B-wo at unfogged a fun tool. Amaznode allows you to search the amazon database by keyword and then gives you a network of books linked together by the measure "users who bought this book also bought." Searching for China and Environmentquickly brings up three books we have been working with a lot in preparing our course: Judith Shapiro, Mao's War Against Nature; Vaclav Smil, China's Past, China's Future; and Elizabeth Economy, The River Runs Black. As the cart evolves though, these books turn out to be bridges between three clusters: one on energy and business issues focussed on China Shifts Gears; one one cultural history, focussed on China Marches West: the Qing Conquest of Central Asia; and one on ancient military history, focussed on Ancient China and its Enemies.
Floating free of these clusters are a cluster about Discovering Nature: Globalization and Environmental Culture in China and Taiwan, which I just got out of the library an hour ago, and a cluster about Tigers, Rice, Silk and Silt. The latter cluster includes a lot of Foucault and Gramsci, along with Said's Orientalism, so it may contain just the book I've been looking for that does Orientalism in a specifically Chinese context. [Update: No luck, Said and Orientalism aren't in the index. It does look like a good environmental history, though. This also looks nice.]
[Interesting self reflective note: I didn't feel I understood the chart I had generated until I wrote the little narrative above about it.]
Later: Gapminder as applied to China.