Book Review: The Hundred Year Marathon by Michael Pillsbury

Don’t forget to scroll down after the review for the Thugbrarian Set-List. This week I was listening to Hector Berlioz-Symphony Fantastique.

Michael Pillsbury

The Hundred-Year Marathon

by Michael Pillsbury

Henry Holt and Co. (2015), Hardcover, 336 pages

For years we have been hearing the news of how China will overtake the U.S. in its role as world leader-mainly that  China is spending more on its military, and their economy will be the largest in the world within a decade. Michael Pillsbury, currently a government defense adviser, who over the past four decades has served in the administrations of Nixon on up to Barack Obama, has presented us with the likely scenarios that will take place if we do not follow his guidelines, which are given in the last chapter. He was an analyst for the Rand Corp and has been a member of various Senate committees as well as holding senior positions in the Defense department. He is considered a China expert, which is why much of what is written in The Hundred Year Marathon might be taken as the final word on China’s current trajectory.

Pillsbury lays out China’s, until now, secret plan of world domination by the year 2049, which coincidentally is the 100 year anniversary of the Communist takeover of Mainland China. According to the many  Chinese informants, with names like Mr.White and Ms. Green (names changed  to protect their identity), China has put forth a hundred year plan (The marathon) based on ancient texts, such as Sun Tzu’s  The Art of War and the Strategems of the Warring States.

Essentially what Pillsbury is asserting, is that China has been utilizing strategies that reach back to the Warring States era, relying on the philosophies of ancient Chinese statecraft and warfare. One important component of this strategy is to have enough patience  to wait up to a hundred years to regain their place in the world-where China was the largest economy on the planet for centuries, up until Japanese, British and American meddling brought China to the brink of starvation. Apparently, China has never forgotten this slap in the face.

The laundry list of red flags include China’s hacking industry, enabling it to reap billions from hijacked American and European technologies.  According to Pillsbury, China has backed Al Qaeda during our war on terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the author states that his unique intelligence has all but proven that China absolutely plans on overtaking America’s economy, and to exert it’s leadership globally.

If This book is to be believed, the United States has been duped and made fools of, since it was our government that shared technology, including military technologies, as we helped to build the country into the power it now is, all in the hopes that China would become a Democratic, Capitalist society. All of the experts, including the author, believed the best about China, although their intelligence has failed them repeatedly. Like a person who is abused by a loved one- believing that the loved one was inherently good, despite the continued abuse , our leaders continued along as if China was a trusted partner.

What sticks in my mind however, is that the author, Michael Pillsbury, was one of the top China experts in the government, and he consistently advised the White House to continue working with China, and sharing our technology with them. This book, if I am reading it correctly, is an admission by Pillsbury of his being wrong for 30 plus years, and that he NOW has the real information on China’s nefarious plans of world domination.

All of that being said, there is a wealth of information on Chinese history, as well as a unique insight into the Chinese government’s mindset and aspirations for China’s future. If what is being presented here is mostly true, we may all benefit from learning some Mandarin Chinese.

While there are many books that have been written on China’s agenda, and the perceived danger to world Democracy due to the rise of China, Pillsbury’s contribution to the discussion digs deeper- bringing into question the United States’ culpability in China’s technological and economic rise, as well as elucidating on many events that many of us might not have even known about. On a personal level, I won’t vouch for all of the declarations made by Pillsbury, but I can honestly state that I found The Hundred Year Marathon an interesting, and thought provoking read.

***1/2 (out of 5)

Thugbrarian Set-List: Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique-: Op. 14- Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York-Dimitri Mitropoulos conducting.

Symphony fantastique

Recently, I have been re-building my classical vinyl collection, which was lost in Hurricane Katrina. I did some thrift store shopping last week, and found a large cache of old classical records from the 50s to the 70s, all in mint condition, and all at $1 a piece!  This release of Berlioz Symphony Fantastique has been one of my favorites, and I have been playing it all week as I read and write for this humble blog. Listening to records to me is by far more enjoyable, as well as better sounding than any compact disc or mp3 download. It seems that millions of kids around the world agree with this old curmudgeon, as vinyl sales are rising exponentially every year. Sometimes, the old ways are just better. Have a listen by hitting this LINK.


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January 24, 2015 · 1:34 pm

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