EVERYTHING UNDER THE HEAVENS: How the Past Helps Shapre China's Push for Global Power by Howard French
Knopf , March 14, 2017
From the former New York Times Asia correspondent and author of the widely acclaimed China’s Second Continent, an incisive investigation of China’s ideological development as it becomes an ever more aggressive player in regional and global diplomacy.
For many years after its reform and opening in 1978, China maintained an attitude of false modesty about its ambitions. That role, reports Howard French, has been set aside. China has asserted its place among the global heavyweights, revealing its ambitions for pan-Asian dominance by building its navy, increasing territorial claims to areas like the South China Sea, and diplomatically bullying smaller players. Underlying this attitude is a strain of thinking that casts China’s present-day actions in decidedly historical terms: as the path to restoring the dynastic glory of the past. French helps us understand how that historical identity relates to current actions—ideologically, philosophically, and even legally—and how we might use that understanding toforecast what kind of global power China stands to become. Steeped in deeply-researched history as well as on-the-ground reporting, this is French at his revelatory best.
“With Everything Under the Heavens, Howard French brings us a wonderfully well-researched and elegantly written book about what we might call China’s ‘shape memory.’ If you’re wondering why this singular country acts as it does, this volume will go a long way to explaining it." —Orville Schell, Director, The Arthur Ross Director, Center on US-Relations, Asia Society