Evan Osnos
  • Age of Ambition Book Cover
  • In Age of Ambition, The New Yorker's longtime China Correspondent Evan Osnos describes the greatest collision in China today: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party’s struggle to retain control.

    "A riveting and troubling portrait of a people in a state of extreme anxiety about their identity, values and future."
    —The New York Times

    "A splendid and entertaining picture of 21st-century China."
    —The Wall Street Journal

    "In the pages of the New Yorker, Evan Osnos has portrayed, explained and poked fun at this new China better than any other writer from the West or the East. In “Age of Ambition,” Osnos takes his reporting a step further, illuminating what he calls China’s Gilded Age, its appetites, challenges and dilemmas, in a way few have done."
    —The Washington Post

    "By far the most thoughtful and well-crafted work on China written by an American journalist in recent years. What sets it apart from other reportage on China is the combination of fascinating storytelling, elegant writing, ingenious contextualization and deep insights.”
    —San Francisco Chronicle

    "A compelling history of China's Gilded Age through stories of its people."
    —Chicago Tribune

    "Eloquent and comprehensive."
    —The New York Times Sunday Book Review

    "Scintillating reportage with an eye for telling ironies that illuminate broader trends."
    —Publishers Weekly

    "A fluent, cohesive view of the country that goes to the heart of the conflict between Party control and the rise of the individual."
    —Financial Times

    "Osnos has adeptly chronicled the remarkable changes in the personal lives of the Chinese populace over the last 35 years, the tension that now animates the public-state relationship and the ideological stalemate bogging society down."
    —Los Angeles Times

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  • Articles
  • The New Yorker
    Published: 04.07.2014
    Chemical Valley
    The coal industry, the politicians, and the big spill.
    On the morning of Thursday, January 9, 2014, the people of Charleston, West Virginia, awoke to a strange tang in the air off the Elk River. It smelled like licorice. The occasional odor is part of life in Charleston, the state capital, which lies in an industrial area that takes flinty pride in the nickname Chemical Valley. In the nineteenth century, natural brine springs made the region one of America’s largest producers of salt. The saltworks gave rise to an industry that manufactured gunpowder, antifreeze, Agent Orange, and other “chemical magic,” as The Saturday Evening Post put it, in 1943. The image endured. Today, the Chemical Valley Roller Girls compete in Roller Derby events with a logo of a woman in fishnet stockings and a gas mask. After decades of slow decline, the local industry has revived in recent years, owing to the boom in cheap natural gas, which has made America one of the world’s most inexpensive places to make chemicals.
  • The New Yorker
    Published: 01.13.2014
    Confucius Comes Home
    Move over, Mao
    In my fifth year in Beijing, I moved into a one-story brick house beside the Confucius Temple, a seven-hundred-year-old shrine to China’s most important philosopher. The temple, which shared a wall with my kitchen, was silent. It had gnarled cypress trees and a wooden pavilion that loomed above my roof like a conscience. In the mornings, I took a cup of coffee outside and listened to the wakeup sounds next door: the brush of a broom across the flagstones, the squeak of a faucet, the hectoring of the magpies overhead.
  • The New Yorker
    Published: 12.16.2013
    Strong Vanilla
    The relentless rise of Kirsten Gillibrand
    Kirsten Gillibrand, the junior senator from New York, needs to pick up her five-year-old son, Henry, from his after-school program by 6 p.m. For every minute she is late, the school charges ten dollars. At 5 p.m. on November 12th, a Tuesday, Gillibrand still had two votes to cast and a meeting with Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader. Her husband, Jonathan, a financial consultant, works in New York City during the week, and, on short notice, she couldn’t find a sitter who was available before six-thirty. She ducked out of the Capitol and returned shortly afterward with Henry. She sat down with him in Reid’s office, where he busied himself with chicken fingers, chocolate milk, and a game of tic-tac-toe.