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Beijing Welcomes You: Unveiling the Capital City of the Future
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Beijing Welcomes You: Unveiling the Capital City of the Future [Hardcover]

Tom Scocca
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, August 2011: Beijing Welcomes You is a portrait of the future. The city of Beijing embodies China's rise as a political and cultural superpower, and during his stay from 2004 to 2010, Tom Scocca attempts to make sense of Beijing as it modernizes at a dizzying pace. He converses with architects, athletes, and artists, but Scocca is at his best when he's discussing the 2008 Olympics--China's boldest push yet for national identity and international recognition. Scocca isn't interested in generalizations, and, in fact, takes great pleasure dismantling them (on the stereotype that China is tradition-bound: "A thirty-year-old Chinese citizen has seen more disruption and change than a sixty-two-year-old American has; a sixty-year-old Chinese citizen has seen more than a two-hundred-year-old American would have"), while his personal experiences give a human touch to his often unflattering sociological analyses. But Scocca knows when to defer to the real star of the book, Beijing itself. It's a constantly changing, overwhelming city that may be the strongest signal of things to come, not just in China but all over the world. --Kevin Nguyen


"A brilliant cultural study written in a surprisingly poetic style, this is highly recommended to all interested readers." - Library Journal

"Equal-opportunity irreverence"... "A spirited portrayal of an old metropolis being turned inside out"... "Brought both Twain and Dave Barry to mind." -

"A very good book"... "[Scocca] has a keen eye for the oddities with which Beijing is abundantly endowed." - The Washington Post

"Excels at straddling the line between the personal and sociopolitical." - Publishers Weekly

"Tracking his experience on the dual planes of resident and journalist, Scocca explodes the dichotomous East-vs.-West narrative that's endemic to reports from China." - The Onion A.V. Club

About the Author

Tom Scocca was the "Off the Record" columnist and media editor for The New York Observer before decamping for Beijing. Before that, he was an editor and writer for Washington City Paper and Baltimore's City Paper. A Baltimore native, he is settling in New York with his wife and son (a Beijing native). He writes the "Scocca" blog for Slate, and his byline appears regularly in the Boston Globe and The Awl.
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