This book, unfortunately out of print, was ten years ahead of its time. Published in 2004-05, when China's suring growth fed illusions that its untrammelled future growth and institutional resilience would both ensure its integration into a liberal trading order and its benign rise to super power status, Thunder From the Silent Zone argued for a multi-scenario analysis of China's divergent possible futures even in the near term.
On economics, geopolitics and authoritarian political culture it was on the money. It was a milsetone in the author's development as a scholar of history and a commentator on international affairs. It stood out from the crowd among pundits on China - and it still does, if you can get hold of a second hand or library copy. It povided a radical rethinking of China's international role, including independence for Taiwan, many aspects of everyday Chinese life, including politics, economics, literature, music, and film and a deep perspective on China's history over several millennia.
Unfortunately, this book is now out of print