Pieced together from Osnos’s eight years of reports on China filed with the New Yorker, Age of Ambition comes together as a complete painting of modern China’s rocky transition to modernity. Half a billion people have moved to China’s cities in pursuit of capitalism’s greatest prize: wealth. The Chinese government is gambling that the delivery of free enterprise can be exchanged for political stability and to ensure the trade goes well the Communist party forbids freedom of speech and the freedom to organize in protest on anything larger than a municipal level. Osnos focuses on the problems: jailed artists, tortured civil rights leaders, a rising desire for a moral compass, and unrelenting press censorship implying that beneath China’s meteoric economic ascent lies deep instability. It is hard to know to what extent Osnos has selected stories of the elite and overlooked an even deeper satisfaction among a generation of Chinese liberated from the threat of starvation and really quite happy to forego some freedom in order to have enough money for McDonald’s and the Internet, even if key websites are blocked. Some of the key interviewees argue rather persuasively that because nothing published in China’s media is reliable, and everyone knows that, Chinese people are much more skeptical consumers of news than Americans who all to readily believe that drinking Coke can make you happy, driving a new car can make you sexy, and whatever their politicians say must be true.