Evan Osnos is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he served as the China correspondent from 2008 to 2013. Previously, he worked at the Chicago Tribune, where he was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting in 2008. He is the author of Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction finalist
Winner of the 2014 National Book Award in nonfiction
An Economist Best Book of 2014
Winner of the bronze medal for the Council on Foreign Relations’ 2015 Arthur Ross Book Award
A vibrant, colorful, and revelatory inner history of China during a moment of profound transformation
From abroad, we often see China as a caricature: a nation of pragmatic plutocrats and ruthlessly dedicated students destined to rule the global economy-or an addled Goliath, riddled with corruption and on the edge of stagnation. What we don’t see is how both powerful and ordinary people are remaking their lives as their country dramatically changes.
As the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos was on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval. In Age of Ambition, he describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party’s struggle to retain control. He asks probing questions: Why does a government with more success lifting people from poverty than any civilization in history choose to put strict restraints on freedom of expression? Why do millions of young Chinese professionals-fluent in English and devoted to Western pop culture-consider themselves “angry youth,” dedicated to resisting the West’s influence? How are Chinese from all strata finding meaning after two decades of the relentless pursuit of wealth?
Writing with great narrative verve and a keen sense of irony, Osnos follows the moving stories of everyday people and reveals life in the new China to be a battleground between aspiration and authoritarianism, in which only one can prevail.