Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China book description: 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.
The Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos has been on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval. In Fortune, Truth, and Faith, 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 be the first regime since Germany in 1935 to prevent the relatives of a Nobel Peace Laureate from accepting his prize? And 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?
Writing with great narrative verve and a keen sense of irony, Osnos follows the moving, illuminating 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.