The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Falun Gong: The End of Days, by Maria Hsia Chang
Eccentric religious sects present a nontrivial problem even for open societies. The early history of the Mormon Church illustrates this; so, more recently, have the People's Temple, Heaven's Gate, and Branch Davidian episodes. Issues of public health and the welfare of minors may arise. So may matters of straightforward criminality: the black-racist Nation of Yahweh... Read More
China's New Nationalism: Pride, Politics and Diplomacy, by Peter Hays Gries
It is an item of current conventional wisdom that the Chinese Communist Party, confronted with a population to whom communism no longer has any appeal, has resorted to an extreme form of nationalism to justify its rule over China. The principal message of Peter Hays Gries's fascinating book is that while this is true, it... Read More
Before the Deluge, by Dierdre Chetham
Fifty years ago the sinologist, political scientist and recovering Marxist Karl Wittfogel gave us his theory of "hydraulic despotism." Surveying the great imperial systems of the pre-industrial world, Wittfogel argued that their centralized, bureaucratic nature was a consequence of their having to organize great masses of manpower for water-management projects — dams, dikes, canals, and... Read More
Four Sisters of Hofei,by Annping Chin
The 20th century was an "interesting time" in China, and almost any Chinese person who lived through much of it, especially the earlier part of it, has a story worth telling. I have sat with quite ordinary people, in pleasant apartments in Peking or Taipei, and heard them tell of the most astounding adventures —... Read More
The China Dream by Joe Studwell
The dream of Joe Studwell's title is the dream of the China market: of 1.3 billion consumers just waiting to be sold clothes, medicine, cars, toothpaste, or whatever else the dreamer has to offer. As an English writer of the 1840s put it: "If we could only persuade every person in China to lengthen his... Read More
Bad Elements: Chinese Rebels, from Los Angeles to Beijing, by Ian Buruma
The nail that sticks up gets hammered down, the Chinese teach their children. They further instruct them that the rock that stands out from the river bank gets worn away by the current. In case the child still hasn't got the point, he will then be told that the tallest tree is the first to... Read More
Treason by the Book, by Jonathan D. Spence
Western enthusiasm for China waxes and wanes on long cycles. In the early 18th century it was waxing strong. "The constitution of their empire is the most excellent the world has ever seen," burbled Voltaire. The unfoxable Samuel Johnson scoffed at widespread popular conceptions of the "Chinese perfectly polite, and compleatly skill'd in all sciences."... Read More
Hegemon, by Steven Mosher
Steven Mosher is a hero to those of us who hate and fear the current Chinese government. He has the honor of having been persona non grata in the People's Republic for twenty years — longer, I think, than any other American scholar. Mosher was the first social scientist from this country invited to do... Read More