As the Beijing Olympics begin, let me recommend a four-part series published earlier this summer in the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper on the futures of China and the United States. It’s a whirlwind tour — from Appalachia to West Point to Detroit to Chongqing and to Beijing — and is definitely worth the time. Is the U.S. on the decline due to military and financial difficulties while China is on the rise? Are we on the brink of a new Cold War between the U.S. and China over economics, influence, and natural resources? Writer Mick Brown and photographer Alec Soth investigate these questions, the significance of the Beijing Olympics, and the U.S. election. Check it out. One. Two. Three. Four.