The End of the Chinese Dream Why Chinese People Fear the Future Gerard Lemos

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
18 May 2012
ISBN:
9780300169249
Dimensions:
352 pages: 234 x 156 x 31mm
Illustrations:
16 black-&-white illustrations

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Glossy television images of happy, industrious, and increasingly prosperous workers show a bright view of life in twenty-first-century China. But behind the officially approved story is a different reality, Gerard Lemos reveals in this extensively researched book. Lemos conducted hundreds of interviews with Chinese men and women in non-westernized areas distant from such cities as Beijing and Shanghai. He reports that the lives his subjects describe belie the myth of a harmonious, cohesive Chinese society. Much as the government promotes such a positive image, everyday people in China are beleaguered by immense social and community problems as well as personal, family, and financial anxieties.

Lemos investigates a China beyond the tourist trail. He offers a revealing account of the thoughts and feelings of Chinese people regarding all facets of their lives, from education to health care, unemployment to old age, politics to wealth. Taken together, the stories of these men and women bring to light a broken society, one whose people are frustrated, angry, sad, and often fearful about the circumstances of their lives. The author considers the implications of these findings and analyzes how China's community and social problems threaten the ambitious nation's hopes for a cohesive future.

Gerard Lemos, a social policy expert, was a visiting professor at Chongqing Technology and Business University between 2006 and 2010 and chaired the board of the British Council from 2008 to 2010. He lives in London.

"A fascinating insight into what the Chinese actually think." —Stephen Robinson, The Sunday Times