The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao (Pantheon/Knopf in the US and Penguin in the UK, both on April 11, 2017) tells the story of one of the world's great spiritual revivals. Following a century of violent anti-religious campaigns, China is now filled with new temples, churches and mosques--as well as cults, sects and politicians trying to harness religion for their own ends. Driving this explosion of faith is uncertainty--over what it means to be Chinese, and how to live an ethical life in a country that discarded traditional morality a century ago and is still searching for new guideposts.
The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China (Oxford University Press, 2016) features essays by a dozen contributors aimed at taking readers from the late Qing to the 21st century, including a coda I wrote on the presence of the past in the present. You can read an excerpt of my chapter in The Guardian.
A collection of essays by journalists and academics, including Peter Hessler, Leslie T. Chang, James Millward, Jeffrey Prescott and many others. I contributed the first chapter, about a strange Daoist priest who I thought was a fraud, until I began to believe.
A series of recollections, some startling honest, by some of the best names in the China-watching field. And then there's my recollection of Deng's heyday...
A Mosque in Munich examines how the roots of radical Islam were planted in Europe during the early days of the Cold War, building on structures and ways of dealing with Islam that Nazi bureaucrats pioneered. The argument is based on original material culled from a dozen archives in Europe and North America, as well as scores of interviews.
Wild Grass: Three Stories of Change in Modern China (Pantheon, 2004) looks at how China's authoritarian government is struggling keep up with the pressures for change from a rapidly modernizing society, where levels of education and prosperity are rising every day. The book looks at this big-picture idea through the lives of three ordinary people: a rural lawyer, a big-city urban activist, and a small-town housewife.