Jonathan Fenby - Author

About the Author

Jonathan Fenby is a former editor of the OBSERVER and of the SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST. He is the author of several books including the acclaimed ON THE BRINK: THE TROUBLE WITH FRANCE and GENERALISSIMO: CHIANG KAI-SHEK AND THE CHINA HE LOST. In 2013 Jonathan was awarded the Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur by the French government for his contribution towards understanding between Britain and France.

Featured books by Jonathan Fenby

The History of Modern France From The Revolution to the Present Day

The History of Modern France From The Revolution to the Present Day

Author: Jonathan Fenby Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/07/2015

With the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815, the next two centuries for France would be tumultuous.  As her cross-Channel neighbour Great Britain would equally suffer, France was to undergo the wrenching loss of colonies in the post-Second World War as the new modern world we know today took shape. Her attempts to become the leader of the European union is a constant struggle, as was her lack of support for America in the two Gulf Wars of the past twenty years. Alongside this came huge social changes and cultural landmarks but also fundamental questioning of what this nation, which considers itself exceptional, really stood - and stands - for. That saga and those questions permeate the France of today, now with an implacable enemy to face in the form of Islamic extremism which so bloodily announced itself this year in Paris. Fenby will detail every event, every struggle and every outcome across this expanse of 200 years. It will prove to be the definitive guide to understanding France.

Other books by Jonathan Fenby

Crucible Twelve Months that Changed the World Forever

Crucible Twelve Months that Changed the World Forever

Author: Jonathan Fenby Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/06/2018

One year shaped the world we know today. This is the page-turning story of the pivotal changes which were forged in the space of thirteen months of 1947-48 Two years after the end of the second conflict to engulf the world in twenty years, and the defeat of the Axis forces of Germany, Italy and Japan, this momentous time saw the unrolling of the Cold War between Joseph Stalin's Soviet Russia and the Western powers under the untried leadership of Harry Truman as America came to play a global role for the first time. The British Empire began its demise with the birth of the Indian and Pakistan republics with the flight of millions and wholesale slaughter as Vietnam, Indonesia and other colonies around the globe vied for freedom. 1948 also marked the creation of the state of Israel, the refugee flight of Palestinians and the first Arab-Israeli war as well as the victories of Communist armies that led to their final triumph in China, the coming of apartheid to South Africa, the division of Korea, major technological change and the rolling out of the welfare state against a backdrop of events that ensured the global order would never be the same again. This dynamic narrative spans the planet with overlapping epic episodes featuring such historic figures as Truman and Marshall, Stalin and Molotov, Attlee and Bevin, De Gaulle and Adenauer, Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-shek, Nehru and Jinnah, Ben Gurion and the Arab leaders. Between them, they forged the path to our modern world.

Crucible Twelve Months that Changed the World Forever

Crucible Twelve Months that Changed the World Forever

Author: Jonathan Fenby Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/06/2018

One year shaped the world we know today. This is the page-turning story of the pivotal changes which were forged in the space of thirteen months of 1947-48 Two years after the end of the second conflict to engulf the world in twenty years, and the defeat of the Axis forces of Germany, Italy and Japan, this momentous time saw the unrolling of the Cold War between Joseph Stalin's Soviet Russia and the Western powers under the untried leadership of Harry Truman as America came to play a global role for the first time. The British Empire began its demise with the birth of the Indian and Pakistan republics with the flight of millions and wholesale slaughter as Vietnam, Indonesia and other colonies around the globe vied for freedom. 1948 also marked the creation of the state of Israel, the refugee flight of Palestinians and the first Arab-Israeli war as well as the victories of Communist armies that led to their final triumph in China, the coming of apartheid to South Africa, the division of Korea, major technological change and the rolling out of the welfare state against a backdrop of events that ensured the global order would never be the same again. This dynamic narrative spans the planet with overlapping epic episodes featuring such historic figures as Truman and Marshall, Stalin and Molotov, Attlee and Bevin, De Gaulle and Adenauer, Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-shek, Nehru and Jinnah, Ben Gurion and the Arab leaders. Between them, they forged the path to our modern world.

