The book “Currency Wars:”

I came across a recent best-seller entitled “Currency Wars” by James Rickards at a book store recently. I did not manage to read the whole book, but as I find the question of currency conflict particularly interesting and the book presented a lively analysis of current issues, I spent some time with the book.

I was struck by one glaring omission from the book. I could not find anywhere any reference, to the best-seller of 2007 Huobi Zhanzheng (货币战争, currency wars) by  Song Hongbing (宋鸿兵). This extremely influential book in China was translated into Korean and widely read and quoted throughout Asia, and the world.

It is a bit hard to imagine that the Author James Rickards was not aware of this book. Any yet he never mentions it. I am not sure what to make of that omission, but I would suggest that it is most likely a result of the tendency in the United States to ignore significant trends and writings in  East Asia. Exotic tales of Asia are popular in the United States, as are writings for an American audience by Chinese who have a very Westernized perspective. But actual reporting on important intellectual and cultural developments within China are rarely mentioned in the mainstream.

But maybe there was a desire to avoid confessing the intellectual debt.

One can see such behavior as profoundly self-destructive: ignoring China so that China’s growing importance as an intellectual center will be invisible. But in fact the world of Chinese expression is growing in size as we speak.

Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis (Portfolio) by James Rickards (Hardcover – Nov 10, 2011)

James Rickard's book "Currency Wars" Korean Translation of Currency Wars

2 responses to “The book “Currency Wars:”

  1. Lemas Mitchell November 18, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    “One can see such behavior as profoundly self-destructive: ignoring China so that China’s growing importance as an intellectual center will be invisible”

    An intellectual center? I find this VERY DIFFICULT TO SEE. And this is speaking as someone who lived there for 11 years and who has two children that were born there (and have PRC Citizenship).

    • Emanuel Pastreich November 19, 2017 at 11:38 am

      Well, If you look at bookstores, I would say that the US and China have declined. But if we look at the number of specialists working in various fields of inquiry, my point is supported. What is more important is the systematic attempt to make the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences invisible. China produces a very impressive number of publications in many disciplines.

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