Street of Eternal Happiness

Author: Rob Schmitz
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 9780553418095
Release Date: 2016-05-17
Genre: Social Science

An unforgettable portrait of individuals who hope, struggle, and grow along a single street cutting through the heart of China’s most exhilarating metropolis, from one of the most acclaimed broadcast journalists reporting on China today. Modern Shanghai: a global city in the midst of a renaissance, where dreamers arrive each day to partake in a mad torrent of capital, ideas, and opportunity. Marketplace’s Rob Schmitz is one of them. He immerses himself in his neighborhood, forging deep relationships with ordinary people who see in the city’s sleek skyline a brighter future, and a chance to rewrite their destinies. There’s Zhao, whose path from factory floor to shopkeeper is sidetracked by her desperate measures to ensure a better future for her sons. Down the street lives Auntie Fu, a fervent capitalist forever trying to improve herself with religion and get-rich-quick schemes while keeping her skeptical husband at bay. Up a flight of stairs, musician and café owner CK sets up shop to attract young dreamers like himself, but learns he’s searching for something more. As Schmitz becomes more involved in their lives, he makes surprising discoveries which untangle the complexities of modern China: A mysterious box of letters that serve as a portal to a family’s – and country’s – dark past, and an abandoned neighborhood where fates have been violently altered by unchecked power and greed. A tale of 21st century China, Street of Eternal Happiness profiles China’s distinct generations through multifaceted characters who illuminate an enlightening, humorous, and at times heartrending journey along the winding road to the Chinese Dream. Each story adds another layer of humanity and texture to modern China, a tapestry also woven with Schmitz’s insight as a foreign correspondent. The result is an intimate and surprising portrait that dispenses with the tired stereotypes of a country we think we know, immersing us instead in the vivid stories of the people who make up one of the world’s most captivating cities. From the Hardcover edition.

Street of Eternal Happiness

Author: Rob Schmitz
Publisher: John Murray
ISBN: 9781444791075
Release Date: 2016-05-05
Genre: History

'Enjoyable and illuminating . . . Rob Schmitz writes with great affection' Guardian Shanghai: a global city in the midst of a renaissance, where dreamers arrive each day to partake in a mad torrent of capital, ideas and opportunity. Rob Schmitz is one of them. He immerses himself in his neighbourhood, forging relationships with ordinary people who see a brighter future in the city's sleek skyline. There's Zhao, whose path from factory floor to shopkeeper is sidetracked by her desperate measures to ensure a better future for her sons. Down the street lives Auntie Fu, a fervent capitalist forever trying to improve herself while keeping her sceptical husband at bay. Up a flight of stairs, CK sets up shop to attract young dreamers like himself, but learns he's searching for something more. As Schmitz becomes increasingly involved in their lives, he makes surprising discoveries which untangle the complexities of modern China: a mysterious box of letters that serve as a portal to a family's - and country's - dark past, and an abandoned neighbourhood where fates have been violently altered by unchecked power and greed. A tale of twenty-first-century China, Street of Eternal Happiness profiles China's distinct generations through multifaceted characters who illuminate an enlightening, humorous and, at times, heartrending journey along the winding road to the Chinese dream. Each story adds another layer of humanity to modern China, a tapestry also woven with Schmitz's insight as a foreign correspondent. The result is an intimate and surprising portrait that dispenses with the tired stereotypes of a country we think we know, immersing us instead in the vivid stories of the people who make up one of the world's most captivating cities.

Street of Eternal Happiness

Author: Rob Schmitz
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 9781444791075
Release Date: 2016-05-05
Genre: History

'Enjoyable and illuminating . . . Rob Schmitz writes with great affection' Guardian Shanghai: a global city in the midst of a renaissance, where dreamers arrive each day to partake in a mad torrent of capital, ideas and opportunity. Rob Schmitz is one of them. He immerses himself in his neighbourhood, forging relationships with ordinary people who see a brighter future in the city's sleek skyline. There's Zhao, whose path from factory floor to shopkeeper is sidetracked by her desperate measures to ensure a better future for her sons. Down the street lives Auntie Fu, a fervent capitalist forever trying to improve herself while keeping her sceptical husband at bay. Up a flight of stairs, CK sets up shop to attract young dreamers like himself, but learns he's searching for something more. As Schmitz becomes increasingly involved in their lives, he makes surprising discoveries which untangle the complexities of modern China: a mysterious box of letters that serve as a portal to a family's - and country's - dark past, and an abandoned neighbourhood where fates have been violently altered by unchecked power and greed. A tale of twenty-first-century China, Street of Eternal Happiness profiles China's distinct generations through multifaceted characters who illuminate an enlightening, humorous and, at times, heartrending journey along the winding road to the Chinese dream. Each story adds another layer of humanity to modern China, a tapestry also woven with Schmitz's insight as a foreign correspondent. The result is an intimate and surprising portrait that dispenses with the tired stereotypes of a country we think we know, immersing us instead in the vivid stories of the people who make up one of the world's most captivating cities.

