America Against America, by Wang Huning


The man behind the throne

A prolific writer and renowned theoretician, Wang Huning is the 5th most powerful person in the CCP. Wang is believed to be one of the principal architects behind the official political ideologies of three paramount leaders: Three Represents by Jiang Zemin, the Scientific Development Concept by Hu Jintao, and the Chinese Dream and Xi Jinping Thought of Xi Jinping. He currently works as head of the Chinese Policy Research Office and chairman of the Central Guidance Commission on Building Spiritual Civilization.

America Against America

Written from notes taken during a six month visit to the United States, America Against America tries to answer one simple question: "Why is there an America?" The conclusion is the koan-like title of the book. Between these two extremes is a wonderfully complicated and nuanced journey into American society, and the multitudes of contradictions which define it. Originally a companion to Wang's more theoretical work, Comparative Political Analysis, America Against America is as much an introduction to political science as it is a travelogue.

America Against America will undoubtedly come to be recognized as one of the greatest sociological works of the last century. Examining the condratictions and dialectics at play within American society, with frequent references to both scholars of the emrging field of American studies, and philosophers from within the Western Tradition, Wang Huning studies how a country as young as the United States can achieve such incredible affluence and power. In doing so, he visits "more than thirty cities and nearly twenty universities" and consults a wide range of people, from Harvard professors to Amish farmers. First published in 1990, America Against America has never before been available for English Audiences.

Always the professor, Wang Huning included this challenge to his readers in the original introduction to America Against America: "Sometimes people need to do a job that provides the opportunity to think, not to conclude. The various real-life accounts in this book follow my thinking and conclusions, but I have also tried to make it an opportunity for others to think." There is little doubt that America Against America is a book which people will be thinking about for a long time.

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Table of Contents

America Against America - Wang Huning

Chapter I - On uneven ground
The uneven development of society and its various features.

1. Doubt, made in America
2. Manhattan and Chinatown
3. The four Cs
4. Total commodification
5. Remote people
6. The Amana colonies
7. The heartland
8. Decline of the farm

Chapter II - An ancient political spirit
The values that dominate political life and their flux.

1. The American mind
2. The Mayflower
3. Political creed
4. Equality or freedom
5. The constitution's bicentennial
6. Political gene
7. Political traditions
8. The third republic

Chapter III - A colorful national character
The diverse character of the nation and its social efficacy.

1. An international people
2. New and different
3. Entzauberung
4. Sacralization
5. Space shuttle misdirection
6. Work ethic
7. Sexual liberation
8. The lonely heart
9. Future world
10. People are always human

Chapter IV - Multileveled societal control
The formal and informal mechanisms that regulate people's lives.

1. The invisible hand
2. Money governs society
3. Human standardization
4. Legal culture
5. Taxation system
6. Scientific administrators
7. Cats and dogs are not free

Chapter V - Interwoven political power
The political forces active in society and their relations.

1. Rule of donkey and elephant
2. Parties share the spoils
3. Interest groups
4. Lobbyists
5. Radical organizations
6. Pluralism or meritocracy?
7. Participative Democracy

Chapter VI - Incomplete elections
The democratic and non-democratic elements in election campaigns.

1. Battle for the White House
2. Road to the presidency
3. A tri-county Democratic Party luncheon
4. TV debate
5. A representative's dream
6. Election day
7. Who rises and falls?

Chapter VII - Political pyramid
Top-down political operations and their characteristics.

1. Capitol hill
2. Fifty states
3. County politics
4. Politics in the cities
5. Grassroots politics
6. Transparency
7. Selection of officials
8. Contacting representatives

Chapter VIII - Soft governance
Non-political coordination mechanisms and socialized regulation.

1. Drivers licenses
2. Factory principles
3. A company is not a democracy
4. Human services
5. Coca-Cola headquarters
6. God on earth

Chapter IX - Reproducing the system
The reproduction of culture, values and even institutions and the connection with education.

1. The educational system
2. MIT
3. The Kennedy school of government
4. Talent factories
5. The US naval academy
6. Educational exports
7. A furnace of technology

Chapter X - Active intelligence
The role of ideas in the development and management of society.

1. Knowledge factories
2. The Brookings Institute
3. The Carter Center
4. The Secratary of Defense's talk
5. Regional affairs centers
6. Think tanks
7. City libraries

Chapter XI - Hidden crises
The various undercurrents that threaten future development.

1. Family values
2. An ignorant generation?
3. Wandering youths
4. America has its own poisons
5. Criminal underworld
6. A beggar nation
7. Black crisis
8. The native's situation
9. A mental crisis
10.Empire of the sun

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