Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Invisible China: A Journey Through Ethnic Borderlands Hardcover – May 1, 2009
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Discover what to read next through the Amazon Book Review. Learn more.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.
Top Customer Reviews
This is 225 pages of bald reporting. The authors, to their credit, insert very few of their own opinions, opting instead to broadcast dozens of local voices that very, very few English speakers would otherwise hear, from sites that Western tourists will never visit. What looks like a backwater village on the map more often than not turns out to be a swirling vortex of cultures, battered on all sides by conflicting cultural and ethnic influences.
Contradictions are aired shamelessly, proving the old maxim that China is impossible to summarize. This China, anyway, the China in Invisible China, is one that most of us didn't know existed.
I sincerely hope these two authors continue to explore and write about the country and people they meet.
The book is very clearly written and divided into a number of short chapters, which means it is really easy to get through. It just flies by -- which is great. What's more, the authors have clearly done their homework. Although most non-anthropologists won't notice, the authors have quietly read and taken on-board the work of important experts in the field such as Magnus Fiskejo, Dru Gladney, and Stevan Harrell. So they clearly know their stuff.
Because the book is a travelogue most of the details about the ethnic groups are 'particularistic' and 'episodic'. There is not a lot of "The X do this... Y houses are constructed this way..." Rather you get "Mr. A gave us a bowl of B" and "the house we entered was like C". This is nice -- you get real stories of real people and learn about various ethnicities through these experiences. This is a much more vivid approach then an abstract description that fills some books. The prose is very clear and quiet, and doesn't go out of its way to emphasize how exotic their experiences were. Although some people may have wanted more commentary or analysis, I think the book's strength is its straightforward account of their travels. Their attention to detail, thoroughness, and desire to engage others is admirable and the book is extremely well done.Read more ›
Many travel books these days are written by those who, though well-meaning, have little or no knowledge of the country's native language. Rawson's knowledge of Korean and Legerton's of Uyghur, in addition to the pair's mastery of Chinese, has allowed them to have deep conversations about everything from politics to philosophy to hopes for the future with people whose voices are seldom heard in the West.
Combining the best elements of informative nonfiction and good old-fashioned travel writing, "Invisible China" will make you chuckle, raise your eyebrows, and scramble to Wikipedia to learn more, often in the same page. Highly recommended.
I was intrigued to learn the answers to the questions that the writers posed to their new local friends, and found it such a treat to share their travel experiences with them. I don't anticipate being fluent in Chinese and Uyghur in this lifetime, but felt like I was really transported to these borderlands and learning firsthand about these minority cultures, their challenges and their tenuous relations with the Chinese government. I think that this is an important book and urge more people to pick it up to learn about the minority peoples that the Chinese government does not want you to really see or learn about.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A fascinating book. Reports from a world still inaccessible despite globalization and explosion of tourism. I wish they would go deeper though.Published 15 months ago by slizard
Although the authors display a strong anti establishment view towards Han Chinese and the communist party, the people and ethnic groups they met remain a great asset to anyone who... Read morePublished 23 months ago by JJ
The common thread running though the entirety of this work is the authors' efforts to personally connect with the segment of the Chinese population who represent China's ethnic... Read morePublished on July 15, 2013 by Nick B
Great book. Fast read. Provides an outstanding overview of all the major and even some minor ethnic groups in China. Read morePublished on July 5, 2012 by Erin Perkins
A compelling narrative through lands we Westerners have hardly even imagined. Legerton and Rawson offer an excellent Introduction, giving those of us who know next to nothing in... Read morePublished on September 24, 2009 by Holly Rawson