Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China (Anglais) Relié – 13 mai 2014
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
"If you have time to read only one book about China today, read this one. Woven from vignettes of Chinese life at many different levels, it provides unerring insights into what makes the Chinese the people they are while wearing its learning so lightly that the narrative never flags. It should be in every tourist’s baggage and every diplomat’s library." (Philip Short, author of Mao: A Life)
"Evan Osnos is one of the most astute observers of contemporary China, and in this book he gives us a powerful and moving portrait of that country as it moves into the next decade. Using crisp and brilliant prose, Osnos uses some of the figures at the cutting edge of a changing China - artists, bloggers, religious leaders, and workers - to show us the strengths and weaknesses of this fast-changing and deeply important nation. This is a must-read book for those who want to understand China today - and where it is going." (Rana Mitter, Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China, University of Oxford)
"The best book on China I've ever read. Witty, indispensable, and often moving. I look forward to stealing Evan Osnos's wisdom and passing it off as my own for years to come." (Gary Shteyngart)
"For most of a decade, Evan Osnos has been one of the most energetic, skilled, and thoughtful observers of China. Whether he’s accompanying Chinese tourists to the Best Western in Luxembourg or watching Ai Weiwei blur the lines between performance and protest, Osnos is always engaging. This is a wonderful book." (Peter Hessler, author of River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze and Country Driving: A Chinese Road Trip) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié.
Présentation de l'éditeur
*WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD 2014*
A young army captain who risked execution to swim from free-market Taiwan to Communist China.
A barber who made $150 million in the gambling dens of Macau.
The richest woman in China, a recycling tycoon known as the ‘Wastepaper Queen’.
Age of Ambition describes some of the billion individual lives that make up China’s story – one that unfolds on remote farms, in glittering mansions, and in the halls of power of the world’s largest authoritarian regime. Together they describe the defining clash taking place today: between the individual and the Communist Party’s struggle to retain control.
Here is a China infused with a sense of boundless possibility and teeming romance. Yet it is also riven by contradictions. It is the world’s largest buyer of Rolls Royces and Ferraris yet the word ‘luxury’ is banned from billboards. It has more Christians than members of the Communist Party. And why does a government that has lifted more people from poverty than any other so strictly restrain freedom of expression?
Based on years of research, Age of Ambition is a stunning narrative that reveals China as we have never understood it before.--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié.
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Evan Osnos a un talent certain pour choisir, suivre et décrire des personnes sorties de nulle part, pleines de leur réalité et qui, avec une certaine idiosyncrasie, nous parle de leur Chine. On les retrouve d'un chapitre à l'autre nous donnant un éclairage nouveau sur leur pays. On les voit évoluer et on voit la Chine évoluer. Son travail journalistique est talentueux.
A travers cette série de portraits, organisés autour de 3 thématiques - le rêve chinois, l'organisation du pouvoir et la religion- le livre d'Evan Osnos ressemble plus à un documentaire qu'à un essai socio-politique. Il nous laisse libre de construire notre opinion sur tel ou tel sujet. Le style est coloré. Il ne perd pas une occasion de nous décrire la tenue vestimentaire d'untel et untel. Son anglais est croustillant. Il m'a fait rire plusieurs fois.
On peut lui reprocher de ne pas avoir interviewé des « fils de », ces enfants de hauts fonctionnaires ou de grands patrons qui ont le réseau, le pouvoir et l'argent. Comprendre la jeune élite de la Chine est, je pense, très important pour comprendre la Chine de demain.
Au final, je recommande fortement ce livre à ceux qui veulent découvrir la Chine d'aujourd'hui et à ceux qui y vivent.
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
This book strikes a rare balance. It's a very absorbing read, and its multiple story-lines are impressively woven together, without any of the stitches showing. The people Osnos writes about run the gamut from a public figure like Lin Yifu (the World Bank economist who defected to mainland China from Taiwan in 1979) to an obscure figure like Michael Zhang, a young energetic optimist whom Osnos first meets at a Crazy English conference and then follows for a few years. (Zhang turns into one of the most interesting characters in the book.)
Osnos tells all these individual stories against the backdrop of most of the major events in China of the last five years: the violence in Xinjiang, the Liu Xiaobo fiasco, the "Jasmine" events of 2011, Ai Weiwei's ordeal, the flight of Chen Guangcheng, the Bo Xilai scandal, the bullet train crash, and so on. You learn a great deal about all these events, but the book is anchored in its very humane profiles of individual Chinese who are trying to make their lives better.
Twenty years ago, the extraordinary husband-and-wife reporting team of Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn published China Wakes: The Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power. Based on five years of work in China — they won the Pulitzer for their reporting on the Tiananmen Square massacre — China Wakes introduced American readers to the dynamism and the clashing contradictions unleashed a decade and a half earlier by the economic reforms of Deng Xiaoping. Now, two decades further on, Evan Osnos ably updates the story with Age of Ambition.
Osnos brings to bear the insight that comes only with extended experience and facility with the language in an alien culture, the sort of understanding that no reader can glean from the daily news, no matter how deeply reported. “The Party had always prided itself on articulating the ‘central melody’ of Chinese life,” Osnos writes, in a perfect example of this insight, “but as the years passed, the Party’s rendition of that melody seemed increasingly out of tune with the cacophony and improvisation striking up all around it. It was impossible to know what ‘most Chinese’ believed because the state media and the political system were designed not to amplify public opinion but to impose a shape on it. Nationalism, like any other note in the melody, might surge to the surface at one moment and fade into the background at another, but was it the mainstream view? The nationalists didn’t think so.”
Osnos focuses his penetrating repertorial eye on ten or a dozen central figures whose stories resume from time to time through the pages of this brilliant survey of contemporary China. A heroic young captain in the Taiwanese Army who defects to the Mainland and later — much later — becomes one of the country’s most celebrated economists, garnering the job of chief economist at the World Bank. A self-promoting English teacher who builds a nationwide adult education empire based on urging his students to shout English at the top of their lungs. A Ph.D. candidate in philosophy at a leading university who spearheads an ultranationalist campaign online. The sad story of the driven railroad man who rises to preside over one of the most corrupt ministries in a country of legendary corruption, building China’s network of high-speed trains along the way — and is nearly executed for his achievements. These and so many other fascinating characters bring the reality of present-day China to life in ways that episodic journalistic reports so rarely can. Evan Osnos knows his subjects, and he follows them for years. Read Age of Ambition, and you’ll get to know them, too.
Still shy of 40, Evan Osnos reported from China for The New Yorker from 2008 to 2013. Earlier, as a correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, he was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. Age of Ambition is his first book.
I will remember the many people and their stories. I hope they find their way to success and meaning. I will have more understanding for my next trip to China and know what to think if I see a weasel.
What is the Peoples Republic of China and where is it headed?
Osnos’ take on the volatility of contemporary Chinese Society is as reasonable a response as you are likely to find anywhere, and gracefully written.
Its short coming is that of all who ask “What’s next?” The transition of traditional cultures being immersed into the Market Economy is a devastating process with similar but unpredictable outcomes. Add that Mao’s attack on the ‘old four’ has a lingering effect on what was traditional culture and the desire to draw parallels with other Asian cases such as Korea, Singapore, Japan or even Taiwan is most difficult; Osnos seems to realize that.
Published in 2014 Osnos’ Age of Ambition touches on the transition to the new elite leadership including Xi Jinping.
It is well worth the effort to try and call up his very recent New Yorker piece Evan Osnos 2015/04/06 Newyorker.com
“The Rise Of The Red Prince. How Xi Jinping took control of China.”