No nation on Earth is as newsworthy as 21st-century Chinaand no book could be timelier than "Dragon Rising, " as world attention focuses on China's all-out effort to present itself as a modern world power and on the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Becker is the ideal guide to the profound changes within China that are reshaping global economic, diplomatic, and military strategies. He weaves analysis with anecdotes to address today's pressing uncertainties: How will China cope with pollution, unemployment, and demand for energy? What form will its government take? Can Shanghai's success with urban capitalism be replicated elsewhere? Each chapter focuses on a specific region and its local issuesminority unrest, poverty, corruptionthen places them in the broader context of China society as a whole.
Vividly illustrated with photographs that capture the paradox of an ancient culture remaking itself into a dynamic consumer society, "Dragon Rising" is a wonderfully written, well-rounded, wide-ranging portrait of China's problems and prospects.