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Summary

The explosive, behind-the-scenes story of Donald Trump's high-stakes confrontation with Beijing, from an award-winning Washington Post columnist and peerless observer of the US-China relationship.

There was no calm before the storm. Donald Trump’s surprise electoral victory shattered the fragile understanding between Washington and Beijing, putting the most important relationship of the 21st century in the hands of a novice who had bitterly attacked China from the campaign trail. Almost as soon as he entered office, Trump brought to a boil the long-simmering rivalry between the two countries, while also striking up a “friendship” with Chinese president Xi Jinping - whose manipulations of his American counterpart would undermine the White House’s already disjointed response to the historic challenge of a rising China. All the while, Trump’s own officials fought to steer US policy from within.

By the time the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in Wuhan, Trump’s love-hate relationship with Xi had sparked a trade war, while Xi’s aggression had pushed the world to the brink of a new Cold War. But their quarrel had also forced a long-overdue reckoning within the United States over China’s audacious foreign-influence operations, horrific human rights abuses, and creeping digital despotism. Ironically, this awakening was one of the biggest foreign-policy victories of Trump’s fractious term in office.

​Filled with shocking revelations drawn from Josh Rogin’s unparalleled access to top US officials from the White House and deep within the country’s foreign policy machine, Chaos Under Heaven reveals an administration at war with itself during perhaps our most urgent hour. 

©2021 Josh Rogin (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Jane Hampton Cook
  • 20-03-21

Important but Biased

The author is at his best when he is describing the concerning, multi-dimensional threats of the CCP and China's influence against Americans and Chinese minority groups. It is refreshing to see this concern coming from someone not on the political right. However, the author's bias against President Donald Trump and his team is pervasive, obvious and often off-putting. The book would have come across with more credibility and polish had this journalist-turned-author taken a more neutral tone toward this Republican president and those who worked on America's China policy. The China threat is too important to offend 74 million Americans in the process of conveying important information.

32 people found this helpful

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  • Gary
  • 13-03-21

Extremely well written and researched

This was a surprisingly good book. I say that only because , although the summary made the book sound interesting, I really imagined it would be too dry to engage me. I have never erally studied the relationship with China. However, every sentence was well structured and clear with facts and reasoned analysis. I also appreciate that this was a book on the relationship between the US and China during the Trump era. I also deeply appreciate that the book was not bashing or praising Trump, but was rather a thoughtful assessment of what went right, what went wrong, and what was ignored or misplayed. I recommend the book to anyone who enjoys history, geopolitics or just some excellent writing about a topic that they are not yet familiar with. It was very much worth the reading. Excellent, excellent book.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Freddie
  • 19-03-21

Wish he'd leave his political leanings out of it

Josh needs to focus on just the facts. His opinions sound biased and somewhat clueless.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Julie Schmidt
  • 18-04-21

Must read if you care about the future of US

A must read to gain an understanding of US-China relations for the foreseeable future. While I disagree with the lens through which Mr. Rogin viewed the Trump Administration and many of the key players, it is a perspective worthy of consideration.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Frank Antinucci
  • 16-03-21

This is my book but Robert Petkoff was amazing

I know I’m not supposed to review my own book, I’m just reviewing the narration. Objectively, Robert Petkoff hit a grand slam with this one. The book was more interesting in his voice than in the voice in my head. Thanks, Robert!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Walter J. Caywood
  • 17-04-21

Outstanding must read

Very well written. Compelling and documented telling. Everyone needs to know about the challenge of China and what happened politically up to the start of Biden administration.

4 people found this helpful

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  • chris I
  • 16-03-21

Fair, objective and entertaining

This was an outstanding listen. If you want the full understanding of how the CCP is using elites to pull the wool over the eyes of Americans, read this!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kimaraeric84
  • 29-04-21

zuckerberg quote clipped out

right thought I would get the whole book apparently not. guess bezos has his reasons.all good whole speech still on you tube for now anyway. happened again same chapter wake up. corrupted file? I downloaded again and it still cuts out.

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  • Stewart
  • 18-04-21

Likely the fairest history of Trump’s engagement with China

This book gave a great account of the internal workings of Trump’s government in dealing with China. Also, the parts about China’s behavior at the start of the COVID outbreak are very interesting.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-06-21

Terrifying but essential read

The writing is excellent. Rogin's analysis is thorough and fair. I have long held concerns about China's behavior. The CCP's conduct is so much worse than I ever imagined. This book gave me a great deal to think about

2 people found this helpful