China Underground

China Underground

4.5 7
by Zachary Mexico
     
 

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In the beginning of the twenty-first century, it is hard to imagine a place more exciting than China. The country's economy is growing by more than ten percent per year. The lives of Chinese citizens in every stratum of society are changing--indeed, the very rules that define the parameters of their lives are changing. Over a billion people are simultaneously hustling… See more details below

Overview

In the beginning of the twenty-first century, it is hard to imagine a place more exciting than China. The country's economy is growing by more than ten percent per year. The lives of Chinese citizens in every stratum of society are changing--indeed, the very rules that define the parameters of their lives are changing. Over a billion people are simultaneously hustling, trying to decipher the rules, carving a place out for themselves in the new China. Predictably, the result is a glorious mess.Westerners are fascinated with news coming out of China, but in general, most such reporting focuses on the country's economy (growth rates, infrastructure, trade deficits, currency valuation, globalization, etc.), social issues (human rights, income inequality, diseases such as avian flu, SARS, and HIV/Aids, the traditional Chinese culture, mainstream social trends, etc.), and the current government (the workings of the CCP, its response to social unrest, etc.). Westerners hear much about China's booming economy and its role as the next global superpower from the mainstream media, but they know less about the young people who make up China's varied and fascinating subcultures.In China Underground, Mexico introduces young western readers to their Chinese counterparts, highlighting an unfamiliar side of China: today's varied youth cultures, which are both fascinating and under-exposed. Readers are introduced to a wannabe rock star from the desert of Xinjiang, trying to make it big in Shanghai; a disillusioned journalist; a budding screenwriter; a vagabond ladies' man; a straight-A student at China's best university; a Chinese mafia kingpin; a punk band trying their best to stay relevant; a prostitute; the world's most polluted city; Beijing's drug-fueled club scene, and many others.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Collected through intimate encounters over an impressive range of travels, Mexico's menagerie of voices tell the unique story of contemporary China's seismic social shifts from the point of view of the marginalized and disaffected. A musician and writer, Mexico is a remarkably eloquent and perceptive participant-observer. Focusing on and dissecting broader cultural, political and economic issues in episodic chapters, he puts faces and names to the staggering statistics. We learn about the government-estimated "5 to 10 million active homosexuals," through the story of a closeted graphic designer. We meet an infamous photojournalist who chronicles China's mining disasters, corruption, car accidents and environmental degradation. We encounter bohemians-80-year-old women selling marijuana on the side of busy streets and slackers whose indolence is a protest against the frenzied consumerism that surrounds them. One such self-proclaimed "social parasite" opened a bar in a trendy area of Beijing to sell drinks at cost and only to his friends. The overall effect is a seamless portrait of a complex modern society in which an ancient culture persists in spite of lightning-speed economic changes. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781458792211
Publisher:
ReadHowYouWant, LLC
Publication date:
08/27/2010
Pages:
392
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.81(d)

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