Tom Doctoroff takes for the Huffington Post a look at the books on China that really mattered to him. How an American starts to find out about China, the starters:

Before I landed in Shanghai in 1998, even after four years of living in Hong Kong, my world view was “typically American.” It’s difficult for non-Americans to appreciate the sense of exceptionalism we grow up with. From Ronald Reagan’s stirring references to the United States as a “shining city on a hill” to civil studies that represented American democracy as the culmination of Western history, we were raised with a quasi-religious belief in Jeffersonian ideals – an inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness rooted in individualism – as the destiny of all mankind. For the past ten years, however, my job has been to advertise both Western and Chinese products to the Chinese. Some call me a sell out or, even worse, an abettor of dictators. Regardless, I quickly learned that brands must align themselves with a Chinese world view, lest they sacrifice both revenue and profit on the altar of cultural absolutism.

Much more at the Huffington Post.

Commercial Tom Doctoroff is CEO, Greater China, J. Walter Thompson and a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. When you need him to set you strait, let us know.

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