Hailed as "absorbing" by the New York Times and "suspense-filled" by Foreign Affairs, Patrick Tyler's A Great Wall became an instant classic; a must-read for anyone concerned with the complicated and combative relationship between the world's biggest and the world's most powerful nations. And no one could tell this story better than Patrick Tyler, veteran journalist and former Beijing bureau chief of the New York Times. Using brilliant original reporting from his years in China; interviews with presidents, secretaries of state, Chinese officials, and other key leaders; and 15,000 pages of newly declassified documents, Tyler illuminates a relationship usually shrouded in secrecy, miscommunication, rivalry, fascination, and fear. A Great Wall is essential reading for anyone interested in China and anyone concerned with the shifting dynamics of post-Cold War geopolitics.
About the Author
Patrick Tyler is a veteran of the Washington Post and the New York Times. A former Beijing bureau chief, he is currently on assignment in Moscow.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The book rises and falls with the events in China. The Nixon years are covered in what feels like day-by-day updates, from Nixon, from Kissinger, and other players in the Nixon camp, and also from Deng Xiaoping, Mao, and the Chinese players as well. Each of the players' attempts to to further their national interest in conjunction with their personal interest makes for fascinating reading.As China policy takes a back seat over the Carter/Reagan/Bush years the book also loses its steam, and the deep detail becomes tedious. The focus shifts to how Chinese policy affected the rise and fall of various American leaders rather than international negotiations.But after the opening of China it becomes clear that it immediately became a major power, and the attempts of China, Russia, and America to play off their opponents against each other make for intriguing reading. During the Clinton years, the rise of Deng from his roots as a Mao henchman to the defining source and guiding light of Chinese policy over the final two decades of his life are chronicled in great detail and his death is handled quite romantically.I'd like to hear Tyler's impression of the younger Bush years. Don't know if he ever wrote that book or not, but in scope and scale, this book is a magnum opus to be proud of.