kortina.nyc / notes
2 Jan 2024 | by kortina

Pillsbury // The Hundred-Year Marathon

I heard about The Hundred-Year Marathon via some podcast interview with an international relations expert (I can’t recall who now).

The author, Michael Pillsbury, has worked in national security and for the CIA since the Nixon era – so he definitely has access to lots more and better information than I do about China.

The book chronicles his transition from a pro-China stance to a more skeptical position that developed as he spent more and more time with high-ranking Chinese officials and scholars.

It’s a very opinionated book, so as a layman, it’s difficult to know exactly how to interpret it. On the one hand, as I said, he has deep access to people and information, so he should have an informed opinion. On the other hand, it’s tough for me to trust anyone who has spent time in DC and the higher echelons of government to have no agenda.

In any case, there’s quite a bit of good history of US-China relations and ancient Chinese military / political strategy in here, and on that basis alone it’s worth reading.

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