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 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 challenge 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.

Contributions by: Bei Dao, Susan D. Blum, Timothy Cheek, Martin Fackler, John Gittings, Howard Goldblatt, Peter Hays Gries, Sandra Teresa Hyde, Lionel M. Jensen, Tong Lam, Sylvia Li-chun Lin, Jonathan Noble, Tim Oakes, David Ownby, Judith Shapiro, Timothy B. Weston, and Xiao Qiang

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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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

Foreword: Culture Matters—A Report from the Field of U.S.-China Relations
Introduction: The New China, a Different United States
Part I: Front Stage
Chapter 1: Trouble-Makers or Truth-Sayers? The Peculiar Status of Foreign Correspondents in China
Chapter 2: The Political Roots of China's Environmental Degradation
Chapter 3: Fueling China's Capitalist Transformation: The Human Cost
Chapter 4: Qigong, Falun Gong, and the Body Politic in Contemporary China
Chapter 5: Narratives to Live By: The Century of Humiliation and Chinese National Identity Today
Chapter 6: The Internet: A Force to Transform Chinese Society?
Chapter 7: The Politics of Filmmaking and Movie Watching
Part II: Back Stage
Chapter 8: Fictional China
Chapter 9: Of Rice and Meat: Real Chinese Food
Chapter 10: Herding the Masses: Public Opinion and Democracy in Today's China
Chapter 11: Sex Tourism and the Lure of the Ethnic Erotic in Southwest China
Chapter 12: Welcome to Paradise! A Sino-American Joint-Venture Project
Chapter 13: The New Chinese Intellectual: Globalized, Disoriented, Reoriented
Chapter 14: Reporting China since the 1960s
Afterword: China, the United States, and the Fragile Planet
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