"The End of the Chinese Dream still ranks as one of the works on the Chinese dream most worth reading…..This timely and controversial book is crucial to understand the dark sides of the Chinese dream, and for the development of future research.... This book should be required reading for serious social policy makers, scholars and students who are interested in social policy in China." Kai Chen, Zhejiang University, China

"The End of the Chinese Dream challenges everything we believe about China. This is a book that must be read by anyone who struggles to understand the greatest experiment underway in the world today." John Gray, Emeritus Professor of European Thought, London School of Economics, and author of False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism

"The End of the Chinese Dream is highly original and unusual. Gerard Lemos has written with real insight into the fears and dreams of ordinary Chinese people. Anyone who wants to get behind misleading headlines about China should read this important book." Zhou Xun, Department of History, University of Hong Kong

"Those looking for a meaningful yet concise interpretation of Chinese history, paired with original and revealing insight on the country’s social state, will find a good read in The End of the Chinese Dream. The book’s anecdotes will entertain even the most avid China watchers. The author does an excellent job in summing up the most palpable evidence that not all is well in the People’s Republic." China Economic Review

"A fascinating in­sight into the people’s hopes and fears….The Chinese government should be grateful for Lemos’s work because it tells them what their corrupt local officials per­haps do not…This is, therefore, an important contribution to an­swering one of the great 21st-century ques­tions: How will China’s leaders deal with the universality of human hope?” Humphrey Hawksley, BBC Foreign Correspondent, Global Briefing

"Lemos lifts the lid on systemic social problems: lack of healthcare; a broken education system, distorted family structures due to the one child policy and no recourse for those whose property is seized by the state" Leslie Hook, Financial Times

"Mr. Lemos performs a valuable substantive service by exposing the dark side of China's rise." Minxin Pei, The Wall Street Journal

"The End of the Chinese Dream shows what can be discovered despite official obstruction...Lemos’s snapshots reveal people traumatised by rapid change and the loss of community and family ties, deeply anxious about the insecurities of old age and resentful of flourishing corruption and ineffective justice." Isabel Hilton, New Statesman

"Lemos shows, with the weight of [his] impressive research, why the China of today cannot yet lay claim to [being] an exemplar for the rest of the world, and a real challenge to the United States." Rana Mitter, Daily Telegraph

"Lemos has a fine eye for detail...for the uninitiated eager to look beyond the veneer of China’s glitzy coastal cities and official propaganda, Lemos’s book is an excellent primer" Frederik Balfour, Bloomberg

"Lemos found that beneath the myth of a harmonious society most of these people were living in constant social and financial anxiety…All the problems listed in the book are true and well documented." Chow Chung-yan, South China Morning Post

"The End of the Chinese Dream is a much-needed and remarkably well-timed glimpse into the underbelly of this Asian tiger, one that reveals the terrible burdens of a growing wealth gap, rising prices, decaying communities, and weakened social safety nets. Lemos offers a view of China outside the glamorous city centers of Beijing and Shanghai, telling the stories that censors keep away from international eyes." Gordon Cain, The New Republic

"This is a welcome and highly readable account of the travails wrought on China's people by history's most powerful plutocracy." Frank Dikotter, University of Hong Kong, author of Mao’s Great Famine, the Sunday Times

"Given the number of books on China that are out there already, it is probably reasonable to ask whether we need any more…The End of the Chinese Dream suggests that the answer is “yes”…Lemos’ work helps us remember why it is that China faces as many as 180,000 protests annually and why it is that Chinese leaders spend so much time talking about the need for grassroots reform." Elizabeth Economy, Council on Foreign Relations

