Unwrapping the Enigmatic Chinese Riddle

John Pomfret writes about fellow China hand James Fallows’ new book Postcards from Tomorrow Square in The Washington Post:

People who write about China fall into two categories: the ones who like it simple — China’s going to take over the world, it’s going to collapse, China is Bad!, China is Good! — and the ones who revel in the mind-boggling variety of the place. For the most part, the conversation on China in this country is dominated by the simplifiers. Whether enthusiasts or bashers, they traffic in the same sound bytes — that China, as opportunity or threat, is bigger than life.

Veteran journalist and former U.S. News & World Report editor James Fallows moved to China in 2006 fully aware of the dangers of writing on China and fully committed to unpacking the complexity of the most populous nation on Earth. The result, “Postcards from Tomorrow Square: Reports from China,” a collection of 13 essays, 12 of which were previously published in the Atlantic, is an attempt to wrest the American conversation about China away from the simplifiers.

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