Synopses & Reviews
If Chairman Mao came back to life today, what would he think of Nanjing's bookstore, the Librairie Avant-Garde, where it is easier to find primers on Michel Foucault's philosophy than copies of the Little Red Book? What does it really mean to order a latte at Starbucks in Beijing? Is it possible that Aldous Huxley wrote a novel even more useful than Orwell's 1984 for making sense of post-Tiananmen China--or post-9/11 America?
In these often playful, always enlightening "tales," Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom poses these and other questions as he journeys from 19th-century China into the future, and from Shanghai to Chicago, St. Louis, and Budapest. He argues that simplistic views of China and Americanization found in most soundbite-driven media reports serve us poorly as we try to understand China's place in the current world order--or our own.
Provocative insights into China, travel, and technology in the 21st century highlight this must-read book for anyone interested in the world's most rapidly changing society.
Provocative insights into China, travel, and technology in the 21st century
About the Author
Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom is Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine. His books include Student Protests in Twentieth-Century China: The View from Shanghai. He lives in Irvine, California.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Vladimir Tismaneanu
Part One: Adventures in China-Watching
1. Burgers, Beepers, and Bowling Alleys
2. Mr. Mao Ringtones
3. All the Coffee in China
4. The Generalissimo Would Not be Amused
Part Two: The Inscrutable West
5. Searching the Stars for Emily Hahn
6. Traveling with Twain
7. Around the World with Grant and Li
8. The Time Machine of Tippecanoe County
Part Three: Turn-of-the-Century Flashbacks
9. Mixed Emotions: China in 1999
10. Karl Gets a New Cap: Budapest in 2000
11. Patriotism in Public Life: The United States in 2001
12. A San Francisco of the East: Hong Kong in 2002
Part Four: The Tomorrowland Diaries
13. China's Brave New World
14. Chicago in an Age of Illusions
15. Why Go Anywhere?
16. Faster than a Speeding Bullet Train
Afterword: Rhymes for Our Times
Bibliography of Works Discussed