As China Goes, So Goes the World: How Chinese Consumers Are Transforming Everything

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Nov 9, 2010 - History - 272 pages
In this revelatory examination of the most overlooked force that is changing the face of China, the Oxford historian and scholar of modern Asia Karl Gerth shows that as the Chinese consumer goes, so goes the world. While Americans and Europeans have become increasingly worried about China’s competition for manufacturing jobs and energy resources, they have overlooked an even bigger story: China’s rapid development of an American-style consumer culture, which is revolutionizing the lives of hundreds of millions of Chinese and has the potential to reshape the world.  This change is already well under way. China has become the world’s largest consumer of everything from automobiles to beer and has begun to adopt such consumer habits as living in large single-occupancy homes, shopping in gigantic malls, and eating meat-based diets served in fast-food outlets. Even rural Chinese, long the laggards of consumerism, have been buying refrigerators, televisions, mobile phones, and larger houses in unprecedented numbers. As China Goes, So Goes the World reveals why we should all care about the everyday choices made by ordinary Chinese. Taken together, these seemingly small changes are deeper and more profound than the headline-grabbing stories on military budgets, carbon emissions, or trade disputes.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gmicksmith - LibraryThing

Berth is to be commended for examining the profound effect that consumerism has had in China; however, he does not really delve into what is claimed in the title: the effect that China's consumerism ... Read full review

AS CHINA GOES, SO GOES THE WORLD: How Chinese Consumers Are Transforming Everything

User Review  - Kirkus

Sharply observed account of what happens, both good and bad, when a group of more than a billion people start seriously shopping.While China is often thought of as a major producer of goods, it is as ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Karl Gerth teaches modern Chinese history at Oxford University.

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