In This Review

Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China
Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China
By Evan Osnos
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014, 416 pp

On the surface, the prediction that Chinese economic and political reform would go hand in hand seems not to have panned out. In truth, however, the story is more complicated. As Evan Osnos suggests in Age of Ambition, the optimistic view of China’s evolution wasn’t entirely wrong; it merely relied on a conception of politics too narrow to capture a number of subtle but profound shifts that have changed China in ways that are not always immediately visible. In his riveting profiles of entrepreneurs, journalists, artists, dissidents, and strivers, Osnos discovers the emergence in Chinese society of something even more fundamental than a desire for political representation: a search for dignity.

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