Will China Dominate the 21st Century? 2E

Will China Dominate the 21st Century? 2E

Author: Jonathan Fenby Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/02/2017

China's spectacular growth and expanding global role have led to visions of the 21st century being dominated by the last major state on earth ruled by a Communist Party. In this new edition of his widely acclaimed book, renowned China expert Jonathan Fenby shows why such assumptions are wrong. He presents an analysis of China under Xi Jinping which explores the highly significant political, economic, social and international challenges it faces, each involving structural difficulties that will put the system under strain. Based on the author's extensive knowledge of contemporary China and his close analysis of Xi's leadership, this incisive book offers a pragmatic view of where the country is heading at a time when its future is too important an issue for wishful theorizing.

Will China Dominate the 21st Century? 2E

Will China Dominate the 21st Century? 2E

Author: Jonathan Fenby Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/02/2017

China's spectacular growth and expanding global role have led to visions of the 21st century being dominated by the last major state on earth ruled by a Communist Party. In this new edition of his widely acclaimed book, renowned China expert Jonathan Fenby shows why such assumptions are wrong. He presents an analysis of China under Xi Jinping which explores the highly significant political, economic, social and international challenges it faces, each involving structural difficulties that will put the system under strain. Based on the author's extensive knowledge of contemporary China and his close analysis of Xi's leadership, this incisive book offers a pragmatic view of where the country is heading at a time when its future is too important an issue for wishful theorizing.

The History of Modern France From the Revolution to the War with Terror

The History of Modern France From the Revolution to the War with Terror

Author: Jonathan Fenby Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/06/2016

With the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815, the next two centuries for France would be tumultuous. Bestselling historian and political commentator Jonathan Fenby provides an expert and riveting journey through this period as he recounts and analyses the extraordinary sequence of events of this period from the end of the First Revolution through two others, a return of Empire, three catastrophic wars with Germany, periods of stability and hope interspersed with years of uncertainty and high tensions. As her cross-Channel neighbour Great Britain would equally suffer, France was to undergo the wrenching loss of colonies in the post-Second World War as the new modern world we know today took shape. Her attempts to become the leader of the European union is a constant struggle, as was her lack of support for America in the two Gulf Wars of the past twenty years. Alongside this came huge social changes and cultural landmarks but also fundamental questioning of what this nation, which considers itself exceptional, really stood - and stands - for. That saga and those questions permeate the France of today, now with an implacable enemy to face in the form of Islamic extremism which so bloodily announced itself this year in Paris. Fenby will detail every event, every struggle and every outcome across this expanse of 200 years. It will prove to be the definitive guide to understanding France.

The Dragon Throne China's Emperors from the Qin to the Manchu

The Dragon Throne China's Emperors from the Qin to the Manchu

Author: Jonathan Fenby Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/07/2015

They were the most powerful rulers on earth. The mighty Qin Shi Huangdu (r. 221-210 BC), who began the construction of the Great Wall. The long-lived Han emperor Wudi (r. 141-87 BC), who developed China as a centralized Confucian state. The soldier-scholar Yongle (r. 1402-24 AD), who raised the Ming dynasty to its military peak. The dowager empress Cixi (r. 1861-1908 AD), who rose from humble Manchu origins to rule over all China. In The Dragon Throne, Jonathan Fenby tells the extraordinary story of imperial China through its 157 emperors, from Qin Shi Huangdu, who crushed his rivals to take supreme power as the first emperor in 221BC, until the final collapse of the faltering Manchu dynasty amidst the revolutionary chaos of the early twentieth century. The final emperor, the infant Puyi (r. 1908-12) ended his days as an assistant gardener in the very palace where he had been enthroned.

