This astonishing one-volume encyclopedia belongs on the shelf of anyone with an interest in modern China. A journalist who covered China for more than a decade, Hutchings took on the challenging task of covering all aspects of modern China with short, authoritative essays arranged in alphabetical order. The topics range from biographical sketches of leading figures to geographical descriptions of provinces and cities to accounts of policy programs and ideological formulations -- indeed, just about everything that anyone working on China might need to know. The essays are up-to-date and lively. Hutchings is not afraid to express his opinions, but his main goal is to be objective and tell things as they seem to him, a wise reporter who is as much at home in libraries and archives as he is in the field.