So, I’m usually more of a fiction guy. Give me a copy of the latest Stephen King chiller or a Nelson DeMille novel and I’m a happy camper. The thought of reading an historical account of China’s long struggle with democratic reform was not exactly appealing to me, but Out Of Mao’s Shadow: The Struggle for the Soul of a New China by Philip P. Pan came highly recommended. This book chronicles the darker side of China’s booming economic growth and the toll that growth has taken on it’s people. Using eleven separate profiles on some of the more well known Chinese dissidents of the last 30 years, Pan tells a story of a repressed people being ruled by a government clinging desperately to the Communist ideal. A new emphasis on capitalism has created more than its share of tycoons and corrupt government officials, at the cost of China's most common people. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in reading of a secretive, oppressive government in transition.
Next up for me? Something recommended by NPR this time (I’m a convert).
Darren Conway, Hope Operations Department since June 2006.
Out of Mao's Shadow: The Struggle for the Soul of a New China by Philip P. Pan. Simon & Schuster; reprint edition, 2009. 368 pp.
Available from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Better World Books, and by order from the Hope International University Bookstore.
Also available to borrow from many libraries.