Years of Red Dust

Author: Qiu Xiaolong
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 1429942614
Release Date: 2010-09-28
Genre: Fiction

Published originally in the pages of Le Monde, this collection of linked short stories by Qiu Xiaolong has already been a major bestseller in France (Cite de la Poussiere Rouge) and Germany (Das Tor zur Roten Gasse), where it and the author was the subject of a major television documentary. The stories in Years of Red Dust trace the changes in modern China over fifty years—from the early days of the Communist revolution in 1949 to the modernization movement of the late nineties—all from the perspective of one small street in Shanghai, Red Dust Lane. From the early optimism at the end of the Chinese Civil War, through the brutality and upheaval of the Cultural Revolution, to the death of Mao, the pro-democracy movement and the riots in Tiananmen Square—history, on both an epic and personal scale, unfolds through the bulletins posted and the lives lived in this one lane, this one corner of Shanghai.

Life and Death in Shanghai

Author: Cheng Nien
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 0802196152
Release Date: 2010-12-14
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Life and Death in Shanghai, Nien Cheng’s searing memoir of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, was an instant international best-seller on its original hardcover publication by Grove Press. This phenomenal, unforgettable book captured the attention of the world just as Communism was starting to collapse. The main summer selection of the Book of the Month Club, it was excerpted at considerable length (13,000 words) in Time, and Cheng was invited to a state dinner at the White House, where she was seated next to President Ronald Reagan. More than twenty years after it was originally published, Cheng’s memoir is considered a twentieth century classic, one of the most remarkable, enduring works on totalitarianism and personal endurance. In August 1966, a group of Red Guards ransacked Nien Cheng’s home, threatened her and destroyed priceless, irreplaceable ancient Chinese relics. Cheng's background made her an obvious target for the fanatics of the Cultural Revolution: educated at the London School of Economics, the widow of an official of Chiang Kai-shek’s regime, and an employee of Shell Oil, Cheng enjoyed comforts that few Chinese could afford. When she refused to confess to the false accusations that she was a spy, Cheng was placed in solitary confinement. Cheng suffered year upon year of bruatality and deprivation, but she refused to give in to her torturers and interrogators. After more than six years, when they told her would be released because of her “attitude of repentance,” even then she remained defiant, vowing to remain in detention until the Communist officials declared her innocent and published an apology. Life and Death in Shanghai is Cheng's powerful story of her imprisonment, of the hardship and cruelty she endured, of her heroic resistance, and of her insistent quest for justice when she was released. It is the story, too, of a country torn apart by Mao Zedong’s savage fight for power. A penetrating personal account of a terrifying chapter in twentieth-century history, Life and Death in Shanghai is also an astounding portrait of one woman’s courage. Selected Reviews "A triumph of the human spirit . . . Here is the most stunning human document out of China since the Cultural Revolution—perhaps since the Revolution itself." —Clifton Fadiman “An absorbing story of resourcefulness and courage." —J.M. Coetzee, The New York Times Book Review “A harrowing story of personal suffering and tragedy, and at the same time a savage and compelling indictment of Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution, if not of Chinese communism itself … an extraordinary testament to human brutality." —Elena Brunet, Los Angeles Times “A gripping, poignant chronicle of her courage, fortitude, and, above all, stubborn integrity during … cold, hunger, disease, terror, and humiliation. . . . Her narrative deserves to rank with the foremost prison diaries of our time” —Stanley Karnow, Washington Post "Far from depressing, it is almost exhilarating to witness her mind do battle. Even in English, the keenness of her thought and expression is such that it constitutes some form of martial art, enabling her time and again to absorb the force of her interrogators' logic and turn it to her own advantage." —Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times "This is the extraordinary story of an extraordinary woman. . . . a story that so vividly documents the triumph of the human spirit of inhumanity." —Time "Her book is unquestionably one of the best ever written about the Cultural Revolution."—Houston Chronicle "An almost unbearably vivid picture of personal suffering and triumph."—Chicago Tribune

The Last Days of Old Beijing

Author: Michael Meyer
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
ISBN: 9780802779120
Release Date: 2010-07-23
Genre: History

