Asia's Reckoning by Richard McGregor
China, Japan, and the Fate of U.S. Power in the Pacific Century

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Mr. McGregor is a well-recognized expert on East Asia with sources and contacts that make him well suited to write such a book. It has anecdotes and insights that will delight policy wonks interested in the region, but it will prove to be a tough slog for general readers...
-Washington Times

Synopsis

“Often critical of Washington’s ‘combination of idealism and arrogance,’ McGregor offers detailed, vivid descriptions of America’s Asian diplomacy.” —Publishers Weekly

A history of the combative military, diplomatic, and economic relations among China, Japan, and the United States since the 1970s—and the potential crisis that awaits them

Richard McGregor’s Asia’s Reckoning is a compelling account of the widening geopolitical cracks in a region that has flourished under an American security umbrella for more than half a century. The toxic rivalry between China and Japan, two Asian giants consumed with endless history wars and ruled by entrenched political dynasties, is threatening to upend the peace underwritten by Pax Americana since World War II. Combined with Donald Trump’s disdain for America’s old alliances and China's own regional ambitions, east Asia is entering a new era of instability and conflict. If the United States laid the postwar foundations for modern Asia, now the anchor of the global economy, Asia’s Reckoning reveals how that structure is falling apart.

With unrivaled access to archives in the United States and Asia, as well as to many of the major players in all three countries, Richard McGregor has written a tale that blends the tectonic shifts in diplomacy with bitter domestic politics and the personalities driving them. It is a story not only of an overstretched America, but also of the rise and fall and rise of the great powers of Asia. The about-turn of Japan—from a colossus seemingly poised for world domination to a nation in inexorable decline in the space of two decades—has few parallels in modern history, as does the rapid rise of China—a country whose military is now larger than those of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and southeast Asia's combined.

The confrontational course on which China and Japan are set is no simple spat between neighbors: the United States would be involved on the side of Japan in any military conflict between the two countries. The fallout would be an economic tsunami, affecting manufacturing centers, trade routes, and political capitals on every continent. Richard McGregor’s book takes us behind the headlines of his years reporting as the Financial Times’s Beijing and Washington bureau chief to show how American power will stand or fall on its ability to hold its ground in Asia.
 

About Richard McGregor

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Richard McGregor is a reporter and former China Bureau chief for the Financial Times. He has reported from North Asia for nearly two decades.
 
Published September 5, 2017 by Viking. 410 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Asia's Reckoning
All: 4 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on Jul 03 2017

...the current leadership appears to be at a loss about what to do or to formulate other aspects of any coherent policy in and toward Asia. Geopolitics wonks will want to give attention to this urgent but nonsensationalized argument.

Read Full Review of Asia's Reckoning: China, Japa... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Journal of Books

Good
Reviewed by Jerry Lenaburg on Sep 03 2017

This book is an essential primer for anyone seeking to understand the complicated brew of history, politics, and prejudices that make this area of the globe one of the most likely flashpoints of the 21st century.

Read Full Review of Asia's Reckoning: China, Japa... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Washington Times

Above average
Reviewed by Gary Anderson on Sep 20 2017

Mr. McGregor is a well-recognized expert on East Asia with sources and contacts that make him well suited to write such a book. It has anecdotes and insights that will delight policy wonks interested in the region, but it will prove to be a tough slog for general readers...

Read Full Review of Asia's Reckoning: China, Japa... | See more reviews from Washington Times

The Economist

Good
on Sep 09 2017

His narrative of relations and contacts between the leading politicians and policy-makers in both countries, and of America’s interplay with the two, makes for a compelling and impressive read.

Read Full Review of Asia's Reckoning: China, Japa... | See more reviews from The Economist
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