Your Mid-August Reading Tips, Part II

For yesterday's installment, see this. Today's are China-themed.

1) "You'll Never Be Chinese," by Mark Kitto, in Prospect magazine from England. There is a lot to say about this piece, and a lot of discussion it has kicked up in the China and China-expat blogosphere. I'll get into that as soon as I can. For my take on parallel "soft power" themes, see this and this*. Just laying this down as an important item on the reading list.

2) "The Souls of Chinese Cities," by Christina Larson, and "Unlivable [Chinese] Cities," by Isaac Stone Fish, in the new "Cities" issue of Foreign Policy. Again lots to discuss and lots to chew over soon. Short version: I agree with the thrust of both of these pieces.

3) "Letter About China," from Richard Aboulafia of the Teal Group. There has been a slew of recent news on the China-takes-to-the-skies, and what-that-all-means front, which I have not taken time to pull together in one place. Aboulafia, the go-to guy when people are writing about aviation, has a very sensible perspective. (Disclosure: he has nice things to say about my book.) For now I put this as a placeholder for looking at the fast-changing news in this field.

4) The Australian View of China, in various papers and essays radiating out from this one on the Lowy Institute's "Interpreter" site. More to say on this, too, pretty soon, but here's the main theme: Hugh White, of the Australian National University, has generated a lot of heat with his essays on the implications of China's (in his view) inevitable rise, and thus the inevitable need for strategic power-sharing between the U.S. and China. Some Aussies agree, some see it differently. You'll find links to all the discussion there.

5) If you're in the mood for something both racy and Franco-Chinese, you could check out this Francophone mildly NSFW report on a recent Chinese scandal.

5A) Thanks for great suggestions on translating a book title. Will soon say more about that.

* And, yes, will update the book-appearance page any day now. Next up: this weekend my wife and I will both be speaking at the Sun Valley Writers Conference in Idaho, to which we are about to head.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.


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