Journalist Michael Meyer has spent his adult life in China, first in a small village as a Peace Corps volunteer, the last decade in Beijing--where he has witnessed the extraordinary transformation the country has experienced in that time. For the past two years he has been completely immersed in the ancient city, living on one of its famed hutong in a century-old courtyard home he shares with several families, teaching English at a local elementary school--while all around him "progress" closes in as the neighborhood is methodically destroyed to make way for high-rise buildings, shopping malls, and other symbols of modern, urban life. The city, he shows, has been demolished many times before; however, he writes, "the epitaph for Beijing will read: born 1280, died 2008...what emperors, warlords, Japanese invaders, and Communist planners couldn't eradicate, the market economy can." The Last Days of Old Beijing tells the story of this historic city from the inside out-through the eyes of those whose lives are in the balance: the Widow who takes care of Meyer; his students and fellow teachers, the first-ever description of what goes on in a Chinese public school; the local historian who rallies against the government. The tension of preservation vs. modernization--the question of what, in an ancient civilization, counts as heritage, and what happens when a billion people want to live the way Americans do--suffuse Meyer's story.

Little Soldiers

Author: Lenora Chu
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 9780062367877
Release Date: 2017-09-19
Genre: Family & Relationships

In the spirit of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Bringing up Bébé, and The Smartest Kids in the World, a hard-hitting exploration of China’s widely acclaimed yet insular education system—held up as a model of academic and behavioral excellence—that raises important questions for the future of American parenting and education. When students in Shanghai rose to the top of international rankings in 2009, Americans feared that they were being "out-educated" by the rising super power. An American journalist of Chinese descent raising a young family in Shanghai, Lenora Chu noticed how well-behaved Chinese children were compared to her boisterous toddler. How did the Chinese create their academic super-achievers? Would their little boy benefit from Chinese school? Chu and her husband decided to enroll three-year-old Rainer in China’s state-run public school system. The results were positive—her son quickly settled down, became fluent in Mandarin, and enjoyed his friends—but she also began to notice troubling new behaviors. Wondering what was happening behind closed classroom doors, she embarked on an exploratory journey, interviewing Chinese parents, teachers and education professors, and following students at all stages of their education. What she discovered is a military-like education system driven by high-stakes testing, with teachers posting rankings in public, using bribes to reward students who comply, and shaming to isolate those who do not. At the same time, she uncovered a years-long desire by government to alleviate its students’ crushing academic burden and make education friendlier for all. The more she learns, the more she wonders: Are Chinese children—and her son—paying too high a price for their obedience and the promise of future academic prowess? Is there a way to appropriate the excellence of the system but dispense with the bad? What, if anything, could Westerners learn from China’s education journey? Chu’s eye-opening investigation challenges our assumptions and asks us to consider the true value and purpose of education.

Wish Lanterns

Author: Alec Ash
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 9781628727654
Release Date: 2017-03-07
Genre: History

“One of the best [books] I’ve read about the individuals who make up a country that is all too often regarded as a monolith.” —Jonathan Fenby, Financial Times If China will rule the world one day, who will rule China? There are more than 320 million Chinese between the ages of sixteen and thirty. Children of the one-child policy, born after Mao, with no memory of the Tiananmen Square massacre, they are the first net native generation to come of age in a market-driven, more international China. Their experiences and aspirations were formed in a radically different country from the one that shaped their elders, and their lives will decide the future of their nation and its place in the world. Wish Lanterns offers a deep dive into the life stories of six young Chinese. Dahai is a military child, netizen, and self-styled loser. Xiaoxiao is a hipster from the freezing north. “Fred,” born on the tropical southern island of Hainan, is the daughter of a Party official, while Lucifer is a would-be international rock star. Snail is a country boy and Internet gaming addict, and Mia is a fashionista rebel from far west Xinjiang. Following them as they grow up, go to college, find work and love, all the while navigating the pressure of their parents and society, Wish Lanterns paints a vivid portrait of Chinese youth culture and of a millennial generation whose struggles and dreams reflect the larger issues confronting China today.

A Village with My Name

Author: Scott Tong
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226339054
Release Date: 2017-11-17
Genre: History

When journalist Scott Tong moved to Shanghai, his assignment was to start up the first full-time China bureau for “Marketplace,” the daily business and economics program on public radio stations across the United States. But for Tong the move became much more—it offered the opportunity to reconnect with members of his extended family who had remained in China after his parents fled the communists six decades prior. By uncovering the stories of his family’s history, Tong discovered a new way to understand the defining moments of modern China and its long, interrupted quest to go global. A Village with My Name offers a unique perspective on the transitions in China through the eyes of regular people who have witnessed such epochal events as the toppling of the Qing monarchy, Japan’s occupation during World War II, exile of political prisoners to forced labor camps, mass death and famine during the Great Leap Forward, market reforms under Deng Xiaoping, and the dawn of the One Child Policy. Tong’s story focuses on five members of his family, who each offer a specific window on a changing country: a rare American-educated girl born in the closing days of the Qing Dynasty, a pioneer exchange student, an abandoned toddler from World War II who later rides the wave of China’s global export boom, a young professional climbing the ladder at a multinational company, and an orphan (the author’s daughter) adopted in the middle of a baby-selling scandal fueled by foreign money. Through their stories, Tong shows us China anew, visiting former prison labor camps on the Tibetan plateau and rural outposts along the Yangtze, exploring the Shanghai of the 1930s, and touring factories across the mainland. With curiosity and sensitivity, Tong explores the moments that have shaped China and its people, offering a compelling and deeply personal take on how China became what it is today.

