Galvin Plaza, Wangjing, Beijing
Watching the wires
If you haven’t read James Fallows‘ thoughtful deconstruction of Harvard professor Niall Ferguson‘s partisan Newsweek cover story “Obama’s Gotta Go,” read it now, regardless of your political preferences. In the piece, Fallows details two areas where Ferguson has been wrong – or just polemical – about China.
For further reading on this vein, check out the view from the other side of Harvard Yard, Ross Terrill‘s “The Case for Selective Failure” in The Wilson Quarterly (registration required,) and my critique of his take on China’s historical and future competitiveness in Silicon Hutong, “How the East Will Rise.”
There are great lessons to be learned from some of those who observe China from afar, not least from Fallows. But those who have genuine insights to offer have paid in time, blood, and treasure for their wisdom. Instant China experts like Ferguson (take scholar, add two weeks in Beijing and Shanghai luxury hotels meeting with assorted locals, stir, and pour into nearest editorial page) on the other hand, need to be consumed with the kind of caution one brings to boxed wine.
- Niall Ferguson Has Been Wrong On Economics (businessinsider.com)
- Niall Ferguson Embarrasses Himself Repeatedly in Newsweek Article (news.firedoglake.com)
- Dylan Byers: Niall Ferguson Lies Yet Again (delong.typepad.com)
- Why Oh Why Can’t We Have a Better Press Corps? Niall Ferguson Edition (delong.typepad.com)