Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China's Push for Global Power

By Howard W. French

11.93 Hours 03/14/2017 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9781524757052

From the former New York Times Asia correspondent and author of China's Second Continent, an incisive investigation of China's ideological development as it becomes an ever more aggressive player in regional and global diplomacy. For many years after its reform and opening in 1978, China maintained an attitude of false modesty about its ambitions. That role, reports Howard French, has been set aside. China has asserted its place among the global heavyweights, revealing its plans for pan-Asian dominance by building its navy, increasing territorial claims to areas like the South China Sea, and diplomatically bullying smaller players. Underlying this attitude is a strain of thinking that casts China's present-day actions in decidedly historical terms, as the path to restoring the dynastic glory of the past. If we understand how that historical identity relates to current actions, in ways ideological, philosophical, and even legal, we can learn to forecast just what kind of global power China stands to become--and to interact wisely with a future peer.      Steeped in deeply researched history as well as on-the-ground reporting, this is French at his revelatory best. From the Hardcover edition.

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Summary

Summary

From the former New York Times Asia correspondent and author of China's Second Continent, an incisive investigation of China's ideological development as it becomes an ever more aggressive player in regional and global diplomacy.

For many years after its reform and opening in 1978, China maintained an attitude of false modesty about its ambitions. That role, reports Howard French, has been set aside. China has asserted its place among the global heavyweights, revealing its plans for pan-Asian dominance by building its navy, increasing territorial claims to areas like the South China Sea, and diplomatically bullying smaller players. Underlying this attitude is a strain of thinking that casts China's present-day actions in decidedly historical terms, as the path to restoring the dynastic glory of the past. If we understand how that historical identity relates to current actions, in ways ideological, philosophical, and even legal, we can learn to forecast just what kind of global power China stands to become--and to interact wisely with a future peer.
    
Steeped in deeply researched history as well as on-the-ground reporting, this is French at his revelatory best.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Nuanced… The detail of [French’s] scholarship and reporting is matched by the suppleness of his prose… This will be a useful, and necessary, starting point for informed discussion. Publishers Weekly
French has curated a history of China’s foreign relations by the light of which current events can be read… A valuable resource for the continuity in the Chinese approach over time. The Japan Times
Howard French has tackled what is perhaps the most important issue of our time, and of many years to come, with the vivid prose of a first-rate reporter, the scholarship of an excellent historian, and great human sympathy. Ian Buruma, author of Year Zero: A History of 1945
Everything Under the Heavens is the most persuasive account I’ve ever read of how China's history shapes its foreign policy and that of its neighbors today. A subtle and beautifully written book that offers surprising lessons for how Americans and Asians should respond to China’s rise. Strongly recommended for policy makers and citizens alike. Susan Shirk, chair of the 21st Century China Center, University of California-San Diego
In the brilliant Everything Under the Heavens, Howard French offers a sweeping historical view of China’s relentless attempt to build an Asian world order around its unchallenged authority. French’s meticulously reported and beautifully written book is disquieting but essential reading. Nayan Chanda, former editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review“In Everything Under the Heavens, Howard French has written an absorbing and penetrating dissection of the deep roots of China's claims to large swathes of the oceans off Japan and south-east Asia, with profound implications for control over vitally important global trade. French understands that China's sense of historical entitlement is both deeply emotional and crudely political, and allows Beijing to pretend to stand with Asia, while standing over it at the same time.
Taking full account of China's achievements and ambitions, without being panicked by them or losing sight of China's vulnerabilities, will be a major challenge for the next generation in the rest of the world—and in China itself. Howard French very lucidly lays out a guide to thinking about the next stage in China's evolution, and the positive signs and danger signals to be watching for. James Fallows, author of China Airborne
French combines wide scholarship with the instinct of a dogged reporter... Fascinating. The Irish Times
Compelling… Fluent and interesting. Financial Times
A look at China from the inside as well as from the outside. French knows the country well… He stresses a political history that helps illuminate territorial conflicts between China and its neighbors. The New Yorker
Stimulating... This book is a reminder that China’s international relations take place in a historical context going back centuries if not millennia, and Mr. French is an engaging guide through that deeper history. The Wall Street Journal
[An] essential reminder about the unparalleled influence of the past on China’s political present… One of the most lucid and illuminating books on China’s conception of power and its place in the world… Fascinating. The Times Literary Supplement
Provocative… Clearly argued… Filled with memorable sentences. The New York Review of Books
"Howard W. French makes it clear China’s sense of national superiority is of more than historical significance... Chilling. The Globe and Mail
Impressive... Masterful... An excellent introduction to the complex issues of East Asia and the potential for conflict in this critical region of the world. New York Journal of Books
A deep historical and cultural study of the meaning of China’s rise… Fascinating… Convincing. The New York Times Book Review (cover)

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Author

Author Bio: Howard W. French

Howard W. French is an associate professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he has taught both journalism and photography since 2008. For many years, he was a senior writer for the New York Times, where he spent most of a nearly twenty-three year career as a foreign correspondent, working in and traveling to over 100 countries on five continents. French is the recipient of two Overseas Press Club Awards and a two time Pulitzer Prize nominee.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Nonfiction/Political Science
Runtime: 11.93
Audience: Adult
Edition: English