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Asia’s Reckoning

Asia's Reckoning by Richard McGregor
Hardcover
Sep 05, 2017 | 416 Pages
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    Sep 05, 2017 | 416 Pages

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    Sep 05, 2017 | 416 Pages

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Praise

“McGregor has written a shrewd and knowing book about the relationship between China, Japan and America over the past half-century. Among much else, he shows how the world’s top three economies are now imprisoned by increasingly unstable dynamics, and not only in the military realm. Though Mr. McGregor has pored over archives to put together a hard-to-surpass narrative history of high diplomacy in Asia, the strength of his book is its old-fashioned journalism, in which empathy and explanation outweigh mere exposé. Indeed, Asia’s Reckoning has the aura of a ‘tour-ender,’ the kind of conspectus that foreign correspondents of a generation ago and further back would put together after they had finished a multiyear stint in some far-flung place. Here are insightful, detail-rich profiles of everyone from Zhou Enlai and Henry Kissinger to Kakuei Tanaka and Jiang Zemin.”
—Robert D. Kaplan, The Wall Street Journal
 
“A well-documented account of the post-war triangular relations between China, Japan and America. . . . McGregor [has] access to a range of archives and memoirs beyond the reach and nuanced comprehension of most other scholars. His narrative of relations and contacts between the leading politicians and policy-makers in both [China and Japan], and of America’s interplay with the two, makes for a compelling and impressive read. One notable feature is how often the Americans, from Henry Kissinger to Barack Obama, seem to find their close Japanese allies more irritating and harder to understand than their Chinese counterparts, even as a rising China is coming to be seen as America’s greatest 21st-century challenger.”
—The Economist
 
“Sometimes a crisis hits that reminds us of the need to think in terms of the interplay between multiple centers of power, and of the value of books that do not confine themselves to bilateral relations. The current furor over North Korea is one such crisis, and Richard McGregor’s skillfully crafted and well-argued Asia’s Reckoning is a good example of the sort of book I have in mind. . . . The great strength of Asia’s Reckoning, indeed, is that it encourages the reader to look for continuities amid apparent dramatic change, as well as subtle changes amid apparent continuity. McGregor helps us appreciate the areas where leaders of the US, Japan and China find it easiest and hardest to find common ground. He also sensitizes us to the complex ways in which the ratcheting up or loosening of tensions between Washington and Tokyo or Beijing inevitably affects the strategies of leaders based in the other east Asian capital. . . . An engaging, timely book that provides a nice complement to important recent studies focusing on two points of the US-China-Japan triangle.”
—Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Financial Times
 
“McGregor warns against underestimating the historic tensions between China and Japan. Trade and tourism may run smoothly between the two pragmatic, business-minded nations, but deep, mutual dislike simmers under the surface. McGregor says it would not take much of a trigger to disrupt the region’s tentative peace. . . . An excellent modern history book that explains the roots of the complex political, business and military ties between major superpowers. In an age of rocky global politics, Asia’s Reckoning provides the context needed to make sense of the region’s present and future.”
—Joyce Lau, South China Morning Post

“McGregor anatomizes the dynamic, often strained trilateral relationship between China, Japan, and the U.S. since WWII. His informed volume comes at a time when, in his opinion, East Asia sits at the heart of the global economy and China’s aggressive foreign policy is upsetting the region’s stability. . . . Often critical of Washington’s ‘combination of idealism and arrogance,’ McGregor offers detailed, vivid descriptions of America’s Asian diplomacy. . . . Reviewing East Asia’s toxic rivalries with balance and insight, McGregor’s survey concludes ominously with President Trump’s lack of familiarity with regional issues and disdain for old alliances, portending further tensions in East Asia’s future.”
—Publishers Weekly

“[A] wide-ranging study of China’s re-emergence as a regional power in Asia after a long hiatus, thwarting the designs of other powers, including the United States and Russia. . . . The U.S. [finds itself] firmly ensnared in the so-called Thucydides trap, ‘the principle that it is dangerous to build an empire but even more dangerous to let it go.’ So it is, and the current leadership appears to be at a loss about what to do or to formulate other aspects of any coherent policy in and toward Asia. . . . Geopolitics wonks will want to give attention to this urgent but nonsensationalized argument.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“The United States, China, and Japan form the power triangle that will shape much of the international politics in the 21st century. Richard McGregor’s masterful The Party illuminated one corner of that triangle—China. In this important book he describes how the other two corners have interacted with China since World War II. Lucid, insightful and ominous, as the author describes big trouble ahead.”
—Eliot Cohen, author of Supreme Command

“Richard McGregor’s new book is essential reading for anyone worried about the most fraught relationship in Asia—between China and Japan. With extensive experience in and knowledge of both China, Japan, and the United States, McGregor is in a unique position to unpack the relationship and sort through the extensive propaganda and myth-making on all sides. A great read!”
—John Pomfret, author of The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom
 
“McGregor distills years of meetings with high officials in China and Japan to give a vivid nuanced picture of their relations in the 21st century.”
—Ezra Vogel, author of Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China
 
“An in-depth depiction of radical changes and challenges in Japan-China relations in the post-war period, thoroughly researched and rich in storytelling. In the course of tumultuous relations with China, Japan has had to trail blaze in the face of the rise of China. Japan’s naked exposure to the unfolding Realpolitik with China at its core is for the first time comprehensively reviewed.”
—Yoichi Funabashi, former Editor-in-Chief, Asahi Shimbun

Praise for The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers


“A lively and penetrating account of a party that has clung to secrecy as an inviolable principle.”
—The Washington Post

“Fascinating. . . . Illuminating. . . . McGregor guides readers through recent events in China, teasing out what each tells us about the Party’s role. . . . Reading this primer will help foreigners better navigate the hidden political shoals of the Chinese business world.”
—The Wall Street Journal

“A masterful depiction of the party today. . . . McGregor illuminates the most important of the contradictions and paradoxes. . . . An entertaining and insightful portrait of China’s secretive rulers.”
—The Economist

“Few outsiders have any realistic sense of the innards, motives, rivalries, and fears of the Chinese Communist leadership. But we all know much more than before, thanks to Richard McGregor’s illuminating and richly-textured look at the people in charge of China’s political machinery. . . . Invaluable.”
—James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic

“Masterful. . . . McGregor’s book is proof that for all of its secretive tendencies, the Party and its power can be usefully analyzed. . . . An accessible introduction to the Party’s power in today’s China.”
—Ian Johnson, The New York Review of Books

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