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National Public Radio China correspondent Gifford journeyed for six weeks on China's Mother Road, Route 312, from its beginning in Shanghai for nearly 3,000 miles to a tiny town in what used to be known as Turkestan. The route picks up the old Silk Road, which runs through the Gobi Desert to Central Asia to Persia and on to Europe. Along the way, Gifford meets entrepreneurs hoping to cash in on China's growing economy, citizens angry and frustrated with government corruption, older people alarmed at changes in Chinese culture and morality, and young people uncertain and excited about the future. Gifford profiles ordinary Chinese people coping with tumultuous change as development and commerce shrink a vast geography, bringing teeming cities and tiny towns into closer commercial and cultural proximity; the lure of wealth is changing the Chinese character and sense of shared experience, even if it was common poverty. Gifford notes an aggressive sense of competition in the man-eat-man atmosphere of a nation that is likely to be the next global superpower. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Advance praise for China Road
“How I envy Rob Gifford and his journey along China Road. How grateful I am to him for allowing me to share the trip through his vivid writing and his deep knowledge of and great love for China. As vicarious enjoyment goes, this one’s a ten.”
–Ted Koppel, managing editor, Discovery Channel
“Rob Gifford has found the perfect road trip. His years in China have given him a keen eye and a deep understanding of the country’s contradictions; he’s the perfect guide to this magnificent road from Shanghai to the Kazakhstan border.”
–Peter Hassler, author of River Town and Oracle Bones
“My gosh, I loved Rob Gifford’s book. His journey along Route 312 is a great road story–from Hooters in Shanghai to the Iron House of Confucianism. China Road is insightful, funny, analytical, anecdotal, full of humble humor and magnificent discoveries.”
–Scott Simon, host of NPR’s Weekend Edition and author of Pretty Birds
“Here is China end to end, told from its equivalent of Route 66 as Gifford journeys from Shanghai to the distant west, talking to truck drivers, merchants, hermits, and whores. Gifford portrays China with affection and humor, in all its complexity, energy, hopefulness, and risk.”
–Andrew J. Nathan, Class of 1919 Professor of Political Science, Columbia University
“Equal parts Bill Bryson and Jonathan Spence. Gifford is great company and great fun, and China Road is a terrific, highly readable book.”
–Jim Yardley, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times Beijing correspondent
“A great book, a terrific read. Rob Gifford’s story is as engaging as any travel writing, but it is equally full of historical and philosophical wisdom about the future of the world’s largest country.”
–Joseph S. Nye, Jr., former assistant secretary of defense, Distinguished Service Professor, Harvard University
“After six years in Beijing, NPR’s Rob Gifford has written a wonderfully reflective but also well-informed account of his road trip across China. His knowledge and insight about China’s past and present do a marvelous job in helping the reader understand all the challenges that confront this very dynamic country’s future.”
–Orville Schell, director, the Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations
From the Hardcover edition.
Very well written and researched. This book has phenomenal narrative and gives the reader unique insight to the Chinese culture.Published 2 months ago by Kaitlin
Absolutely great, one of a kind read. Having worked and lived in China, i was completely engaged with this great, enlightening book! Excellent read!Published 2 months ago by Gary Desilet
In some places a four-lane expressway, in others a track barely rising out of the dust of the earth, Route 312 cuts across China from Shanghai in the east to the border with... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lothe
This book was a fascinating glimpse into the changing world that is China. Gifford does a superb job of providing background information on the subjects he talks about while... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jameson
Excellent book. Well written and I learned a bit of history and about current politics and social structure in contemporary China.Published 4 months ago by Aminata
This is an excellent piece of travel literature that works to survey many of the problems and possibilities alive on the modern Chinese state. There is no central bias or focus. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ryan Mease
It was hard to put down; his detailed descriptions made the people he interviewed come to life. I could easily imagine myself sitting beside him as he traveled through... Read morePublished 6 months ago by barb