China's Megatrends: The 8 Pillars of a New Society

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Overview

A groundbreaking look at a new social-political model on the rise

John and Doris Naisbitt, longtime China observers, provide an in-depth study of the fundamental changes in China's social, political, and economic life, and their impact on the West.

With extraordinary access, and using the same techniques behind John Naisbitt's international bestseller Megatrends, the Naisbitts have traveled the country, interviewing journalists, entrepreneurs, academics, politicians, artists, dissidents, and expatriates. With the help of twenty-eight staff members of the Naisbitt China Institute in Tianjin, they have monitored local newspapers in all of China's provinces to identify the evolving perspectives and deep forces underlying China's transformation. Their research reveals that China is not only undergoing fundamental changes but also creating an entirely new social and economic model—what the Naisbitts call a "vertical democracy"—that is changing the rules of global trade and challenging Western democracy as the only acceptable form of governing.

The Naisbitts have identified 8 pillars as the foundation and drivers of China's new society:

  • Emancipation of the Mind
  • Balancing Top-Down and Bottom-Up
  • Framing the Forest and Letting the Trees Grow
  • Crossing the River by Feeling the Stones
  • Artistic and Intellectual Ferment
  • Joining the World
  • Freedom and Fairness
  • From Olympic Medals to Nobel Prizes

Examining each of these 8 pillars in great detail, China's Megatrends describes the new China for the knowledgeable and the newly curious, offering fresh and provocative insights and lessons to be learned.

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Editorial Reviews

Raymond Zhou
“The best explanation to date of the hows and whys of China’s rapid rise.”
Publishers Weekly
Naisbitt, author of the 1982 bestseller Megatrends—an analysis of the economic, political, social and cultural transition taking place in the U.S.—collaborates with his wife and turns his focus to our competitor to the east. Why, the authors ask, has “autocratic” China succeeded while many democratically governed states have failed to make economic progress? He tells a compelling story of a country that is maturing in hyperdrive and can concentrate on economics partially because it isn't distracted by election cycles and national soul searching. The book runs down the eight “pillars” of a new society, the strategic moves that have maneuvered China forward, and examines Chinese values, artistic and intellectual ferment, freedom and fairness, media and the swift changes that have brought a country in which wealth was unthinkable and education derided into a place that values entrepreneurism and boasts a business school enrollment comparable to middle-income countries. A thoughtful, ambitious overview sure to be of interest to all those curious about world economics. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
An analysis of economic, social and political patterns that attempts to explain the Chinese economic miracle. John Naisbitt-who wrote the megaselling Megatrends: Ten New Directions Transforming Our Lives (1982) and teaches economics at Nankai University and Tianjin University-founded the Naisbitt China Institute with his wife, Doris. Here they examine "China as the Chinese look at their country . . . [to be] open to its shortcomings, but . . . not judge China by our own values and standards. The authors underscore that the Chinese do not like to be lectured at, but rather learn (or copy) from the West and do it their own way. They compare China's economic success since Deng Xiaoping's loosening of the centralized hinges in 1978 to the stirring of a massive, amorphous, slumbering, almost-obsolete company that is finally injected with new ideas, leadership trust and vision. The eight "pillars" on which the "new Chinese system rests" include Deng's "emancipation of the mind," which allowed people to break from the strictures of the Cultural Revolution and return to cities, jobs, businesses, schools and individual pursuits; the Chinese "vertical" system of governance, an effective "top-down, bottom-up" structure that keeps the country's social order in line while still stimulating reforms; new paradigms that encourage "a variety of trees to grow" in terms of political, military, economic and cultural frames; bad business being rejected in favor of good; the nurturing of an artistic and intellectual renaissance; an increased role in the global community; implementation of basic living standards for all; and resisting "hierarchical, authoritarian thinking" in favor of embracing competitivenessand innovation. In conclusion, the Naisbitts weigh in on "matters in dispute," such as the "three forbidden T's: Tibet, Taiwan, and Tiananmen Square."An intriguing look at the new China. Agent: Jim Levine/Levine Greenberg Literary Agency
From the Publisher
"An intriguing look at the new China." —-Kirkus
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061859441
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/5/2010
  • Pages: 257
  • Sales rank: 1,011,330
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

John Naisbitt has been studying and visiting China for forty-two years, first in 1967, with more than one hundred visits since. A former professor at Nanjing University, he is currently a professor at both Nankai University and Tianjin University of Finance and Economics.

Peter Abrahams is the New York Times bestselling author of Delusion, Nerve Damage, End of Story, Oblivion, The Fan, Behind the Curtain, Into the Dark, and Reality Check, as well as Lights Out and Down the Rabbit Hole, for both of which he received Edgar Award nominations. Writing as Spencer Quinn, he is also the author of the New York Times bestseller Dog on It. Peter makes his home in Falmouth, Massachusetts, with his family and a dog named Audrey.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 9 of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Positive viewpoint on how far China has travelled

    Futurist John Naisbitt was never one for understatement, and that holds true with this sweeping book on China. His early works broke ground and brought provocative ideas to light. This book, written with his wife, Doris Naisbitt, is less revolutionary. With warm enthusiasm, the authors present a comprehensive, generous compilation of eight major forces shaping China. They explain China's politics simply and straightforwardly, with a generous dose of quotes from former leader Deng Xiaoping and others. The Naisbitts' prose style and their slogans or sayings seem to lilt with a slightly Chinese cadence and, sometimes, even sentence structure. The book is not directed at cognoscenti who seek academic or deep coverage of China's complexities, contradictions and challenges. Instead, getAbstract finds that it is a very accessible look at how China is evolving today, written for an interested but not expert general audience and slightly sugared with an accent on the positive. The authors praise China's leaders - and even laud the fact that most leaders aren't elected - and believe that criticism of China is based on misunderstandings that will clear up as the eight forces they list come to fruition over time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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