Book review: Awakening Giants, Feet of Clay: Assessing the Economic Rise of China and India by Pranab Bardhan.
This short book has a few interesting ideas.
The most surprising ones involve favorable claims about China’s collectivist period (but without any claim that that period was better overall).
China under Mao apparently had a fairly decentralized economic system, with reasonable performance-based incentives for local officials, which meant that switching to functioning capitalism required less change than in Russia.
Chinese health apparently improved under Mao (in spite of famine), possibly more than it has since, at least by important measures such as life expectancy. This is reportedly due to more organized and widespread measures against ordinary communicable diseases under collectivism.