Age Of Ambition Summary

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Age Of Ambition Summary 作者: Mind Map: Age Of Ambition Summary

1. 1-Sentence-Summary:

1.1. Age Of Ambition explains how China has gone from impoverished and only developing to a world superpower and economic powerhouse in only the last 30 years.

2. Favorite quote from the author:

2.1. "Hope is like a path in the countryside: originally there was no path, but once people begin to pass, a way appears." - Evan Osnos

3. 3 lessons:

3.1. The people of China had more influence on it’s rise to power than the government did.

3.1.1. China was pretty poor in the 1950s

3.1.1.1. The per capita income was only ⅓ of sub-Saharan African countries even up until about 1979.

3.1.2. Part of the problem was the well-meaning Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward order, which made private farming illegal.

3.1.2.1. This was an attempt to bring China to a new level of industrialism and economic status, and at first, production grew.

3.1.2.2. But it quickly began to slide backward when famine and recession killed 30-45 million people.

3.1.2.2.1. This was greater than all of the casualties, military and civilian, in World War I!

3.1.3. Hope for the Chinese people still lay with the potential of the farmers whose determination to survive led to real progress.

3.1.3.1. The growth started with 18 poverty-stricken farmers in Xiaogang village banded together to share land evenly, cultivate it, and protect one another.

3.1.3.2. The government still took a large portion of these peasant’s harvests.

3.1.3.3. But they did sell what was leftover to earn some profit.

3.1.3.4. A year later, their earnings were 20 times greater! Other farmers caught on and quickly markets began thriving.

3.1.4. The government eventually found out what was going on, but didn’t stop it because of the positive effect it was having on the economy.

3.1.5. Over time these patterns made their way to 800 million other producers, which made for a huge advancement in China’s GDP.

3.1.6. Little things compounded many times over makes a big difference for the better!

3.2. Drive for success is an abundant trait in the Chinese people.

3.2.1. Ambition began to shine in China once individuals were allowed to start their own businesses.

3.2.2. They have an idea called the “barehanded” fortune which is similar to the American dream.

3.2.2.1. Stories of people working hard to get rich quickly became popular in newspapers and other media.

3.2.2.2. We all love those rags to riches stories, and the Chinese are no different!

3.2.2.3. An example:

3.2.2.4. There are people who don’t receive as good of an education but still rise to success.

3.2.3. Whatever their background, the people of this country strive for the best schooling they can get.

3.2.3.1. An increasing number of newly wealthy Chinese come from just humble peasant families. And it’s all through their hard work.

3.2.4. Some of these who can’t afford a higher quality education will send their children to renowned American schools to get the best they can.

3.3. Individuality is finally starting to grow in China after a long time of governmental oppression.

3.3.1. It used to be that their identity was connected with groups like family, work, or the nation.

3.3.1.1. Even popular songs would almost always use “we” in place of “I.”

3.3.2. That’s all changing though, and the Chinese even call post-1980’s generations the “Me” generation.

3.3.2.1. Opposite to their grandparents, many young people are getting better at choosing for themselves and focusing on their own experiences.

3.3.3. The really great thing about this is that it’s likely a result of increasing freedom of choice.

3.3.3.1. This is possible because more Chinese students are getting a higher education.

3.3.3.2. The advances of the internet also help by making it increasingly easier for them to connect with the rest of the world.

3.3.4. Changes in the country also make it easier for people to begin their own companies rather than associating with a group of people at one big employer.

3.3.5. Even socially, the custom of arranged marriages is evolving.

3.3.6. Mao Zedong banned matchmaking, which just led to family elders and others setting couples up.

3.3.6.1. But now even this is slowly going away with help from online dating sites

4. Who would I recommend the Age Of Ambition summary to?

4.1. The 57-year-old who is curious about the current state of affairs in China, the 24-year-old who complains about the problems of free speech in their country but has no idea how bad it can really get, and anyone who wants to hear an inspiring story of how China is growing quickly.