Author(s): Evan Osnos
"A vibrant, colorful, and revelatory inner history of China during a moment of profound transformation From abroad, we often see China as a caricature: a nation of pragmatic plutocrats and ruthlessly dedicated students destined to rule the global economy--or an addled Goliath, riddled with corruption and on the edge of stagnation. What we don't see is how both powerful and ordinary people are remaking their lives as their country dramatically changes. As the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos was on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval. In Age of Ambition, he describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party's struggle to retain control. He asks probing questions: Why does a government with more success lifting people from poverty than any civilization in history choose to put strict restraints on freedom of expression? Why do millions of young Chinese professionals--fluent in English and devoted to Western pop culture--consider themselves "angry youth," dedicated to resisting the West's influence? How are Chinese from all strata finding meaning after two decades of the relentless pursuit of wealth? Writing with great narrative verve and a keen sense of irony, Osnos follows the moving stories of everyday people and reveals life in the new China to be a battleground between aspiration and authoritarianism, in which only one can prevail"--
Modern-day China as you have never seen it before
"The rise of China is the biggest story of the past twenty-five years. Evan Osnos captures the country in all its striving, thunderous diversity, through a narrative that moves, provokes and makes us laugh. Age of Ambition is a marvel of great reporting, careful thinking, and powerful writing." -- Dexter Filkins "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 "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 "This will become the primer for anyone who needs to understand (or at least try to) China for the foreseeable future. Entertaining, informative and a brilliant read... THE book to read on China today." -- David Parrish "The very hardest thing to convey about modern China is the combination of hope and despair, idealism and crassness, coordinated mass action and chaotic individual scheming, you encounter each day. Evan Osnos has captured all parts of this disorienting 'reality', but he has done so much more. Beautifully written, humane but critical-minded, funny on every page, Age of Ambition offers a better understanding of China's process of 'becoming' than most people could ever gain by living there. China veterans and amateurs alike will find it an illuminating and delightful read." -- James Fallows
Evan Osnos joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2008. He was the magazine's correspondent in China, where he lived in a restored house in Beijing north of the Forbidden City, from 2005 until 2013 when he moved to Washington, D.C. He has received many prizes, including the Asia Society's Osborn Elliott Prize for Excellence in Journalism on Asia and the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. Osnos previously worked as the Beijing Bureau Chief of the Chicago Tribune, where he contributed to a series that won a 2008 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.