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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University March 26, 2007 | Vol. 36 No. 27
SAIS Scholar Mann Publishes New Book On China

By Felisa Neuringer Klubes

James Mann, Foreign Policy Institute author-in-residence at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, has recently published The China Fantasy: How Our Leaders Explain Away Chinese Repression.

In the book, published by Viking, Mann examines the evolution of American policy toward China and asks, Does it make sense? What are Americans' ideas and hidden assumptions about China?

Exploring China's political evolution and its future, Mann examines two scenarios popular among the policy elite. The "Soothing Scenario" contends that the successful spread of capitalism will gradually bring about a development of democratic institutions, free elections, independent judiciary and a progressive human rights policy. In the "Upheaval Scenario," the contradictions in Chinese society between rich and poor, cities and the countryside, and the openness of the economy and the unyielding Leninist system will eventually lead to a revolution, chaos or collapse.

Against this backdrop, Mann poses a third scenario, asking, What will happen if Chinese capitalism continues to evolve and expand, but the government fails to liberalize? What then, and why should this third scenario matter to Americans? Mann explores this alternate possibility and offers a startling vision of our future with China that would have a profound impact for decades to come.

Mann is the best-selling author of Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet, Beijing Jeep and About Face: A History of America's Curious Relationship With China From Nixon to Clinton. He was previously the diplomatic correspondent and foreign affairs columnist for The Los Angeles Times and served as the newspaper's Beijing bureau chief from 1984 to 1987. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Mann also has written for The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic and The Washington Post.


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