Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-05-13
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction finalist

Winner of the 2014 National Book Award in nonfiction

An Economist Best Book of 2014

Winner of the bronze medal for the Council on Foreign Relations’ 2015 Arthur Ross Book Award

A vibrant, colorful, and revelatory inner history of China during a moment of profound transformation

From abroad, we often see China as a caricature: a nation of pragmatic plutocrats and ruthlessly dedicated students destined to rule the global economy-or an addled Goliath, riddled with corruption and on the edge of stagnation. What we don't see is how both powerful and ordinary people are remaking their lives as their country dramatically changes.
As the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos was on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval. In Age of Ambition, he describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party's struggle to retain control. He asks probing questions: Why does a government with more success lifting people from poverty than any civilization in history choose to put strict restraints on freedom of expression? Why do millions of young Chinese professionals-fluent in English and devoted to Western pop culture-consider themselves "angry youth," dedicated to resisting the West's influence? How are Chinese from all strata finding meaning after two decades of the relentless pursuit of wealth?
Writing with great narrative verve and a keen sense of irony, Osnos follows the moving stories of everyday people and reveals life in the new China to be a battleground between aspiration and authoritarianism, in which only one can prevail.

Author Biography

Evan Osnos joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2008. He was for many years the magazine’s correspondent in China, where he lived from 2005 until 2013, when he moved to Washington, DC.  He has received many prizes, including the Asia Society’s Osborn Elliott Prize for Excellence in Journalism on Asia and the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.

Table of Contents

Part I: Fortune
1. Unfettered 
2. The Call 
3. Baptized in Civilization 
4. Appetites of the Mind 
5. No Longer a Slave 
6. Cutthroat 
7. Acquired Taste
Part II: Truth
8. Dancing in Shackles 
9. Liberty Leading the People 
10. Miracles and Magic Engines 
11. A Chorus of Soloists 
12. The Art of Resistance 
13. Seven Sentences 
14. The Germ in the Henhouse 
15. Sandstorm 
16. Lightning Storm 
17. All That Glitters 
18. The Hard Truth 
Part III: Faith
19. The Spiritual Void 
20. Passing By 
21. Soulcraft 
22. Culture Wars 
23. True Believers 
24. Breaking Out 
Note on Sources 

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