However, it is a bit problematic when he makes comments on the issues in question. For one thing, Pan often lays out only one-side of an argument while ignoring the other, which seems to be a tradition of many Western journalists (with the notable exception of the New Yorker). Further, the stories Pan tells don't actually support the book's two main themes (as he emphasizes in several interviews): 1. Economic reform does not lead to political reform; 2. all the problems have resulted from
I found myself agreeing with a reader who commented on Amazon, "Without a doubt, this is an important book, but do NOT let this be the only book you read about
My husband, Bob, enjoyed reading the stories in the book as well but also showed some disappointment. "From the introduction," Bob said to me, "I thought he had a great idea for a book. However after you read it you see the book is not what he said. If he hadn't claimed the stories tell how
This is to say, if the author hadn't set an agenda while trying to prove his opinions unnecessarily and unsuccessfully, the book would have been an even better read. In this regard, I think Ted Koppel did a better job in his documentary, "The People's Republic of Capitalism," to let the interviewees speak, even when he often disagreed with them.
Philip Pan's personal opinion is most intrusive in the book's final chapter "Blind Justice," which focuses on the consequences of the "one-child policy." The cruelty of local officials in forcing rural women's abortions is evident and horrific. However, is it the policy or the implementation that has been bad? Pan again presents only one side of the arguments on this. I happen to believe that
There have been quite a number of responses since the question was posted early this morning, not all agreeing with Pan.