21 April 2009

alibaba: the inside story behind Jack Ma...; Liu Shiying and Martha Avery

alibaba: The Inside Story Behind Jack Ma and the Creation of the World's Biggest Online Marketplace alibaba: The Inside Story Behind Jack Ma and the Creation of the World's Biggest Online Marketplace by Liu Shiying

My review

rating: 1 of 5 stars

This book should have been far better than it was: the lead author is a Chinese journalist, and the secondary author is an author/translator. So, where was the editor? Why no footnotes supporting the claims, quotes and statistics cited? Why no complex sentences?

Given the importance of China, this book could have been a Must Read for businesses looking to figure out how/what to do in that country. Instead it's a 288-page essay written by someone in the 8th/9th grade. Ma "feels", "knows", "states" but there's no evidence (other than the author's say-so) that he actually does so. There is an index, a glossary and a timeline, but no citations - critical if this is to be taken as more than mere hagiography.

Why Collins Business felt that this was a finished product eludes me. Yes, I read the ARC, but the changes needed for me to recommend this as a resource would have resulted in a completely new book.

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