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Tuesday, 21 August 2012


The hidden kingdom

Review by Leslie Hook

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

China’s rapid transformation is the great story of our age. But how do the 1.3bn Chinese feel about the way their country has changed over the past three decades? What are the hopes and fears of China’s factory workers, farmers and pensioners? And what do their aspirations mean for the Communist party’s grip on power?
These are the questions Gerard Lemos seeks to answer in The End of the Chinese Dream. The British sociologist tackled the challenges facing UK housing estates in The Communities We Have Lost and Can Regain (1997), co-written with Michael Young. In his new book Lemos turns his eye on Chongqing, the urban district of 33m in southern China where he worked as a visiting professor between 2006 and 2010, and now familiar to westerners as the scene of the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood.
Lemos’s conclusions are bleak. By conducting a poll of 1,400 people, Lemos lifts the lid on systemic social problems: lack of healthcare, a broken education system, distorted family structures due to the one-child policy and no recourse for those whose property is seized by the state – which happens regularly.

Read More - Financial Times - The hidden kingdom

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Mainland Malaise


The End of the Chinese Dream

Gerard Lemos, a former visiting professor in China from the United Kingdom, paints a disturbing picture of the failure of China’s extraordinary economic growth to benefit hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens. After conducting a remarkable survey in China, Lemos links the economic problems and fears of ordinary Chinese to the policies of China’s authoritarian leadership, both local and national. Although most of Lemos’s research occurs in Chongqing, where the recently deposed Politburo member Bo Xilai was party secretary, the problems he describes exist throughout China.

In The End of the Chinese Dream: Why Chinese People Fear the Future, Lemos concludes that “the People’s Republic of China is now run by the wealthy for the benefit of the wealthy.” Hundreds of millions of ordinary Chinese are the losers. They are “deeply insecure about themselves and their future” he writes, just when the rest of the world has become “star-struck by the apparent prospect of China’s imminent glory.”

Read More - America Magazine - Mainland Malaise

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Chinese Awakening

A new book pinpoints the anxieties ordinary Chinese feel.

Like a share listed on an exchange, the world's perception of China fluctuates as foreigners go from bullish to bearish. One gauge of how the country's image is faring is the latest crop of China books. Three years ago, when the country seemed like the inevitable superpower, Martin Jacques came out with "When China Rules the World." A book titled "What the U.S. Can Learn from China" even advised the apparently dysfunctional United States to take a page or two from Beijing's playbook.

Now China is caught in a downward spiral of sentiment, thanks to a precipitous economic slowdown and the exposure of the Bo Xilai affair. This downbeat mood was first reflected in March with Shaun Rein's "The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends That Will Disrupt the World." Gerard Lemos's "The End of the Chinese Dream: Why Chinese People Fear the Future," captures it even better, because he nails the anxiety middle-class Chinese are feeling.

Read More - The Wall Street Journal - The Chinese Awakening

Protests show fears of Chinese kids

Gerard Lemos August 01, 2012

Last month's environmental protests in Shifang saw the unprecedented involvement of children who have a fear of the future in China, says Gerard Lemos.

“I wish the stream outside my house
won’t be murky anymore
The decision to cancel the metal refinery project in Shifang last month after protesters clashed with the police has been widely reported in the Chinese and global media. This is not the first time a project has been shelved due to public demonstrations. The same happened in Xiamen in 2008 and Dalian in 2011.

However, less widely noted internationally was the apparently unprecedented involvement of children and young people in Shifang. Much discussed on the internet, this has not gone unnoticed in the Chinese media. Commenting on this new trend, the Global Times evoked unhappy memories of the Cultural Revolution when young people, as Red Guards, were at the forefront of upheaval and “showed a tendency to violence and cruelty”.

In the past children may not have “rushed to the…protest scene to support a demand made by adults” as reported by the Global Times in Shifang, but in the consultation activities I undertook in Chongqing, a city in south west China, in 2007 and 2008 (published in July by Yale University Press in The End of the Chinese Dream: Why Chinese people fear the future) the concerns of children about the environment – globally and locally – were all too evident. As in the West, children and young people will play a big role in shaping public attitudes to environmental problems in the future and policymakers would be unwise to ignore them.

Read More - Chiandialogue - Protests show Chinese kids' fears