China Road by Rob Gifford
ISBN: 0786157909 | AudioBook | Pages: 200 | RAR 362MB | 192Kbps MP3 | RS
National Public Radio's Beijing correspondent Rob Gifford recounts his travels along Route 312, the Chinese Mother Road, the longest route in the world's most populous nation. Based on his successful NPR radio series, China Road draws on Gifford's twenty years of observing first-hand this rapidly transforming country, as he travels east to west, from Shanghai to China's border with Kazakhstan. As he takes the reader on this journey, he will also take us through China's past and present while he tries to make sense of this complex nation's potential future.
Summary: True through not flattering picture of China
The author has painted a sympathetic picture of China, more realistic of the existent problems facing billions of Chinese people, instead of sticking to the useless ideological issues like social system, etc. The book tells readers the best things that the government has done regarding human rights is to make sure billions of people are free from cold and starvation. People do not need empty talks about freedom and democracy when their stomaches are empty and they do not have enough clothes against cold weather.
Summary: Great balanced of view on China
A must read during these times when China is in the news every day. The best balanced view of what is going on there.
Summary: China 101: If You Don't Know Much About China This Gets You Started!
I was initially intrigued with the China "road trip" concept that is the backbone ofthe book. The narrative about the trip was fantastic. You are drawn into the sights and sounds of places far removed from Shanghai and Beijing and his interactions with real Chinese people from throughout the country and very insightful.
Mr. Gifford does a great job of explaining why things might be the way they are in China based on historical and cultural reasons. If you don't know much about key pieces of Chinese history not only does he provide background information, but links it to understanding China today.
I was completely naive as to some of China's practices regarding their one child policy and found this very disturbing. This and the corruption that runs rampant throughout the country is very troubling in terms of quality of life for Chinese people. You come to empathize with their situation and perhaps gain a better understanding as to why they are as determined as they are for economic growth.
Five stars for both a great journey and an informative look at where China is today, why it is the way it is, and some interesting perspectives on what the future may hold. Read it!!
Summary: this is the real China
When I saw that the author worked for PBS, I thought propaganda, red flag, don't buy, etc. Well I bought it anyway, and was glad I did. Gifford does a great job painting contemporary China on a printed page. Gifford, obviously identifies with the Chinese, but he hasn't gone completely native. His ability to speak Chinese opens doors and allows him to relate the thoughts of ordinary Chinese and minorities living in 'China' to the reader. Here is my perspective: I loved Paul Theroux's RIDING THE RED ROOSTER. Theroux rode the trains, while Gifford travels by road. Theroux wrote about some of the obnoxious habits of the Chinese, like spitting and seeing all Caucasians as big nosed White devils. Gifford has not wrote that yet (I'm 2/3 through the book). Also, Gibbon's gives more in terms of historical background to bring the reader up to speed. So like Theroux, but different; but destined to be a classic. A great book which brings the reader up to speed relative to contemporary China. Strongly recommended.
Summary: Shows a lot, tells too much
For me, this book raised the perennial writers' struggle between showing vs. telling. I wish Gifford would have done less of the latter. When he presents characters and situations, the book can be downright powerful. But then he waters it down with what I think is way too much of him giving his own opinion about China, at which time the material slides into shallowness or possibly (I wonder) personal bias. I'd give this book 10 stars if Gifford would have let it really be about China, as opposed to his having forced China to share the stage with himself.
Mirrors are welcomed!
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