Tide Players: The Movers and Shakers of a Rising China

Overview


In Tide Players, acclaimed author Jianying Zha depicts a new generation of movers and shakers who are transforming today’s China. In a half-dozen sharply etched and nuanced profiles, Tide Players captures both the concrete detail and the epic dimension of life in the world’s fastest-growing economy.

Zha’s vivid cast of characters includes an unlikely couple who teamed up to become the country’s leading real-estate moguls; a gifted chameleon who transformed himself from Mao’s ...

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Tide Players: The Movers and Shakers of a Rising China

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Overview


In Tide Players, acclaimed author Jianying Zha depicts a new generation of movers and shakers who are transforming today’s China. In a half-dozen sharply etched and nuanced profiles, Tide Players captures both the concrete detail and the epic dimension of life in the world’s fastest-growing economy.

Zha’s vivid cast of characters includes an unlikely couple who teamed up to become the country’s leading real-estate moguls; a gifted chameleon who transformed himself from Mao’s favorite “barefoot doctor” during the Cultural Revolution to a publishing maverick; and a tycoon of home-electronic chain stores who insisted on avenging his mother, who had been executed as “a counterrevolutionary criminal.” Alongside these entrepreneurs, Zha also brings us the intellectuals: a cantankerous professor at China’s top university; a former cultural minister turned prolific writer; and Zha’s own brother, a dissident who served a nine-year prison term for helping to found the China Democracy Party.

Zha’s insightful insider-outsider portraits garnered nationwide acclaim, as they offer a picture of a China that few Western readers have seen before.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

A Best Book of 2011
The Economist

"Remarkable and fast paced."
Financial Times

"Zha beautifully combines the hard-earned expertise of an insider with the moral candor of an outsider. In exploring China’s defining struggles . . . [she] illuminate[s] the shadows in between, with empathy and courage."
—Evan Osnos, The New Yorker

"If you want to understand the astonishing developments in China’s contemporary cultural life . . . there could be no surer or more entertaining guide than Zha."
—K. Anthony Appiah, Princeton University

"An engaging, comprehensible cross-section of the personalities and cultural concerns rising with China’s ascent."
Kirkus

"No one who writes in English about contemporary China is more thoroughly bilingual and bicultural than Jianying Zha. She truly 'gets it.'"
—Perry Link, author of Evening Chats in Beijing

Publishers Weekly
China—powerful, expanding, and evolving—remains inscrutable to Westerners confounded by its contradictions, as well as the rapidity of its growth and the intensity of its repressive government. A child of the Cultural Revolution, Zha (China Pop) offers a nuanced and textured picture of a country constrained by totalitarianism but buoyed by the pioneering spirit and resilience of its people. The author observes a shift from a post-Tiananmen political idealism to a steely but hopeful pragmatism among many of her compatriots. It's a conflict that exists at the heart of Chinese contemporary culture, and one Zha illuminates through interviews with writers and academics dodging or suffering censorship, her own political dissident brother languishing in jail, or Zhang Dazhong, who, motivated by the political imprisonment of his mother, built a fortune and spent his life attempting to clear her name. Zha's effort is an honest and thoughtful portrait that forces outsiders to check their preconceptions at the door and see China as a convergence of passion and trauma, memory and hope. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595588807
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 7/2/2013
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 819,536
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jianying Zha is a writer, media critic, and China representative of the India China Institute at The New School. She is the author of China Pop and three collections of fiction and two nonfiction books in Chinese, including The Eighties, an award-winning cultural retrospective of the 1980s in China. She has published widely in both Chinese and English for a variety of publications, including the New Yorker, the New York Times, Dushu, and Wanxiang. She lives in Beijing and New York.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I The Entrepreneurs 13

A Good Tycoon 15

The Turtles 49

The Barefoot Capitalist 77

Part II The Intellectuals 95

Beida, Beida! 97

Enemy of the State 138

Servant of the State 167

Epilogue 217

Acknowledgments 227

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