After discovering Troy Parfitt’s obviously biased romp through China by watching the ten-minute YouTube trailer for his theory of Why China Will Never Rule the World (a book released by Western Hemisphere Press August 23, 2011), I thought, “Why would China want to rule the world? Only fools want to rule the world. What most cultures/people want is to be left alone.”
All one has to do is look at what such goals did for Imperial Japan, Hitler’s Germany, the British Empire, which no longer exists as an empire, and the United States—a nation deep in debt and on the edge of financial ruin.
In addition, I thought it strange that a traditional publisher would support a book trailer that runs for more than ten minutes as if it were a mini documentary, when the Book Trailer Manual clearly says, “Please. Shorter is better. You want some absolutes? Okay, no longer than two minutes max.”
Even Publishers Weekly touched on the subject of book trailers and provided several embedded examples ranging from 26 seconds to less than 2 minutes.
In addition, Claudia Jackson at Book Buzzer says, “A book trailer is just like a movie trailer, except that it is a ‘preview’ of your book.” The sample book trailer Jackson provides runs one-minute-fifteen seconds of John Locke’s novel, “Wish List”, and for advice, she says, “Try and keep the trailer as short as possible. It’s not easy but you don’t want to lose your audience.”
Curious about the publisher, I then Googled “Western Hemisphere Press” to discover what else they had published and ended up at the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, which is in the U.S. Department of State and says it is responsible for all of the affairs in South, Central and North America. The mandate of this office is to promote U.S. interests in the region by supporting democracy, trade, and sustainable economic development, etc.
One way to promote U.S. interests would be to support a book that denigrates China’s culture, institutions and people.
The second Google hit was Western Hemisphere Press, which leads to Troy Parfitt’s website for his book. Google found no direct link to a Website for Western Hemisphere Press or any other book published by a company with that name.
After looking through more than a hundred hits on Google, I thought—Is Troy Parfitt, Western Hemisphere Press and the U.S. State Department connected in some way.
After all, Parfitt’s biography on his website says he was born in 1972, graduated with a major in American history and a minor in Canadian political science from the University of New Brunswick and then became a certified ESL instructor, went to South Korea where he taught ESL for two years and then taught ten more years in Taipei.
Before returning home to Canada, he spent a few months as a Western tourist running around mainland China boosting his poor impressions of China.
I was reminded of a quote from Sterling Seagrave’s Dragon Lady of Dr. George Ernest Morrison, Peking correspondent of the Times of London. Sterling says, “As journalism’s first China watcher, Morrison was responsible for many of the slanders and half-truths of China that persist to this day.”
Although I agree with Parfitt’s thesis that China will not rule the world (a safe assumption since no one has ruled the world and the odds are no one ever will), his reasoning and evidence to support this thesis are further examples of the “slanders and half-truths” Sterling Seagrave reveals in his well researched book of the life and legend of the last empress of China.
I also read many of the Amazon reader reviews of Parfitt’s book, which reinforced my opinion that this book is another example of what Henry Kissinger wrote in On China that “American exceptionalism is missionary. It holds that the United States has an obligation to spread its (so called superior Western Christian and political) values to every part of the world. China’s exceptionalism is cultural. China does not proselytize; it does not claim that its contemporary institutions are relevant outside China.”
In fact, with that one quote Kissinger did a better job explaining why China doesn’t want to rule the world than the 424 pages of Parfitt’s book.
Discover more from Kissinger on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” with Neal Conan and Ted Koppel
Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.
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