The History of Modern France From The Revolution to the Present Day

The History of Modern France From The Revolution to the Present Day

Author: Jonathan Fenby Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/07/2015

With the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815, the next two centuries for France would be tumultuous.  As her cross-Channel neighbour Great Britain would equally suffer, France was to undergo the wrenching loss of colonies in the post-Second World War as the new modern world we know today took shape. Her attempts to become the leader of the European union is a constant struggle, as was her lack of support for America in the two Gulf Wars of the past twenty years. Alongside this came huge social changes and cultural landmarks but also fundamental questioning of what this nation, which considers itself exceptional, really stood - and stands - for. That saga and those questions permeate the France of today, now with an implacable enemy to face in the form of Islamic extremism which so bloodily announced itself this year in Paris. Fenby will detail every event, every struggle and every outcome across this expanse of 200 years. It will prove to be the definitive guide to understanding France.

The Penguin History of Modern China The Fall and Rise of a Great Power, 1850 to the Present, Second Edition

The Penguin History of Modern China The Fall and Rise of a Great Power, 1850 to the Present, Second Edition

Author: Jonathan Fenby Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/06/2013

In 1850, China was the 'sick man of Asia'. Now it is set to become the most powerful nation on earth. The Penguin History of Modern China shows how turbulent that journey has been. For 150 years China has endured as victim of oppression, war and famine. This makes its current position as arguably the most important global superpower all the more extraordinary. Jonathan Fenby's comprehensive account is the definitive guide to this remarkable transformation. Reviews: 'His book is a miracle of thoroughness, truthfulness and readability - the perfect primer for a time when China is about to enter all our lives' Sunday Telegraph 'Jonathan Fenby's ... illuminating book [is] the first major history that looks at the country with the eyes of the 21st century rather than the 20th' Rana Mitter, Financial Times '[It] reads like a novel and is never less than thoughtful and compassionate for the fate of a much-abused people ... [Fenby has] a journalist's eye for telling detail' Herald 'Taut, anecdote-studded ... a great introduction for a general audience, with vivid scene setting and character sketches' Michel Sheridan, Sunday Times 'For an accessible, authoritative, fair and comprehensive and well written account, this would be hard to better' BBC History 'A wonderful history of modern China and a cracking good read' Chris Patten About the author: Jonathan Fenby, CBE, has been the editor of the Observer and the South China Morning Post. His books include Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the China He Lost and Dealing with the Dragon: A Year in the New Hong Kong. He is currently Editor-in-Chief and China Editor of the analytical service, Trusted Sources.

Tiger Head, Snake Tails China today, how it got there and why it has to change

Tiger Head, Snake Tails China today, how it got there and why it has to change

Author: Jonathan Fenby Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/04/2013

This is a comprehensively updated account of where China stands today, covering the generational change in the leadership completed in March 2013, the Bo Xilai scandal and the changing course of the world's second largest economy and the last major state ruled by a Communist Party. Named as a book of the year by the Guardian, the Financial Times and Bloombery Business Week, it lays out the reality behind the spectacular statistics and explains why China has to change if it is to maintain its development and avoid major internal problems China's importance as an increasingly significant global force is a phenomenon of our times, but the world's most heavily populated nation has a history of catastrophe and tragedy, tyranny and repression, abject poverty, unfair business practice and corruption - and now faces environmental degradation and a demographic time bomb. In this compelling and lucid account based on years of research and first-hand experience, Jonathan Fenby links together the myriad features of today's China. He delivers a unique and coherent picture of its essence and evolution and contemplates its future - both alone and connected to the world around it. 'A bestselling examination of modern China by an experienced and fluent commentator' - Financial Times

The General Charles De Gaulle and the France He Saved

The General Charles De Gaulle and the France He Saved

Author: Jonathan Fenby Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/07/2011

