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Top-50 Books on China

Updated: October 14, 2013

Top-200 Books on China /* (Click to buy at

Guobin Yang: The Power of the Internet in China: Citizen Activism Online. 2010 (Columbia University Press)

Timely subject, superficial research.

Roy Kamphausen / David Lai / Andrew Scobell: The PLA at Home and Abroad: Assessing the Operational Capabilities of China's Military. 2010 (CreateSpace)

Conference proceedings.

Edward S. Steinfeld: Playing Our Game: Why China's Rise Doesn't Threaten the West. 2010 (Oxford University Press)

Optimistic view on China's relationship with the rest of the world. While mostly well researched, Steinfeld ignores what Deng Xiaoping's reforms did for China's (rural) economy. Slightly naive, academic analysis.

Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom: China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know^. 2010 (Oxford University Press)

A somewhat naive portrait of (contemporary) China from a preeminent scholar of Chinese history. Informed - but lacking in analytical depths.

George Friedman: The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century. 2010 (Anchor)

China will be partially occupied by Japan - and other nonsense!

Paul Midler: Poorly Made in China: An Insider's Account of the Tactics Behind China's Production Game. 2009 (Wiley)

Best Book 2009 (The Economist)

David Shambaugh: China's Communist Party: Atrophy and Adaptation. 2009 (University of California Press)

Carfully balanced analysis of the question: Can the Chinese Communist Party survive?

Victor C. Shih: Factions and Finance in China: Elite Conflict and Inflation. 2009 (Cambridge University Press)

Account of elite politics in China. Vivid details of personal differences among top leaders.

Martin Jacques: When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order. 2009 (Penguin Press HC)

An extremely impressive book... (The Guardian, UK) - but perhaps a bit too much left-wing political ideology.

Serge Michel / Michel Beuret / Paolo Woods: China Safari: On the Trail of Beijing's Expansion in Africa. 2009 (Nation Books)

While the "West" has forgotten Africa, China has become an aggressive investor, changing the face of this continent.

In association with online bookseller  indicates tentative rating by GKH.

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