An engrossing, deeply reported survey of today's China, a place that is part George Orwell, part Aldous Huxley. – Dina Temple-Raston, Washington Post, Notable Nonfiction of 2020
"Terrifying. ... This chilling book reveals just how far China has already gone in monitoring and controlling its citizens digitally. ... China is attempting a shift unprecedented in global politics. It wants to combine the powers of a strong authoritarian regime with cutting-edge technology to create the most sophisticated surveillance state in history. Kai Strittmatter's deeply researched and compellingly argued book makes the case that this is significant not just for China but for the world. ... A warning call." – Rana Mitter, Sunday Times (UK), a "Best Book of the Year so Far"
"A remarkable book. ... The most accessible and best-informed account we have had to date of China's transition from what scholars such as Rebecca MacKinnon used to call 'networked authoritarianism' to what is now a form of networked totalitarianism. ...The more one reads, the more pressing one conclusion becomes: almost everything we thought we knew about contemporary China is wrong. And this has happened because the lenses through which we viewed this emerging superpower were distorted by arrogance, naivety, complacency, commercial greed and wishful thinking." – John Naughton, The Observer, "Book of the Week"
Strittmatter's accessible yet hard-hitting narrative will find an audience with policymakers and general readers alike. A frightening, vital wake-up call: The West ignores the rise of an Orwellian China at its peril. – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"In this fine-grained and alarming portrait of modern-day China, Strittmatter details how President Xi Jinping's 'thirst for power' and the tools of big data and artificial intelligence are paving the way for 'the return of totalitarianism under digital garb.' ... Drawing on a wealth of experience in China, Strittmatter stuffs the book with telling details and incisive analysis. Even veteran China watchers will be impressed and enlightened."
– Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Kai Strittmatter was for many years the Beijing correspondent for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, and his excellent We Have Been Harmonised is an eye-opening account." – John Lanchester, London Review of Books
An eye-opening journalistic account of escalating totalitarianism, its tools and technologies, and its implications worldwide. – ALA 2021 Notable Books List
German journalist Strittmatter urges residents of the United States and Europe to keep an eye on China, which is eager to fill any leadership vacuum created by division in Western democracies. The picture he paints, of an authoritarian government investing heavily in big data and artificial intelligence, resembles science fiction. – San Antonio Express-News, Editor's Pick
Essential for all China watchers. This absorbing read will appeal to experts and novices alike. – Library Journal (starred review)
Strittmatter's timely book, vividly written and excellently translated from the German by Ruth Martin, is a reminder of where this could lead. – SupChina