Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Bear and the Dragon
In the book Jack Ryan is President of the United States. After Russia discovers oil fields the size of the Persian Gulf in Siberia and gold deposits just as big, it looks as if the struggling Russian economy is on the road to recovery.
After CNN televises the murder of the Papal Nuncio to Beijing and a Chinese minister in China while (successfully) attempting to stop Chinese authorities from performing a forced late-term abortion on a member of the Chinese minister's congregation, the world boycotts trade with the PRC. With its struggling economy, China decides to invade Siberia to access the abundant raw materials.
In an attempt to dissuade China from invading Russia, Ryan persuades NATO to admit Russia, and personally promises assistance to Russia's President. China invades anyway. Russia opposes this and eventually wins through help from the United States Army and Air Force, completely annihilating two Chinese divisions. The U.S. Navy, in an attack reminiscent of Pearl Harbor, destroys much of the Chinese navy in its port. Ryan decides to broadcast CNN's coverage of the war, plus direct feeds from U.S. reconnaissance drones, over a CIA Web site; this decision becomes important later on.
As the war turns against China, Beijing's increasingly desperate leaders decide to launch its ICBMs. A joint US-Russian special operations force, led on the US side by John Clark, is dispatched to destroy the ICBMs. The force destroys all but one of the missiles; the remaining one is launched at Washington. Ryan's family is evacuated, but he decides at the last minute to stay behind on board a Navy ship docked in Washington that has an experimental anti-missile system. Ryan watches as the ship successfully destroys the ICBM just before it was set to explode over Washington.
Ryan then decides to broadcast CNN's coverage of the near-destruction of Washington on the same CIA Web site. By this time, several thousand Chinese citizens have been following the war on this site. Late at night, a group of students who have become enraged over the Chinese leadership's handling of the war after watching the CIA site march through Tiananmen Square and successfully invade a Politburo meeting, leading to the fall of the government. A reformist Politburo member takes over, arrests the men behind the invasion, and orders an immediate withdrawal of Chinese forces.
Criticisms of The Bear and The Dragon
The Bear and the Dragon for a number of reasons was one of Clancy's most poorly received novels to date. Both the reviews of the mainstream press and online reviews were largely negative. The extensive passages of politics and the length of the book did not appeal to Clancy's traditional readers. Furthermore the large amount of sex scenes alienated Clancy readers used to quick action. Moderates and liberals were made uneasy by the intense amount of right wing influence in the novel including condemnation of abortion, a flat tax, and a negative portrayal of liberals. Asian American groups were outraged by the novels' appeal to racism and the traditional fear of the yellow peril. Asians are referred to as "Chinks", "Joe Chink", "John Chinaman", "yellow barbarians", "slant-eyed fucks", "little bastards", "heathens", "godless pagans", "agents of Satan", "the enemies of God" and "conscienceless motherfuckers".
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