|This book represents an attempt to make sense of the financial and political change
that is starting to wash across China, change that represents a turning point in the
most recent cycle of glorious expansion, wealth creation, and hope over the last thirty
years. Those years followed thirty of crabbed contraction, mistrust, and isolationism.
The intensity of these cycles in China’s state of affairs demonstrates how those who manage
to command this enormous, diverse, yet unified nation exercise control of a scale
inconceivable elsewhere, and find themselves able, intentionally or not, to create both
economic miracles and tragedies of unrivaled scale. I argue that the current, utopian
overbuild of cities measures against the Great Leap Forward as one of the great follies
of history, and one that will have unfortunate consequences for China as an economy
and for its people.