Chinese Lessons

Chinese Lessons

Five Classmates and the Story of the New China

Book - 2006
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Baker & Taylor
A journalist for The Washington Post offers an eyewitness account of the changes in China over the past forty years as he recalls his stint as a twenty-year-old exchange student from Stanford at China's Nanjing University and the lives of his Chinese classmates, in a study of the human cost of China's development.

McMillan Palgrave
"A highly personal, honest, funny and well-informed account of China's
hyperactive effort to forget its past and reinvent its future."--The New York Times Book Review

As one the first American students admitted to China after the communist revolution, John Pomfret was exposed to a country still emerging from the twin tragedies of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Crammed into a dorm room with seven Chinese men, Pomfret contended with all manner of cultural differences, from too-short beds and roommates intent on glimpsing a white man naked, to the need for cloak-and-dagger efforts to conceal his relationships with Chinese women. Amidst all that, he immersed himself in the remarkable lives of his classmates.

Beginning with Pomfret's first day in China, Chinese Lessons takes us down the often torturous paths that brought together the Nanjing University History Class of 1982: Old Wu's father was killed during the Cultural Revolution for the crime of being an intellectual; Book Idiot Zhou labored in the fields for years rather than agree to a Party-arranged marriage; and Little Guan was forced to publicly denounce and humiliate her father. As Pomfret follows his classmates from childhood to adulthood, he examines the effect of China's transition from near-feudal communism to first-world capitalism. The result is an illuminating report from present-day China, and a moving portrait of its extraordinary people.


Holtzbrinck
A first-hand account of the remarkable transformation of China over the past forty years as seen through the life of an award-winning journalist and his four Chinese classmates

 As a twenty-year-old exchange student from Stanford University, John Pomfret spent a year at Nanjing University in China. His fellow classmates were among those who survived the twin tragedies of Mao’s rule—the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution—and whose success in government and private industry today are shaping China’s future. Pomfret went on to a career in journalism, spending the bulk of his time in China. After attending the twentieth reunion of his class, he decided to reacquaint himself with some of his classmates. Chinese Lessons is their story and his own.

Beginning with Pomfret’s first days in China, Chinese Lessons takes us back to the often torturous paths that brought together the Nanjing University History Class of 1982. One classmate’s father was killed during the Cultural Revolution for the crime of being an intellectual; another classmate labored in the fields for years rather than agree to a Party-arranged marriage; a third was forced to publicly denounce and humiliate her father. As we watch Pomfret and his classmates begin to make their lives as adults, we see as never before the human cost and triumph of China’s transition from near-feudal communism to first-world capitalism.


Baker
& Taylor

A journalist for the "Washington Post" offers an eyewitness account of the changes in China over the past forty years as he recalls his stint as a twenty-year-old exchange student from Stanford at China's Nanjing University and the lives of his Chinese classmates, in a study of the human cost of China's development.

Publisher: New York : H. Holt, 2006
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780805076158
0805076158
Branch Call Number: 951.058 POM
Characteristics: xii, 315 p., [8] p. of plates :,ill., maps ;,25 cm.

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