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New Shanghai: The Rocky Rebirth of China's Legendary City Hardcover – December 1, 2000

4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Anyone visiting Shanghai a decade ago inevitably felt a stab of regret. Instead of the city hailed before China?s 1949 revolution as the Queen of the Pacific and the Paris of the East, they found the depressed industrial city forgotten by the world. Not any more. Few visitors leave China?s largest city these days without expressing wonder at its renaissance. Pegged by China?s leaders in the 1990s to reassert itself as an international business hub and drive growth along the mighty Yangtze River, Shanghai in breakneck time has erected elevated highways, glittering skyscrapers, and stately cultural venues. College graduates find jobs in finance and other capitalist fields; once drab bureaucrats support well-cut business suits; and young people pack neon-flashing discos. Foreign investors are again flocking to the city. Dead to the world for over 40 years, Shanghai has at last been reborn.

Weaving anecdotes with analysis, Pamela Yatsko?s lively narrative addresses key aspects of the city?s rebirth: The building spree of the 1990s and how it turned into a massive glut; Shanghai?s resurrection as a financial center; its drive to remain a manufacturing powerhouse; its cultural reawakening; the growing divide between rich and poor; the return of fortune-hunting foreign business; and the revival of notorious Old Shanghai vices: nightlife, drugs and prostitution. New Shanghai gives readers a sense of the tumult that has rocked urban China in the 1990s. By painting pictures of Shanghai today, it provides a better understanding of the Shanghai and China tomorrow.

From the Back Cover

"An eyes-wide-open look at modern Shanghai, its past roots, as well as present achievements, hang-ups and shortcomings. Balanced, detailed, and carefully researched by a perceptive and expert journalist. New Shanghaiis essential background for any foreigner who needs to understand the challenges and opportunities of life and work in a China grappling with rapid change."--Nicholas Platt, President, Asia Society

"Pamela Yatsko is the best guide I can imaging to the New China emerging in the global information age. Seeing Shanghai through her sharp eyes is better than a personal tour, because she digs behind the scenes to find the meaning of the changes sweeping China, as well as the unfinished work still ahead for the cities shaping China's future. New Shanghai is insightful, illuminating, comprehensive and entertaining. This is a "must read" for anyone interested in doing business in China and througout Asia." - Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business Review, author of World Class


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1st edition (December 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471843520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471843528
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,255,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bryan on March 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Pam Yatsko's book is a terrific contribution to the understanding of modern Shanghai - and China by extension. The reader is treated to a wealth of personal stories that Ms. Yatsko collected over her several years of living in Shanghai. While many writers tend to focus on the sensational, Ms. Yatsko examines what is really happening in people's lives and why. She has taken the Chinese economic policies that appear to most people as nothing more than news blips in the Wall Street Journal or New York Times, and shown how they have dramatically changed lives in modern China - bringing enormous rewards for some, significant hardship for others.
I have been visiting Shanghai since 1982 and have had an office in the city since 1995, so it is a particular pleasure for me to find an author who not only obviously shares my great love for the city, but who also chronicles the remarkable changes and array of paradoxes that define the city in such a compelling and engaging manner. So whether you are a business person looking to understand the business environment in Shanghai or an armchair traveler looking for insights into the rapidly changing culture of one of the world's largest cities, New Shanghai is a wonderful passport to the real world of Shanghai today.
Bryan Batson, President, The China Business Group, Inc., Boston, MA
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Format: Hardcover
I view "New Shanghai" through the prism of someone who worked in business in Shanghai during 1995-97 and has travelled there frequently from a base in Hong Kong during the last few years. Simply put, I can think of no more useful and interesting book for anyone who does any kind of business in Shanghai or just wants to understand the recent historic transformation of the city. Frankly, I can think of no more interesting or useful book about the metamorphosis of urban China. Among the things that makes this book great is the way Yatsko lets the city speak through the voice if its own people -- some chapters read like a more analytical version of one of Studds Terkel's great oral histories.
As a businessman, I found especially interesting the chapters on the quirks of the local economy, on the experience of foreign investors, and on the city's sputtering efforts to build its financial markets. In each case, her analysis is right on as she makes clear what is going both right and wrong. She observes, for example, that while the local economy has grown respectably in recent years, overly interventionist bureacrats have trampled Shanghai's efforts to build its own brands and to nurture technical innovation. On foreign investment, she offers us the condensed wisdom of most of the smartest people operating in Shanghai today. And on the capital markets, she recounts great tales of scandal and unfulfilled dreams.
Here and elsewhere this is a book filled with fun and revealing stories that show the real fabric of a city in the midst of revolutionary change. Some of my favorite tales come in the chapter on the return of the vices, where Yatsko tells all about her nocturnal explorations.
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Format: Hardcover
I found "New Shanghai" not long ago as I was preparing to visit Shanghai after six years in the states, and was attracted to it immediately. Having lived in Shanghai most of my life, I have to say that the author knows about Shanghai better than I do. I'm only familiar with the life of my like, but the book has a broad coverage, from the upper class to the cultural underdogs. In particular, I liked to read Yatsko's interviews with various people, which added a sense of reality.
Yatsko has captured Shanghai's fastest socio-economic changes since it lost the luster as the most prosperous city in the Far East early last century. With her solid knowledge of economics and first-hand experience, the stories are credible and the analysis is insightful. Whereas "old Shanghai" has aroused most scholarly interest due to its relation to modernity, Yatsko's depiction of Shanghai's rebirth in the 1990s also offers a unique hindsight on its past.
Although I wish I could have read this wonderful book earlier, it's not so late in the sense that I now know more interesting places
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Format: Hardcover
I had noticed the name of Pamela Yatsko long before she published this book, since the Chinese authorities had translated and published her China-related reviews on the Reference News-a local media circulated among China's officials-from time to time. (I wish the writer had been paid for those translated reviews.)
Reading this book is a really enjoyable experience.Actually I was very surprised of her deep understanding of the city and China's culture. For example, the story of two old gentlemen and the Shanghai Museum: they took the blame first, then, the city take the pride of their success. It's just a typical way of making things happen!-under this government. And, frankly speaking, she just know much more of the night life here than I, a local Shanghaiese.
If you are thinking of China, whatever which aspect you are thinking of, I would recommend this book to you. You will know the place, know what's happening here, know how it has happen.
Shanghai Reader Zhonghua Yu
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