No leader of modern times was more unique and more uniquely national than Charles de Gaulle. As founder and first President of the Fifth Republic, General de Gaulle saw himself 'carrying France on my shoulders'. When he first emerged on to the world stage in 1940, his insistence that he spoke for his nation might well have appeared impossibly arrogant for a recently promoted junior general who had never been elected to anything. But he personified many of the traits of his country which fascinate the rest of the world - its pride in itself, its intransigence, its historical and cultural heritage and its quasi-religious belief in the state. Le General, as he became known from 1940 on, appeared as if carved from a single monumental block, but was, in fact, extremely complex, a man with deep personal feelings and recurrent mood swings, devoted to his family and often seeking reassurance from those around him. Though insisting on discipline and loyalty from others, he was a great rebel. A grand visionary with a vast geo-political grasp and elephantine memory, he was also a supreme tactician with a taste for secrecy and the ability to out-flank opponents. This is a magisterial, sweeping biography of one of the great leaders of the twentieth century and of the country with which he so identified himself. Written with terrific verve and narrative skill, and yet rigorous and detailed, it brings alive as never before the private man as well as the public leader through exhaustive research and astute analysis.

Chiang Kai Shek

Chiang Kai Shek

Author: Jonathan Fenby Format: eBook Release Date: 27/04/2009

With a narrative as briskly paced and vividly detailed as an international thriller, this definitive biography of Chiang Kai-shek masterfully maps the tumultuous political career of Nationalist China's generalissimo as it reevaluates his brave but unfulfilled life. Chiang Kai-shek was one of the most influential world figures of the twentieth century. The leader of the Kuomintang, the Nationalist movement in China, by 1928 he had established himself as head of the government in Nanking. But while he managed to survive the political storms of the 1930s, Chiang's power was continually being undermined by the Japanese on one side and the Chinese Communists on the other. Drawing extensively on original Chinese sources and accounts by contemporaneous journalists, acclaimed author Jonathan Fenby explores little-known international connections in Chiang's story as he unfolds a story as fascinating in its conspiratorial intrigues as it is remarkable for its psychological insights. This is the definitive biography of the man who, despite his best intentions, helped create modern-day China.

On The Brink The Trouble With France

On The Brink The Trouble With France

Author: Jonathan Fenby Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/10/2002

When Le Pen won through to the second round of the presidential elections in April, the eyes of the world turned to France and wondered whether the forces of the extreme right were really alive in Europe again. In this timely book, Jonathan Fenby asks what the future really holds for our nearest neighbour. For centuries France has occupied a unique position in the British, and indeed European, psyche - sometimes as enemy, sometimes as collaborator, but always an object of fascination and opinion. Part of this interest is due to the problems we share - economically, culturally and politically - yet despite the common difficulties France is a country in crisis to a much greater extent than we realise.So argues Jonathan Fenby in this excellent survey of the state of modern France. Taking in all the major themes of French identity and exploring how they have been undermined - from agriculture to the motor industry, smoking to fashion - and with acute analysis of recent French political history, Fenby argues that France is a country without direction; a once-great power now unsure of itself and its place in the world.

France On The Brink: A Great Civilization Faces a New Century

France On The Brink: A Great Civilization Faces a New Century

Author: Jonathan Fenby Format: eBook Release Date: 14/07/1999

A renowned journalist shows us France as never before seen, and the view will chill and electrify anyone who loves -- or loves to hate -- the country that not only defined culture but gave us the word itself. The traditional leader in the arts, letters, cuisine, and fashion, France embodies universally admired ideals of political expression and personal freedom. But France's heritage, combined with its glorious history, has also created delusions of grandeur -- the Gaullist conviction that France will always be an "e;exception"e;. France today is in crisis. High unemployment, an archaic economic system, a self-selecting governing class unable to handle serious problems, and a debilitating nostalgia for things past are dragging it closer to the brink at the very moment of European unification. Urgent, convincing, and unsparing, this eye-opening look at the world's most complex, seductive, and sometimes infuriating country will give even the most knowledgeable Francophile plenty to think about.

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