Erudite Site

The Lido Office Building, Beijing
Eavesdropping in Korean
1505 hrs.

In an Internet filled with fluff and flame, there are still a few websites that speak cogently to the highest parts of your frontal cortex.

One that I enjoy immensely – especially when I virulently disagree with it – is Arts & Letters Daily, a site owned and operated by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The links on their front page would make for weeks of brain tickling reading.

The editors have some very clear ideas about a lot of their subjects and choose their links accordingly. On some topics their selections tend to skew toward a clear viewpoint (they are moderately anti-religion, to put it generously), and quick survey of their recent links about China suggest a fairly skeptical view among editors about China and its prospects:

China’s Valley of Tears: Is Authoritarian Capitalism the Future by Slavoj Zizek

China’s Syndrome of Lawless Growth by John Lee, the author of Will China Fail?, in The Australian

The Great Leap Backward? by Elizabeth Economy in Foreign Affairs

A Nation of Outlaws by Stephen Mihm, author of the recent superb historical perspective A Nation of Counterfeiters, from The Boston Globe.

My Short March Through China by Gary Rosen from Commentary

Big Red Checkbook by John Feffer in The Nation

So enjoy, but be aware that despite its pedigree as a publication catering to intellectuals, there is a clear – possibly unintentional – editorial bent at work.


About David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.
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