Author(s): Will Hutton
The prevailing view of China is of an economic juggernaut set to make the 21st century its own. This provocative and stimulating book warns instead that China is running up against a set of daunting challenges from within that could well derail its rise and, in turn, deliver a crippling shock to the global economy. Britain, Europe and the US must recognise that they have a vital stake in assuring that collapse does not happen. China's effect on our lives is reflected in our house prices, the inequality in our wages and the prices we pay in our shops. Yet China is burdened by a weak enterprise system, growing social protest and environmental degradation. Hutton shows how the contradictions of an authoritarian state are fundamentally disabling and argues that if China is to complete the transition to capitalism upon which it has embarked, it has no choice but to embrace the mechanisms that make business and government accountable to people - from a free press to representative governance. This is a powerful warning that global peace and prosperity depend upon successful transition.
'Hutton's most provocatively enjoyable work to date' Martin Vander Weyer, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'A typically contrarian verdict on the tiger economy of the middle kingdom' Robert McCrum, OBSERVER Books to Watch in 2007 'Pertinent and provocative' HERALD 'A very informative, wide-ranging and readable study of the threat that China poses to itself and to the rest of the world' IRISH TIMES 'A thoughtful and useful corrective to the gushing praise of the uncritical sinofans' Howard Davies, MANAGEMENT TODAY 'There is much to be learned by reading The Writing on the Wall. Hutton is right to rub the noses of starry-eyed Western governments and investors in the formidable difficulties China faces' GUARDIAN 'Compelling ... this is a good book' OBSERVER 'The case he lays out is stark and well argued ... this book makes uncomfortable reading in Beijing - and for the rest of us whose fate is now bound up with the gamble that they can pull it off' NEW STATESMAN 'A lively and informative read ... engaging, like a robust conversation with a super-enthusiast' IRISH INDEPENDENT 'Will Hutton's ability to articulate contemporary anxieties border on genius." This remark, cited on the dust-cover of his latest book must be true: I wrote it. The Writing on the Wall is a superb demonstration of my thesis ... Hutton takes on the most important political and economic story of our time. He has also produced a thought-provoking, wide-ranging and largely correct analysis' Martin Wolf, FINANCIAL TIMES 'I read it with amazement - and I have been paying attention to China since 1955 - and profit ... [this] is good thinking and Hutton, a journalist who writes persuasive plain English, makes his case, at some - necessary - length' SPECTATOR 'Hutton adeptly brings a massive - and significant - question down to size' RTE 'Hutton is surgical in his arguments' MAGILL 'Important ... A necessary and enlightening analysis' WATERSTONES BOOKS QUARTERLY 'Hutton certainly knows his economics and any reader can profit from what he has to say' INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE 'A big, booming book bristling with combination punches' INDEPENDENT
Will Hutton is chief executive of the Work Foundation and columnist for the OBSERVER, where he was editor, then editor-in-chief for four years.