Mr. China: An Adventurous Young Man Collides with a Vast Nation on the Brink of Capitalism

By Tim Clissold

The idea of China has always exerted a pull on the adventurous type. There is a kind of entrepreneurial Westerner who just can't resist it: red flags, a billion bicycles, and the largest untapped market on earth. What more could they want? After the first few visits, they start to feel more in tune and experience the first stirrings of a fatal ambition: the secret hope of becoming the Mr. China of their time.

In the 1990s, China went through a miraculous transformation from a closed backwater to the workshop of the world. Many smart young men saw this transformation coming and mistook it for their destiny. Not a few rushed East to gain strategic footholds, plant their flags, and prosper. After all, the Chinese had numbers on their side: a seemingly endless population, a thirst for resources, and the tide of history. What they needed was Western knowledge and lots of capital. Or so it seemed ...

Mr. China tells the rollicking story of one man's encounter with the Chinese. Armed with hundreds of millions of dollars and a strong sense that he and his partners were -- like missionaries of capitalism -- descending into the industrial past to bring the Chinese into the modern world, Clissold got the education of a lifetime.

The ordinary Chinese workers, business owners, local bureaucrats, and party cadres Clissold encountered were some of the most committed, resourceful, and creative operators he would ever meet. They were happy to take the foreigner's money but resisted just about anything else. At every turn, the locals seemed one step ahead of Clissold's crew threatening to take the Westerners for all they were worth.

In the end, Mr. China isn't a tale of business or an expatriate's love for his adopted land. It's one man's coming-of-age story where he learns to respect and admire the nation he sought to conquer.


EXCERPTS: Chinese Rules

Posted November 4, 2014, 9:32 PM with category of Management & Workplace Culture
Tim Clissold's Mr. China is one of the great books on China's rise. He is now back with a new book, Chinese Rules, to update the situation there. Read more

JACK COVERT SELECTS: Jack Covert Selects: Mr. China

Posted April 16, 2007, 1:37 PM with category of Management & Workplace Culture
Mr. China: A Memoir by Tim Clissold, Collins, 260 pages, $14. 95 Paperback, Feb 2006, ISBN 9780060761400. Read more

NEWS & OPINION: Chain of Links

Posted May 3, 2006, 2:06 PM with category of Management & Workplace Culture
Here is a dump of some of those links that have been building up in my bookmarks: Charles Fishman walks around Wal-Mart with Washington Post reporter Bob Thompson and talks about The Wal-Mart Effect. Andy Kessler reads alot of business books, but doesn't know why because they mostly suck. He does see our view of the new business book as one that shows you a different way of viewing the world. Read more

NEWS & OPINION: The Economist's Best Books of the Year 2004 (Business and Economics)

Posted December 21, 2004, 1:16 PM with category of Management & Workplace Culture
Here is The Economist's Best of 2004 list. You will definitely not find any reference to numbers or animals in any of these titles. I have the same problem with this list as Troy Worman had with our other lists - I haven't read any of these. Read more


  Choose a format

Price: $11.99/ea
LIST PRICE: $14.99

Bulk Paperback Non-returnable Discounts
Quantity Price Discount
1 - 24 $11.99 20%
25 - 99 $10.49 30%
100 - 499 $9.74 35%
500 - 999 $9.44 37%
ISBN: 9780060761400

About the Paperback

Publisher HarperCollins Publishers
Publish date 02/28/2006
Pages 262
ISBN-13 9780060761400
ISBN-10 0060761407
Language English

Need 1000 or more?

Additional discounts may be available for print books. We also offer pricing for RETURNABLE orders. Please call 1-800-236-7323 or email us to request a quote.