"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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Monday, 13 October 2014

                                                       

The Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies 32(1) 2014

Kai Chen
Post-doctoral Research Fellow
Center for Non-Traditional Security and Peaceful Development Studies
College of Public Administration, Zhejiang University, China

Gerard Lemos, The End of the Chinese Dream: Why Chinese People Fear the Future, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012, 301 pp. ISBN 9780300169249 (hardback).

In the early twenty-first century, China is undergoing a historic trans­formation. The 'Chinese dream', which emerged as the times required, has also undergone change. What is the Chinese dream? Is it attainable? What are ordinary Chinese people's expectations for the future? Differ­ent people have different views. The End of the Chinese Dream by Gerard Lemos concerns ordinary Chinese people in Chongqing and Beijing, and gives thought-provoking answers to these questions.

As a senior scholar in social policy, Lemos was the former chairman of the board of the British Council (2008-2010). In this thought-provok­ing book, Lemos develops a creative field survey approach called 'wish tree'. From 2006 to 2010, as a visiting professor at Chongqing Technol­ogy and Business University, Lemos conducted an independent survey of Chongqing and Beijing residents in selected neighbourhoods. In specified public places, Chinese residents pasted postcards with a leaf design on the wish tree. Each postcard had four questions: Who are you? What event changed your life? What is your biggest worry? What do you wish for? In contrast to straightforward questionnaires, the unique approach of the wish tree succeeded at collecting 'large amounts of reli­able information' and exploring ordinary Chinese citizens' concerns and expectations for the future (p. 15).