Many years ago in one of my university courses, the professor prefaced his presentation of an essay with, “I am a retailer of knowledge. This writer is a primary producer of knowledge.”
I am not certain, but I think it was an essay by the political economist Joseph Schumpter. By about the sixth read through, I had tamed the piece to a 'difficult read'. Before that it was mostly opaque, with ideas I hadn't encountered and words I hadn't seen used in that context.
'The Future is Asian' by Parag Khanna is a comprehensive book reflecting the size and complexity of Asia and how inclusive he is in portraying it. The Arctic, Israel, Japan and Australia/New Zealand are on the margins of Khanna's Asia.
I would put this book in the top half dozen of the best in the last 100 I have read. Without excusing 'bad behaviour in western eyes' the author tries, and succeeds to a large extent, to explain it, and the characters involved, in an illuminating way.
Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-rich and Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland, 2012
With no background on this book, I had been expecting a Naomi Klein-type of visceral rant against wealth and the wealthy. And the latter part of the title “and fall of everyone else” does nothing to dispel this boding.
Reviewed September 2019
'The Claws of the Panda:Beijing's Campaign of Influence and Intimidation in Canada” by veteran journalist Jonathan Manthorpe is a call to beware of the machinations of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to advance its interests and reputation in this country.
Manthorpe, with much experience in China, makes clear his target is the CCP and not China, the Chinese, Chinese immigrants or Chinese Canadians.