Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Holden Caulfield in Beijing — Chinese Have Found a Reason to Care about U.S. Literature and other news and views for Tuesday 11 March

  • Holden Caulfield in Beijing — Chinese Have Found a Reason to Care about U.S. Literature – “In the 1980s, the novel’s attack on conservative social mores resonated with the liberal and iconoclastic zeitgeist of a newly opened China; in the early 1990s, its cynic and frustrated tone gave expression to the despondency of Chinese youth, who had just seen their democratic ideals crushed by the massacre of student protesters in central Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989. The 21st century, which has brought China unprecedented material wealth and social inequality, has granted the book new relevance.”
  • Beyond Ukraine: Russia’s Imperial Mess- “But Putin is no gambler, nor is he looking for excuses to raze cities to the ground. And even though he is playing a high-stakes game of poker, he also isn’t putting everything on the line. Instead, it seems highly likely that Putin will stop when he faces the threat of a major war. In this respect, he has not lost touch with reality in the way the German chancellor believes. Instead, he is ruthlessly exploiting all his options, taking things to a limit which he knows very well. He is not doing so out of strength but out of weakness. In fact, this Crimean campaign could be the last imperial twitch of a Russia that has shrunk to the point of being a medium-sized power.”
  • In Iraq, Anbar Faces Extremists Stronger Than Those U.S. Fought – “The extremists now committing a wave of attacks in Iraq’s Anbar province are better trained, funded and equipped than the al-Qaida-linked groups American soldiers battled there, says Brett McGurk, one of the State Department’s top officials for Iraq. The militants, who have drawn strength amid the war in Syria over the border, have taken over parts of Anbar over the last three months.”
  • Why are markets inefficient and what can be done about it?
  • What is at stake in Crimea? – “The speed at which events in Ukraine are unfolding is astounding. This column argues that the real goal of Russian President Putin is to make the February 2014 changes look like a failure. Root causes of the Ukrainian protest also exist in Russia and a victory of reform forces in Kiev could encourage stronger protest movement in Russia than that of 2011-2013 and potentially lead to a similar outcome.”
  • Endangered species - “A recent sacking reveals an historic change in the traditional structure of the newspaper industry.”
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