Glenda Korporaal writes:

An award-winning American reporter who lived in China for 10 years, Washburn uses stories about these people involved in the booming golf business to provide an insight into the China dream that has had a tectonic impact on the world, and the Australian economy in particular. Anyone trying to come to grips with the rise of modern China or thinking about doing business there will receive some comfort that they are not alone in their confusion about how the place works. …

Written with a wry sense of humour about the contradictions of modern China, it chronicles a country in a hurry, where official edicts from Beijing are ignored or circumvented — confirming the old Chinese saying that “the mountain is high and the emperor is far away”, where fast moving operators in the know can make their fortune while poor peasants can find their livelihoods crushed underfoot. …

The book shows how the opening up of China has unleashed a fierce determination among the people — or sizeable proportion of the population at least — to seize the chance to better themselves with hard work, initiative and a dash of rat cunning.

Sitting back in comfortable Australia it’s a bit of a wake up call about where China is going as the breakneck change of the past two decades continues.

Read the complete review here.