I was booked to give a China talk in August, high season in the Hamptons, as part of the summer series at the Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton.

You never know who’s going to show up for these well-attended sessions – Southampton summer residents number everybody from Henry Kissinger to George Soros to Madonna, who made headlines this season when she plunked down $500k to rent a place for just one month. (Well, it was beachfront.)

I decided to title the talk “Five Things Americans Need to Know about China – Now.” And then, since the venue was a library, I tacked on “… and Six Books that Will Deepen Your Knowledge.” My plan was to scour my dusty shelves for a half-dozen China books I had read – whether months ago or years ago didn’t make any difference, but to make the cut the books had to have lingered in my mind, which can be a difficult task for any book. So of course I spent a lot of beach time rereading the lot. Here they are in the order I mentioned them in my talk:

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