No nation on Earth is as newsworthy as 21st-century China - and no book could be timelier than Dragon Rising, appearing just as world attention begins to focus on the 2008 Beijing Olympics and China's all-out effort to present itself as a modern world power. As interest grows, Becker is the ideal guide to the profound changes that are already reshaping economic, diplomatic, and military strategies all over the globe. Intertwining in-depth analysis with revealing anecdotal evidence, Becker addresses every major question. What form will China's government take? How will communism's legacy affect modernization? Can Shanghai's success with urban capitalism be replicated elsewhere? Will wholesale cultural and economic change be resisted by the millions facing sudden transition from an authoritarian state to a market-driven society? How will the new China cope with pollution, unemployment, and voracious demand for energy? Each chapter examines a specific region and such key local issues as poverty, minority unrest, and official corruption, then places them in the broader context of Chinese society as a whole. Vividly illustrated with photographs that capture the paradox of an ancient culture remaking itself into a dynamic consumer society, Dragon Rising is a wonderfully written, well-rounded, wide-ranging portrait of China's problems and prospects.