Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Restless Empire by Odd Arne Westad

The full title of this book is Restless Empire, China and the World since 1750. There is a good review of this book at Kirkus. This is a short review, but it covers what this book is all about.

The review in the telegraph is longer and more wide ranging, but it also includes in its review another interesting China book The End of the Chinese Dream: Why Chinese People Fear the Future by Gerard Lemos. And, there is another interesting review at Origins.

This is short 3 and a half minutes video in which Westad explains his book. Another video is at Ustream however, you have to watch a short ad first. Westad started speaking around 8 and half minutes into the video. Some 15 minutes into the video is another ad and so on. I did not find this inserting of ads seamless as video did not always resume where it left off.

We hear a lot about how awful the Europeans were to China when they started to explore the world in the 18th and 19th century. But it was not the Europeans' fault of China's decline. It just happened that China was in decline when the Europeans came along. They did not help, of course, but they did not cause any decline.

What the future holds for China is uncertain. China is certainly a rising power. Europe, and especially Britain, could not handle the rise of Germany. The fighting left Europe gutted twice. Britain handled the rise of America quite well. Hopefully, America can handle well the rise of China. However, it not only depends on America, but on China as well. So far China seems to be behaving in an aggressive fashion as a rising power. But, they still have enough time to choose to co-operate with others in the east and with America.

On my website is how to find this book on Amazon if you care to purchase it. See Westad. Also, this book review and other books I have reviewed are on my website at Book Reviews.

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