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China's Transformations: The Stories Beyond the Headlines / Edition 1

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Overview

This successor volume to China beyond the Headlines takes the reader even farther beyond the "front stage" to explore a China few Westerners have seen. The contributors argue that the great gap between what specialists understand and what the general public believes has led to distorted and potentially dangerous misunderstandings of the most powerful emerging player on the global stage. Seeking to bridge that gap, a group of prominent scholars, journalists, and activists challenges readers to move past the typical images of China presented by the media and to think about the common problems shared by China and the United States. In an entirely new set of essays, they explore such critical issues as environmental degradation, nationalism, unemployment, film and literature, news reporting, the Internet, sex tourism, and the costs of the economic boom to vividly portray the complexity of life in contemporary China and how surprisingly often it speaks to the American experience.
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Editorial Reviews

Choice
A re-engagement with the editors' China beyond the Headlines (2000), with new insights and contributing authors, this compelling work is at once a critical assessment of contemporary Sino-U.S. relations and an appraisal of myriad social, political, and economic shifts within the PRC. Esteemed scholars, journalists, and activists engage in topics as diverse as the environment, eating habits, the Internet, film and literature, coal mining, Falun gong, and journalism. . . . The book is highly accessible: all authors use a narrative writing style; a brief chronology and note on Chinese pronunciation preface the work; and each chapter includes a short list of recommended readings. This volume and its 2000 precursor address the editors' desire to contextualize China in an era when the U.S. is increasingly less distinct from the once exotic and mythologized 'middle kingdom.' Essential.
Rana Mitter
Clear, readable, and compelling—an excellent collection of essays that I will certainly use myself.
CHOICE
A re-engagement with the editors' China beyond the Headlines (2000), with new insights and contributing authors, this compelling work is at once a critical assessment of contemporary Sino-U.S. relations and an appraisal of myriad social, political, and economic shifts within the PRC. Esteemed scholars, journalists, and activists engage in topics as diverse as the environment, eating habits, the Internet, film and literature, coal mining, Falun Gong, and journalism. . . . The book is highly accessible: all authors use a narrative writing style; a brief chronology and note on Chinese pronunciation preface the work; and each chapter includes a short list of recommended readings. This volume and its 2000 precursor address the editors' desire to contextualize China in an era when the U.S. is increasingly less distinct from the once exotic and mythologized 'middle kingdom.' Essential.
The China Journal - Stanley Rosen
The authors in this book provide the detailed information needed to understand the relationship of the Chinese regime with its citizens, making it essential reading for a general audience. . . . The authors are a group of prominent scholars and practitioners cutting across standard social science and humanities boundaries. . . . Each chapter is distinguished by a thorough understanding of its subject and . . . each goes beyond a mere descriptive account, placing the analysis in a political, historical, cultural, social and/or economic context. . . . It would make an excellent textbook and should provoke exciting classroom discussions.
Journal of Chinese Political Science
The major contribution of the book is that it addresses the basic yet most critical issues in contemporary China in a comprehensive way. It provides a fresh and timely look at a changing China. Students and scholars of contemporary China will certainly benefit from reading the book.
March 2010 Pacific Affairs
China's Transformations succeeds in providing an array of chapters on interesting topics that draw the reader in and stimulate thinking about both China and the ongoing dialogue between American and Chinese society. Having used this book twice in my undergraduate class on Chinese politics, I can report that students—even those who have little natural interest in China—enjoy reading it and gain a great deal from it. Yet even while China's Transformations is well-suited for use in the undergraduate classroom, China specialists and members of the general public alike will also find the chapters engaging and thought-provoking. . . . A rare find: an edited volume on China that is fun to read, accessible to a variety of audiences, and full of highly insightful and interesting analyses.
Karl Gerth
I intend to adopt this terrific book. It's the perfect blend of accessible prose and rigorous scholarship on important but seldom-covered topics.
November 2009 Journal of Chinese Political Science
Lionel Jensen and Timothy Weston's book captures the headlines with an analysis that goes far beyond the headlines…. Students and scholars of contemporary China will certainly benefit from reading this work.
Pacific Affairs
China's Transformations succeeds in providing an array of chapters on interesting topics that draw the reader in and stimulate thinking about both China and the ongoing dialogue between American and Chinese society. Having used this book twice in my undergraduate class on Chinese politics, I can report that students—even those who have little natural interest in China—enjoy reading it and gain a great deal from it. Yet even while China's Transformations is well-suited for use in the undergraduate classroom, China specialists and members of the general public alike will also find the chapters engaging and thought-provoking. . . . A rare find: an edited volume on China that is fun to read, accessible to a variety of audiences, and full of highly insightful and interesting analyses.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742538634
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/10/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 380
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Lionel M. Jensen is associate professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at the University of Notre Dame. Timothy B. Weston is associate professor of history at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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Table of Contents


Chronology     ix
Table of Equivalent Measures and Administrative Units     xv
List of Figures and Maps     xvii
A Note on Romanization and Chinese Pronunciation     xix
Preface and Acknowledgments     xxiii
Foreword: Culture Matters-A Report from the Field of U.S.-China Relations   Jonathan S. Noble     xxix
Introduction: The New China, a Different United States   Lionel M. Jensen   Timothy B. Weston     1
Front Stage     31
Trouble-Makers or Truth-Sayers? The Peculiar Status of Foreign Correspondents in China   Martin Fackler     33
The Political Roots of China's Environmental Degradation   Judith Shapiro     50
Fueling China's Capitalist Transformation: The Human Cost   Timothy B. Weston     68
Qigong, Falun Gong, and the Body Politic in Contemporary China   David Ownby     90
Narratives to Live By: The Century of Humiliation and Chinese National Identity Today   Peter Hays Gries     112
The Internet: A Force to Transform Chinese Society?   Xiao Qiang     129
The Politics of Filmmaking and Movie Watching   Sylvia Li-chun Lin     144
Back Stage     161
Fictional China   HowardGoldblatt     163
Of Rice and Meat: Real Chinese Food   Susan D. Blum     177
Herding the Masses: Public Opinion and Democracy in Today's China   Tong Lam     197
Sex Tourism and Lure of the Ethnic Erotic in Southwest China   Sandra Teresa Hyde     216
Welcome to Paradise! A Sino-U.S. Joint-Venture Project   Tim Oakes     240
The New Chinese Intellectual: Globalized, Disoriented, Reoriented   Timothy Cheek     265
Reporting China since the 1960s   John Gittings     285
Afterword: China, the United States, and the Fragile Planet   Lionel M. Jensen     303
Index     321
About the Contributors     331
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