"Socialism Is Great": A Worker's Memoir of the New China Review

Socialism Is Great: A Worker's Memoir of the New China
Average Reviews:

(More customer reviews)
Are you looking to buy "Socialism Is Great": A Worker's Memoir of the New China? Here is the right place to find the great deals. we can offer discounts of up to 90% on "Socialism Is Great": A Worker's Memoir of the New China. Check out the link below:

>> Click Here to See Compare Prices and Get the Best Offers

"Socialism Is Great": A Worker's Memoir of the New China ReviewI have met Lijia Zhang by a chance encounter as we shared the same row seat on a recent trans Pacific flight. At the onset of our casual conversation, I was impressed by her command of the English language, quite uncharacteristic of a native Chinese. I naively asked, "where did you learn to speak such good English?" She modestly replied that she is a writer, just having returned from a US book tour promoting her newly released "Socialism is Great!" and proudly handed me a fresh copy. Then, for the next 12 hours I was practically glued to the book, discovering the answer to my original question, and learning much more...

"Socialism is Great!" is an autobiography spanning a 10 year period of Ms Zhang's young adult life centering in China's ancient capital of Nanjing. On a surface level, it is a story about Lijia, a free spirited young woman coming of age. The book's plot skillfully meanders around both her home life, dominated by a strong mother, and her work place, a munitions factory, whose 'danwei' system keeps her shackled to a monotonous job while denying her the higher education which she desperately seeks. Lijia's heart is fragile, first broken by a handsome young intellectual called Red Rock, and then hurt once more by an older married man. In disillusionment, she spirals down to a series of loveless affairs and one night stands. Unlike her heart, Lijia has a tough skin, and against all obstacles she single-mindedly pursues a dream to better her education, to study and perfect her English (she even hides to study in the factory's garbage dump - the only place to provide her privacy), so she can free herself of her factory confinement and become a journalist.

On another, and more significant level, the book's plot unravels against a backdrop that vividly portrays the dawn days of modern China, a post Mao Zedong's era of the 1980's, in a period when the tornado of the Cultural Revolution has dissipated, yet its dust has not quite settled. This is a time of great change, as the Communist system shifts toward market economy. Individuals become entrepreneurial, while government controlled factories find creative ways of competing in a free market. (In an ironical example, Lijia's munitions factory produces a huge bronze statue of Buddha). Many shed their old garbs to mimic Western styles and anything American (as does Lijia to her old cadres' displeasure). Others are out rightly challenging the limits of the new government.

The book kept me captivated as I was anxious to learn at every step how the bravely tenacious young woman was going to 'make it' out of the factory. Every page is sprinkled with colorful metaphors, perhaps influenced by ancient Chinese proverbs. The author's mastery of the English prose brings to mind another non-native English writer from another century - Joseph Conrad. I find the book to be quite informative and recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about Chinese history and its culture.

When finished reading the book, I felt as though an epilogue would be useful to explain what happened to Lijia personally after she left the factory. I also wished she provided her commentary on China's progress today, which certainly is influenced by the policies of the 80's. Or perhaps the author will produce a sequel book to deal with the subject. I certainly would want to read it."Socialism Is Great": A Worker's Memoir of the New China Overview

Want to learn more information about "Socialism Is Great": A Worker's Memoir of the New China?

>> Click Here to See All Customer Reviews & Ratings Now


Post a Comment