Thursday, September 11, 2014

The People's Dynasty and Waking Dragon

One way to stay on top of an ever-changing world is to tune into the thoughts of cultural and global issues experts.  With the Modern Scholar audiobook series, you can do just that.  For an in-depth overview of contemporary China, Modern Scholar offers two richly informative titles:  The People’s Dynasty: Culture and Society in Modern China and Waking Dragon: The Emerging Chinese Economy and Its Impact on the World.

Professor Robert Shepherd addresses the opening of the Chinese economy to the world in The People’s Dynasty.  An influx of capital into such a closed society and culture resulted in the transformation of the Chinese economy.  Although the Communist Party still dominates the political and social structure of China, more freedoms have been gained—at least by Chinese citizens who possess some degree of material means.  More opportunities in education, employment, marriage possibilities, family life and places to live are part of the equation of life in modern day China.

In Waking Dragon Dr. Peter Navarro argues that China’s recent economic gains have resulted in as many problems as improvements in the overall Chinese quality of life.  Industrial production in China has contributed to global warming and worldwide pollution.  Overpopulation has led to a “one child per family” policy.  The fairness of relocating peasants to urban areas and appropriating their farms in exchange for urban high-rise dwellings has been questioned.  All in all China’s economic growth hasn’t been problem-free.

For more information about the economic and cultural advances and challenges of this fascinating country, try The End of Cheap China by Shaun Rein or Jonathan Fenby’s Tiger Head, Snake Tails.

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