End of an Era: How China's Authoritarian Revival is Undermining Its Rise
By Carl Minzner
Published in March 2018
Thibault’s Score: 4/5
In this book, Carl Minzner, a senior fellow for China studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and China studies professor at Fordham Law School, explores why China is becoming increasingly authoritarian.
The book gives a backgrounder of the Deng Xiao Ping era where China liberalized its economy, society and government creating the prosperity that it is known for today. He talks about how the media became less repressive; local elections were permitted; private companies were encouraged to take charge of the economy; and the media was encouraged to criticize the government. Then, slowly at first, China regressed, becoming more authoritarian.
Minzner argues that Xi Jinping’s authoritarianism is actually a sign of weakness. Although, on the surface, China looks strong, it is on the verge of collapse. Christian and Buddhist cults are rapidly growing, ethnic relations are more fragile than ever, and workers are increasingly unhappy.
I learned a lot. The only reason why I didn’t give this book a 5 is because it is already nearly 5 years old, and feels slightly dated. An updated version that goes into COVID-19 would definitely get a solid 5.
I recommend this book to people trying to wrap their minds around what is happening in China, but it will become outdated very fast.
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