In 1982, Vaclav Smil turned upside down traditional perceptions of China as a green paradise in "The Bad Earth". Updating and expanding its basic arguments and perceptions, this volume is an inquiry into the fundamental factors, needs, prospects, and limits of modern Chinese society.

chapter Chapter I|24 pages

Technology in Historical Perspective

chapter Chapter II|34 pages

The Economic Matrix

chapter Chapter III|28 pages

The Nineteenth Century: America as Borrower

chapter Chapter IV|30 pages

The Nineteenth Century: America as Initiator

chapter Chapter V|55 pages

The Twentieth Century

chapter Chapter VI|30 pages

Technology and Social Options