New Books for 2019
China's Dream: The Culture of the Communist Party and the Secret Sources of its Power, Polity, Cambridge, 2018
The Communist Party of China (CPC) is one of the great political forces of modern times. In charge of the destiny of a fifth of humanity, it survives despite the collapse of similar systems elsewhere. Few, however, understand the sources of this resilience, or, for that matter, what the Party itself stands for.
China’s Dream is the first book to explore the Communist Party as a cultural, rather than a political, entity. It looks at the narratives the Party has created to recount its own history, with the moral story about national rejuvenation and renaissance that these encode. It does not shy away from the thorny issue of how a Party under Mao Zedong, one associated with self-sacrifice, collectivist effort, and anti-individualism, came to pragmatically embrace market capitalism and a new ethics. The tensions to which this gives rise have resulted in a crisis of values, which is now being addressed – with very mixed results – by the CPC.
Drawing on his extensive knowledge of contemporary China, Kerry Brown takes us on a unique and fascinating journey through the least understood aspect of China today – not the great economic revolution in the material world, but the deep cultural revolution already underway in Chinese people’s daily lives.
The World According to Xi, I B Tauris, London and New York, 2018
China is now the most powerful country on earth - its manufacturing underpins the world's economy; its military is growing at the fastest rate of any nation and its leader - Xi Jinping - is now to set the pace and tone of world affairs for decades.
Last month Xi Jinping became part of the constitution - an honour not seen since Chairman Mao, the founder of Modern China. This means he will rule China for decades, and what he does and what he thinks will shape all our futures.
Here, in an accessible and readable style, China expert Kerry Brown guides us through The World According to Xi: his plans to make China the most powerful country on earth, to eradicate poverty and even solve climate change. We find out his belief system, what he really thinks about the communist China he leads, and how far he is willing to go to defend it.
German translation at: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Die-Welt-Xi-Jinping-wissen-ebook/dp/B07CM5MD2Q/ref=sr_1_26?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1528128937&sr=1-26
CEO China: The Rise of Xi Jinping: I B Tauris, London and New York, 2016
China has become the powerhouse of the world economy, its incredible boom overseen by the elite members of the secretive and all-powerful communist party. But since the election of Xi Jinping as General Secretary, life at the top in China has changed. Under the guise of a corruption crackdown, which has seen his rivals imprisoned, Xi Jinping has been quietly building one of the most powerful leaderships modern China has ever seen. In CEO China, the noted China expert Kerry Brown reveals the hidden story of the rise of the man dubbed the 'Chinese Godfather'. Brown investigates his relationship with his revolutionary father, who was expelled by Mao during the Cultural Revolution, his business dealings and allegiances in China's regional power struggles and his role in the internal battle raging between the old men of the Deng era and the new super-rich 'princelings'. Xi Jinping's China is powerful, aggressive and single-minded and this book will become a must-read for the Western world.
China's World: What Does China Want: I B Tauris, London and New York, 2017
In the next decade China's actions on the world stage will affect us all. A new superpower, with the largest population and GDP on the globe, there are now fears that China is becoming more assertive. Here, award-winning China expert Kerry Brown guides us through China's foreign policy, from its skirmishes with US Navy destroyers in the South China Sea to its arguments with Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and its increased displays of military prowess - including huge investments in cyber warfare. Brown also assesses China's extraordinary plan to create a `New Silk Road' across Central Asia - one of the biggest infrastructure project in modern history. In doing so he seeks to answer a simple question: what does China want?
The answer lies in the unique way China thinks about the world. A comprehensive analysis by one of the world's most recognised and respected authorities, and based upon unparalleled research into Chinese leaders, their beliefs and their instincts, China's World is an essential read for the Western world.
The New Emperors: Power and the Princelings in China: I B Tauris, London and New York, 2018
China has become the powerhouse of the world economy and home to 1 in 5 of the world's population, yet we know almost nothing of the people who lead it. How does one become the leader of the world's newest superpower? And who holds the real power in the Chinese system? In The New Emperors, the noted China expert Kerry Brown journeys deep into the heart of the secretive Communist Party. China's system might have its roots in peasant rebellion but it is now firmly under the control of a power-conscious Beijing elite, almost half of whose members are related directly to former senior Party leaders. Brown reveals the intrigue, scandal and murder surrounding the internal battle raging between two China's: one founded by Mao on Communist principles, and a modern China in which 'to get rich is glorious'. At the centre of it all sits the latest Party Secretary, Xi Jinping - the son of a revolutionary, with links both to big business and to the People's Liberation Army. His rise to power is symbolic of the new dragons leading the world's next superpower.
Carnival China: China in the Era of Hu Jintao and Xi Jinping
Imperial College Press, London, May 2014
The era of the Chinese leaders Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao was one in which China became richer, more powerful, more prominent and more vexed. This series of essays, originally published on the Open Democracy website between 2006 and 2013, attempts to make sense of the cultural, political and economic dynamics within which China operates. They deal with internal and external matters, and cover a range of topics, from the fall out over the award of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo to the build-up in 2008 to the Beijing Olympics. Furnished with a comprehensive introduction which sets out an assessment of where China was heading in the first and second decades of the 21st century, the essays encompass voices from the political elite, the migrant laborers and the complex patchwork of groups, people and interests that constitute a rising China whose influence is now felt across the world. Carnival China is a celebration of the confusion, dynamism and colour of China, presented through short essays which were written at the time key events happened and which capture and analyze the country's contradictions and complexities.
