China Candid: The People on the People's Republic / Edition 1

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Overview


Leading Chinese journalist Sang Ye follows his successful book Chinese Lives with this collection of absorbing interviews with twenty-six men, women, and children taking the reader into the complex realities of the People's Republic of China today. Through intimate conversations conducted over many years, China Candid provides an alternative history of the nation from its founding as a socialist state in 1949 up to the present. The voices of people who have lived under—and often despite—the Communist Party's rule give a compelling account of life in the maelstrom of China's economic reforms—reforms that are being pursued by a system that remains politically rigid and authoritarian. Artists, politicians, businessmen and -women, former Red Guards, migrant workers, prostitutes, teachers, computer geeks, hustlers, and other citizens of contemporary China all speak with frankness and candor about the realities of the burgeoning power of East Asia, the China that will host the 2008 Olympics. Some discuss the corrosive changes that have been wrought on the professional ethics and attitudes of men and women long nurtured by the socialist state. Others recall chilling encounters with the police, the law courts, labor camps, and the army. Providing unique insight into the minds and hearts of people who have firsthand experience of China's tumultuous history, this book adds invaluable depth and dimension to our understanding of this rapidly changing country.
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Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs
This is an extraordinary collection of the observations, experiences, and thoughts of some 20 Chinese gathered by Sang Ye (and translated and edited by Barmé) through his technique of blending conversation and interviewing. The respondents came from various walks of life and different places in China, and the result is a book that goes into the lives and experiences of Chinese ranging from artists to businesspeople, former Red Guards to rural migrants, prostitutes to Olympic athletes. Sang Ye is a journalist skilled in describing personalities, and his interest is very much in the personal experiences of his informants; they are presented not as representative of their occupation or class, but as interesting individuals with rich stories to tell. But with the context being modern China, political considerations affect the lives of all the people with whom he had conversations. How the political aspect is managed differs from person to person: some go along with the party line; others distance themselves from the authorities or make local officials a part of their schemes. Together, the personal stories told in this collection open a window onto what life is really like for both the Mao and post-Mao generations of Chinese.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520245143
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 1/4/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 363
  • Sales rank: 1,439,180
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author


Sang Ye divides his time between China and Brisbane, Australia. His most recent book is The Year the Dragon Came (1996). Geremie R. Barmé is a Professor of Chinese History at the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at The Australian National University. He is the author of An Artistic Exile: A Life of Feng Zikai (California, 2002), In the Red: On Contemporary Chinese Culture (1999), and Shades of Mao: The Posthumous Cult of the Great Leader (1996). Miriam Lang is a researcher and translator based at Monash University in Melbourne.
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Table of Contents


Sang Ye’s Conversations with China
Geremie R. Barmé
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Words and Saliva
Sang Ye

Chairman Mao’s Ark
1. A Hero for the Times: A Winner in the Economic Reforms
2. Chairman Mao’s Ark: One of the Floating Population
3. The Nondissident: A Party Man Betrayed
4. The Union Rep: A Worker against the Party
5. The People’s Deputy: A Congresswoman

Moonwalking
6. Looking Ahead: The Founders of a Private Orphanage
7. Getting Organized: The Parents of a Stolen Child
8. Shine: A Child Prodigy
9. Moonwalking: A Differently Abled Young Woman

Unlevel Playing Field
10. Consuming Habits: On the Flood of Fakes
11. Fringe-Dwellers: A Nonofficial Artist
12. The Computer Bug: The Software Pirate
13. Unlevel Playing Field: Confessions of an Elite Athlete

Heaven’s Narrow Gate
14. A Life of Sex: Dr Sex
15. Time as Money: A Shenzhen Hooker
16. Little Sweetie: A Thoroughly Modern Mistress
17. Heaven’s Narrow Gate: Christians Who Overcame

Mastering New China
18. An Army on the March: The PLA Means Business
19. Generating Income: The Reeducation of an English Professor
20. To the New World: Passport Protection
21. Mastering New China: A Capitalist with the Party’s Characteristics
22. Down to Earth: Reflections of a Former Red Guard
23. Just One Party: A Challenge from the Grass Roots Parting Shot
24. Beam Me Up: The UFOlogist
25. Parting Shot: A Beijing Executioner
26. Days in the Life of the People’s Republic

List of Translators
Index

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