an enlightened prophet who transports us from an ancient splendour to the tumultuous realities of China today, offering deep knowledge and sparkling insights every step of the way. -- James L. McGregor Author of the best-selling One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China, former CEO of Dow Jones & Company in China and Wall Street Journal Bureau Chief in China and Taiwan
This is a magisterial book about China: but also about what it is to be human on a planet approaching nine billion people. Jeanne-Marie brings to her subject the gifts of empathy, integrity and knowledge, which she so powerfully discusses. She also brings the energy and enthusiasm which those of us privileged to have heard her speak, know that she has for understanding China and the world. -- Professor David Grayson CBE, director, the Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility, Cranfield University School of Management.
As business and policy communities urgently search for frameworks to understand and address the rise of China, the market lacks overviews of its political and intellectual makeup that are elegant and visionary, yet disabused. Years ago, Martin Jacques wrote a bestseller on China from the outside, When China Rules the World. Gescher's All Under Heavenis China written from the inside. No book delivers for this demanding audience as thoroughly as this. Sacrificing neither complexity nor readability, this important book illuminates the ancestry of key assumptions currently at work in policymaking and institution-building. All whose work requires critical China understanding will be grateful to Gescher for lighting their way. -- David Kelly Visiting professor at Peking University's Institute of Sociology and Anthropology, co-founder and research director, China Policy
A page-turning work of genius and originality: the history of a great and brilliant people, and the anatomy of China's soul -- OBE, China businessman, author of the Chinese best-seller The Emperor's Bones
Epic in its scope, Jeanne-Marie Gescher's original, insightful and absorbing book will change the way readers understand China, linking earliest times to the present. She explores how history, myth, politics and the imagination have shaped the Chinese understanding of order, and leads the reader through the complex questions of what and whom the Chinese idea encompasses-and who is excluded. If there is one China book to read this year, this is it. -- Isabel Hilton Founding editor, China Dialogue
Far too much comment about China starts with the prior thesis that China is either saviour of the world economic system or a disaster waiting to happen. Far too many books assume that modern China's story begins with Deng Xiaoping in 1978 or perhaps as far back as liberation in 1949. In contrast, in All Under Heaven, Jeanne Marie Gescher has written a book which explores China through the stories Chinese people tell of themselves; looks at the key questions about China's future and its impact on the rest of us from the perspective of those people and thinks about China, as many Chinese themselves do, across the span of 5000 years not 50. The result is a profoundly optimistic book about China and one which talks about China in very different, very human terms. This book is critically important in helping business and political leaders think about China, its future and how it will affect us in technicolour not in the black and white we are used to. -- Sir Martin Davidson Chairman, Great Britain China Centre, formerly, Chief Executive, The British Council
All Under Heaven is a tour de force that succeeds brilliantly in opening up this most complex of countries. -- Paul Fletcher Chairman, Actis
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