The Context: Governing China
Society in Carnival China: The Beautiful, the Damned and the Olympics
China and the Outside World
The Road to 2012: The Leadership Transition
The Enemies Within: Separatists, Dissidents, and the Protestors
Following the Money: The Chinese Economy
After Hu Jintao
Shanghai 2020: The City’s Vision for its Future
Beijing Foreign Languages Press, 2014
This is a book about one of the most dynamic, fastest growing cities on earth. It is about a city in a country which is engaging with modernity in ways which have utterly reshaped its economy and society since the start of the reform and opening up process more than three decades ago in 1978. It is about how a place is returning to its historic role as a great crossing point, a window from the world onto China and China onto the world. It is about somewhere where east meets west, but where the east also meets itself. This is finally the personal story of engagement with the great ambitions of this city, albeit for only a tiny moment of this great story as it unfolds. Shanghai has one of the best healthcare systems, some of the best universities, some of the most innovative companies, and an economy that is quickly moving towards service industry rather than manufacturing. Those that come to the Bund to gaze over the modern skyline of the city often feel like they are looking not just at the present, but at the future, and at what the rest of the country wishes to become in a few years. Shanghai’s attraction also lies in the fact that it embodies the atmosphere and spirit of China in experimenting with reform. And in this sense, it carries a meaning which resonates with both Chinese and foreigners. The launch of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone in September 2013, in particular, holds great prospects for everyone.
China and the EU in Context (Edited)
Palgrave MacMillan, March 2014
China and the EU in Context is an expert analysis of the key economic, political, investment, and trade relations between the EU and China, written for senior executives and investors by the leading European experts on China. Brown offers insights based in a political and economic context, including a broad overview of the key challenges that China and Europe currently face, as well as the related policy aspects of their relationship and how these can best be developed. This book is designed specifically to assist in better business decisions through rigorously analytic treatments of China's economy and the ways in which it operates as an economic and international actor, and business partner.
The result is a coherent, comprehensive perspective on how to better understand the internal dynamics of China, its macroeconomic policy, its international behaviour, and its internal challenges. China and the EU in Context offers solutions to key challenges facing those who are seeking to work with Chinese, or in China, as EU companies and members states.
Introduction: The EU and China in context - Trade, culture, human rights and politics; Prof Kerry Brown
Chinese Investment in the European Union; Prof Jeremy Clegg and Dr Hinrich Voss
Chinese Investment in the Greater Europe Zone; Dr Thierry Apoteker
China, the EU and China's 12th Five Year Programme; Prof Robert Ash, Prof Robin Porter, Prof Tim Summers
China's Rulers: The Fifth Generation Takes Power; Dr Michael Dillon
Social Unrest in China; Dr Lynette Ong and Dr Christian Goebel
China, the US and the EU: The Hopes for Multilateralism; Dr Bates Gill and Andrew Small
Migration from China into the EU: The Challenge within Europe; Kevin Latham and Bin Wu
Conclusions; Prof Kerry Brown
The Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography
(Editor in Chief)
Berkshire, US, 2014
The Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography, the first publication of its kind since 1898, is the work of more than one hundred internationally recognized experts from nearly a dozen countries. It has been designed to satisfy the growing thirst of students, researchers, professionals, and general readers for knowledge about China. It makes the entire span of Chinese history manageable by introducing the reader to emperors, politicians, poets, writers, artists, scientists, explorers, and philosophers who have shaped and transformed China over the course of five thousand years. In 135 entries, ranging from 1,000 to 8,000 words and written by some of the world’s leading China scholars, the Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biographytakes the reader from the important (even if possibly mythological) figures of ancient China to Communist leaders Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. The in-depth essays provide rich historical context, and create a compelling narrative that weaves abstract concepts and disparate events into a coherent story. Cross-references between the articles show the connections between times, places, movements, events, and individuals.
The four-volume set includes a range of appendices, including a timeline of key events, a pronunciation guide, a bibliography, lists of rulers and other prominent people, and other supplemental materials for students of Chinese history and culture. Volume Four (which is published separately) focuses on key
"All students of China and indeed of East Asia and world history will be greatly aided in their studies by this comprehensive reference work, a true milestone in collaborative historical research."
–Wm. Theodore de Bary, Columbia University
"We have long needed a new, comprehensive dictionary of Chinese biography that satisfies both China specialists and teachers/students interested in famous Chinese across the ages. . . . No comprehensive biographical dictionary of China has successfully replaced Herbert Giles’s  work until the new DCB. It's about time!"
–Benjamin A. Elman, Princeton University and Fudan University
"Taken together, the carefully selected and authoritatively written biographies in these volumes offer general readers and specialists alike an engrossing pathway into the broad sweep of China's long past. I found it hard to dip into any one of these biographies without wishing to read several more just to continue the story."
–Alice Miller, Stanford University
"Chinese history is enriched by the lives of distinguished men and women, and finally their lives are made accessible in a concise and accurate way in these volumes. This magnificent work will surely be a must-have for serious libraries around the world."
–Rana Mitter, University of Oxford
"Finally all major historical figures in the long history of China have found their biographers in this outstanding contribution to our understanding of Chinese culture and history. This is a must-have book that belongs in the personal library of all students of China."
–Alexander Pantsov, Capital University
"This accessible invitation to get to know some of the most interesting and significant figures in Chinese history will be appreciated by a wide and enthusiastic range of readers."
–Philip J. Ivanhoe, City University of Hong Kong
"The Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography will be an invaluable resource for students, teachers, and anyone who wants to supplement what they hear and see from our media coverage of China today."
–Stephen A. Orlins, President of the National Committee on US-China Relations