- Chinese Mirrors by Rick Perlstein in The Nation. Multi-book review (the best kind) with a special focus on James Mann’s new book The China Fantasy. Mann’s last book, The Rise of the Vulcans, about the original Bush/Cheney foreign policy team, was almost unbelievably good, so I am excited to read this one at some point.
- China Makes, The World Takes by James Fallows in The Atlantic. I know it’s lame to link to a subscriber-only article, but… I don’t know… email me and I’ll send you a copy or something. It’s reporting in the truest sense: Rather than refer to GDP statistics, or talk to “experts,” Fallows goes to Shenzhen and hangs out in Chinese factories. He describes characters and scenes I’d never have imagined. Any time somebody actually does this, it reminds you how, er, rarely it gets done. Worth noting that Fallows comes away from his investigation with a fairly positive view.
(I have a special fondness for Fallows, as his pieces in The Atlantic were some of the first “Big Ideas journalism” I ever read, and pretty much cracked my head wide open circa 1998-99.)
- My Time as a Hostage, and I’m a Business Reporter by David Barboza in the NYT. The lead:
AS an American journalist based in China, I knew there was a good chance that at some point I’d be detained for pursuing a story. I just never thought I’d be held hostage by a toy factory.