Sometimes China seems almost impossible to write about in any meaningful sense. While every country has regional, social and cultural variations, in China these internal differences – between east and west, rich and poor and so on – are often too profound to reconcile easily. Even the hoary notion that the entire country is under the unwavering control of the Communist Party fractures under scrutiny. Many aspects of power are decentralised, and protests over corruption, pollution and landgrabs are common.
One solution is to offer a perspective on China that’s broad enough to be useful, yet still acknowledges the country’s diversity. Evan Osnos’s first book, Age of Ambition, tells the story of the last ten years in China by exploring the different ways in which people there have pursued wealth,