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Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann (CEO/Gates Foundation)A standout for me this year was Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China, by Evan Osnos. Osnos spent eight years in China as a foreign correspondent, and his book helped me gain insight into today's China through stories of people, some well-known and others ordinary.
Barack Obama (Former USA President)President Obama is spending his Hawaiian vacation playing golf, getting together with high school friends and reading a handful of dark novels set in foreign lands, according to a book list released by the White House Wednesday. The presidential reading list includes [...] two works of non-fiction for the trip: "Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China," by Evan Osnos [...].
From abroad, we often see China as a caricature: a nation of pragmatic plutocrats and ruthlessly dedicated students destined to rule the global economy-or an addled Goliath, riddled with corruption and on the edge of stagnation. What we don't see is how both powerful and ordinary people are remaking their lives as their country dramatically changes. As the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos was on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval.
In Age of Ambition, he describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party's struggle to retain control. He asks probing questions: Why does a government with more success lifting people from poverty than any civilization in history choose to put strict restraints on freedom of expression? Why do millions of young Chinese professionals-fluent in English and devoted to Western pop culture-consider themselves "angry youth," dedicated to resisting the West's influence?
How are Chinese from all strata finding meaning after two decades of the relentless pursuit of wealth? Writing with great narrative verve and a keen sense of irony, Osnos follows the moving stories of everyday people and reveals life in the new China to be a battleground between aspiration and authoritarianism, in which only one can prevail.
See more books written by: Evan Osnos