Readings on China


DK Eyewitness China

DK Eyewitness China

"The day begins..." And the last two pages? "The end of the day...." In between are 54 pages of "_georgia-body"ginable topics identifying traditional China and evolving, modern China. Tai chi in the park by the hundreds to stretch their way into the day, while school children bustle off to their expensive educations. Think China and 90% of people come to mind--the ethnic identity of Han, but there are 55 other ethnic groups. The Chinese comprise the oldest continuous civilization on earth, but Mao Zedong changed imperial China into Communist China. One sculpture at the end signifies his influence: a massive gray arm and shoulder over-riding the environment, but broken nevertheless. Mandarin is the national language by which Chinese can communicate, but they speak hundreds of dialects throughout the country. Citizenship, fashion, hutongs and high-rises, home life--many families live in one-room apartments. Transportation, manufacturing, daily markets, all are part of big city life. Food, family life, religion and spirituality, festivals, education, media, science, technology, cinema, sports--the book is fairly exhaustive in topics. "

On China by Henry Kissinger

On China

by Henry Kissinger, published 2012

Drawing on forty years of intimate acquaintance with the country and its leaders, Henry Kissinger reflects on how China's past relations with the outside world illuminate its twenty-first century trajectory. In this sweeping and insightful history, Henry Kissinger turns for the first time at book length to a country he has known intimately for decades and whose modern relations with the West he helped shape.

On China illuminates the inner workings of Chinese diplomacy during such pivotal events as the initial encounters between China and tight line modern European powers, the formation and breakdown of the Sino-Soviet alliance, the Korean War, and Richard Nixon's historic trip to Beijing. With a new final chapter on the emerging superpower's twenty-first-century role in global politics and economics, On China provides historical perspective on Chinese foreign affairs from one of the premier statesmen of our time. Amazon Link.

Kissinger writes verbatim the many conversations he had with Mao following China's (at first, secret) opening up to the West after two decades, a fascinating insight into that period of time" ~Patrick Morris

The Little Red Guard

The Little Red Guard

By Wenguang Huang. "A surprise treasure of a book from a name that was, until now, best known as the translator of Liao Yiwu's books. Not anymore. This book kicks over the classic form of the Communist-era memoir, with humor and terrific weirdness. Reminds me how little I can ever truly understand about Chinese families."

When Wenguang Huang was nine years old, his grandmother became obsessed with her own death. Fearing cremation, she extracted from her family the promise to bury her after she died. This was in Xi'an, a city in central China, in the 1970s, when a national ban on all traditional Chinese practices, including burials, was strictly enforced. But Huang's grandmother was persistent, and two years later, his father built her a coffin. He also appointed his older son, Wenguang, as coffin keeper, a distinction that meant, among other things, sleeping next to the coffin at night. Amazon Link.

Midnight in Peking

Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China

Peking in 1937 is a heady mix of privilege and scandal, opulence and opium dens, rumors and superstition. The Japanese are encircling the city, and the discovery of Pamela Werner's body sends a shiver through already nervous Peking. Is it the work of a madman? One of the ruthless Japanese soldiers now surrounding the city? Or perhaps the dreaded fox spirits? With the suspect list growing and clues sparse, two detectives—one British and one Chinese—race against the clock to solve the crime before the Japanese invade and Peking as they know it is gone forever.

Can they find the killer in time, before the Japanese invade? Historian and China expert Paul French at last uncovers the truth behind this notorious murder, and offers a rare glimpse of the last days of colonial Peking."

Highly acclaimed. Amazon Link.

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