Social Insecurity

Author: James W. Russell
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 9780807012574
Release Date: 2014-04-29
Genre: Business & Economics

How 401(k)s have gutted retirement security, from charging exorbitant hidden fees to failing to replace the income of traditional pensions Named one of PW's Top 10 for Business & Economics A retirement crisis is looming. In 2008, as the 401(k) fallout rippled across the country, horrified holders watched 25 percent of their funds evaporate overnight. Average 401(k) balances for those approaching retirement are too small to generate more than $4,000 in annual retirement income, and experts predict that nearly half of middle-class workers will be poor or near poor in retirement. But long before the recession, signs were mounting that few people would ever be able to accumulate enough wealth on their own to ensure financial security later in life. This hasn’t always been the case. Each generation of workers since the nineteenth century has had more retirement security than the previous generation. That is, until 1981, when shaky 401(k) plans began replacing traditional pensions. For the last thirty years, we’ve been advised that the best way to build one’s nest egg is to heavily invest in 401(k)-type programs, even though such plans were originally designed to be a supplement to rather than the basis for retirement. This financial experiment, promoted by neoliberals and aggressively peddled by Wall Street, has now come full circle, with tens of millions of Americans discovering that they would have been better off under traditional pension plans long since replaced. As James W. Russell explains, this do-it-yourself retirement system—in which individuals with modest incomes are expected to invest large sums of capital in order to reap the same rewards as high-end money managers—isn’t working. Social Insecurity tells the story of a massive and international retirement robbery—a substantial transfer of wealth from everyday workers to Wall Street financiers via tremendously costly hidden fees. Russell traces what amounts to a perfect swindle, from its ideological origins at Milton Friedman’s infamous Chicago School to its implementation in Chile under Pinochet’s dictatorship and its adoption in America through Reaganomics. Enraging yet hopeful, Russell offers concrete ideas on how individuals and society can arrest this downward spiral. From the Hardcover edition.

Gap Year Girl

Author: Marianne C. Bohr
Publisher: She Writes Press
ISBN: 9781631528217
Release Date: 2015-09-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

In the 1960s and ’70s, thousands of baby boomers strapped packs to their backs and flocked to Europe, wandering the continent on missions of self-discovery. Many of these boomers still dream of “going back”—of once again cutting themselves free and revisiting the places they encountered in their youth, recapturing what was, and creating fresh memories along the way. Marianne Bohr and her husband, Joe, did just that. In Gap Year Girl, Bohr describes what it’s like to kiss your job good-bye, sell your worldly possessions, pack your bags, and take off on a quest for adventure. Page by page, she engagingly recounts the experiences, epiphanies, highs, lows, struggles, surprises, and lessons learned as she and Joe journey as independent travelers on a budget—through medieval villages and bustling European cities, unimaginable culinary pleasures, and the entertaining (and sometimes infuriating) characters encountered along the way. Touching on universal themes of escape, adventure, freedom, discovery, and life reimagined, Gap Year Girl is an exciting account of a couple’s experiences on an unconventional, past the-blush-of-youth journey.

Shanghai Homes

Author: Jie Li
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231538176
Release Date: 2014-11-18
Genre: History


Empire of the Sun

Author: J. G. Ballard
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781476737539
Release Date: 2013-03-19
Genre: Fiction

The classic, award-winning novel, made famous by Steven Spielberg's film, tells of a young boy's struggle to survive World War II in China. Jim is separated from his parents in a world at war. To survive, he must find a strength greater than all the events that surround him. Shanghai, 1941 -- a city aflame from the fateful torch of Pearl Harbor. In streets full of chaos and corpses, a young British boy searches in vain for his parents. Imprisoned in a Japanese concentration camp, he is witness to the fierce white flash of Nagasaki, as the bomb bellows the end of the war...and the dawn of a blighted world. Ballard's enduring novel of war and deprivation, internment camps and death marches, and starvation and survival is an honest coming-of-age tale set in a world thrown utterly out of joint.

The Glass Castle

Author: Jeannette Walls
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781439156964
Release Date: 2009-10-06
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

The child of an alcoholic father and an eccentric artist mother discusses her family's nomadic upbringing, during which she and her siblings fended for themselves while their parents outmaneuvered bill collectors and the authorities.