“Yes, I do have a political agenda,” writes the political scientist Daniel A. Bell close to the front of his latest book. “I aim to de-demonize China’s political system.”

How does one prettify the ugliest regime on earth? Bell, once communist China’s leading apologist to Western audiences, offers a series of polished essays on the country’s culture and politics, all enlivened by snippets of memoir and admissions of personal and professional failings. Much of Bell’s The Dean of Shandong: Confessions of a Minor Bureaucrat at a Chinese University is hokum, but it is nonetheless informative, entertaining, and sometimes even insightful.1


A Message from the Editors

Your donation sustains our efforts to inspire joyous rediscoveries.

Popular Right Now