The reader could be forgiven for assuming that Rare Earth, the first foray into fiction by Newsnight’s economics editor Paul Mason, is little more than an extended libel against the Communist Party of China, if not the whole nation.

The cartoonish front cover doesn’t help. Neither does the orientalist mention of feng-shui on the first page.

Yet Mason is too thorough a journalist and too engaging an author to construct anything other than a remarkably multidimensional account of China’s struggles with a social market economy.

He paints the conflicts of greed and principles, freedom and order in outrageously vivid hues, proving that fiction can tell big truths that factual accounts sometimes miss.

Read the full review in Morning Star

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