Asia's Reckoning: China, Japan, and the Fate of U.S. Power in the Pacific Century

By Richard Mcgregor
Read by Steve West

16.25 Hours 09/05/2017 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9780525500018

Richard McGregor’s Asia’s Reckoning is a compelling account of the widening geopolitical cracks in a region that has flourished under an American security umbrella for more than half a century. The toxic rivalry between China and Japan, two Asian giants consumed with endless history wars and ruled by entrenched political dynasties, is threatening to upend the peace underwritten by Pax Americana since World War II. Combined with Donald Trump’s disdain for America’s old alliances and China’s own regional ambitions, east Asia is entering a new era of instability and conflict. If the United States laid the postwar foundations for modern Asia, now the anchor of the global economy, Asia’s Reckoning reveals how that structure is falling apart. With unrivaled access to archives in the United States and Asia, as well as to many of the major players in all three countries, Richard McGregor has written a tale that blends the tectonic shifts in diplomacy with bitter domestic politics and the personalities driving them. It is a story not only of an overstretched America, but also of the rise and fall and rise of the great powers of Asia. The about-turn of Japan—from a colossus seemingly poised for world domination to a nation in inexorable decline in the space of two decades—has few parallels in modern history, as does the rapid rise of China—a country whose military is now larger than those of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and southeast Asia’s combined. The confrontational course on which China and Japan are set is no simple spat between neighbors: the United States would be involved on the side of Japan in any military conflict between the two countries. The fallout would be an economic tsunami, affecting manufacturing centers, trade routes, and political capitals on every continent. Richard McGregor’s book takes us behind the headlines of his years reporting as the Financial Times’s Beijing and Washington bureau chief to show how American power will stand or fall on its ability to hold its ground in Asia.

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Summary

Summary

Richard McGregor’s Asia’s Reckoning is a compelling account of the widening geopolitical cracks in a region that has flourished under an American security umbrella for more than half a century. The toxic rivalry between China and Japan, two Asian giants consumed with endless history wars and ruled by entrenched political dynasties, is threatening to upend the peace underwritten by Pax Americana since World War II. Combined with Donald Trump’s disdain for America’s old alliances and China’s own regional ambitions, east Asia is entering a new era of instability and conflict. If the United States laid the postwar foundations for modern Asia, now the anchor of the global economy, Asia’s Reckoning reveals how that structure is falling apart.

With unrivaled access to archives in the United States and Asia, as well as to many of the major players in all three countries, Richard McGregor has written a tale that blends the tectonic shifts in diplomacy with bitter domestic politics and the personalities driving them. It is a story not only of an overstretched America, but also of the rise and fall and rise of the great powers of Asia. The about-turn of Japan—from a colossus seemingly poised for world domination to a nation in inexorable decline in the space of two decades—has few parallels in modern history, as does the rapid rise of China—a country whose military is now larger than those of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and southeast Asia’s combined.

The confrontational course on which China and Japan are set is no simple spat between neighbors: the United States would be involved on the side of Japan in any military conflict between the two countries. The fallout would be an economic tsunami, affecting manufacturing centers, trade routes, and political capitals on every continent. Richard McGregor’s book takes us behind the headlines of his years reporting as the Financial Times’s Beijing and Washington bureau chief to show how American power will stand or fall on its ability to hold its ground in Asia.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“McGregor offers detailed, vivid descriptions of America’s Asian diplomacy…Reviewing East Asia’s toxic rivalries with balance and insight, McGregor’s survey concludes ominously with President Trump’s lack of familiarity with regional issues and disdain for old alliances, portending further tensions in East Asia’s future.” Publishers Weekly
“A shrewd and knowing book…Though Mr. McGregor has pored over archives to put together a hard-to-surpass narrative history of high diplomacy in Asia, the strength of his book is its old-fashioned journalism, in which empathy and explanation outweigh mere exposé…Here are insightful, detail-rich profiles of everyone from Zhou Enlai and Henry Kissinger to Kakuei Tanaka and Jiang Zemin.” Wall Street Journal
“An essential primer for anyone seeking to understand the complicated brew of history, politics, and prejudices that make this area of the globe one of the most likely flashpoints of the 21st century.” New York Journal of Books
“A well-documented account of the post-war triangular relations between China, Japan and America…McGregor [has] access to a range of archives and memoirs beyond the reach and nuanced comprehension of most other scholars…A compelling and impressive read.” Economist
McGregor shows that U.S. diplomats and military strategists have deftly played the Sino-Japanese rivalry in the Pax Americana period since the end of the Cold War. However, he is concerned that the tightrope is becoming frayed and that if it breaks, all three performers could be in for a terrible fall. . . . [Asia’s Reckoning] has anecdotes and insights that will delight policy wonks interested in the region. Washington Times
“Geopolitics wonks will want to give attention to this urgent but nonsensationalized argument.” Kirkus Reviews
“The great strength of Asia’s Reckoning, indeed, is that it encourages the reader to look for continuities amid apparent dramatic change, as well as subtle changes amid apparent continuity…An engaging, timely book that provides a nice complement to important recent studies focusing on two points of the US-China-Japan triangle.” Financial Times
“For journalists taking up new posts in China, the first book I always suggest is Richard McGregor’s The Party. I will now add McGregor’s new book, Asia’s Reckoning, to my list for those headed to the Far East.” Los Angeles Review of Books
“An excellent modern history book that explains the roots of the complex political, business and military ties between major superpowers. In an age of rocky global politics, Asia’s Reckoning provides the context needed to make sense of the region’s present and future.” South China Morning Post
“Lucid, insightful and ominous, as the author describes big trouble ahead.” Eliot Cohen, author of Supreme Command
“Essential reading for anyone worried about the most fraught relationship in Asia—between China and Japan. With extensive experience in and knowledge of both China, Japan, and the United States, McGregor is in a unique position to unpack the relationship and sort through the extensive propaganda and myth-making on all sides. A great read! John Pomfret, author of The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom
“McGregor distills years of meetings with high officials in China and Japan to give a vivid nuanced picture of their relations in the 21st century.” Ezra Vogel, author of Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China

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Author

Author Bio: Richard Mcgregor

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/Political Science
Runtime: 16.25
Audience: Adult
Language: English