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~DOWNLOAD E-PUB ⚖ Chinese Lessons: Five Classmates and the Story of the New China ⚖ 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 classmatesBeginning with Pomfret s first day in China, Chinese Lessons takes us down the often torturous paths that brought together the Nanjing University History Class ofOld 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 Psychology: Themes and Variations 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 Complete Hungarian Pomfret contended with all manner of cultural differences Goldie and Her Bears (Mischievous Fairy Tales, from too short beds and roommates intent on glimpsing a white man naked Blood Dance (The Lost Lansdale to the need for cloak and dagger efforts to conceal his relationships with Chinese women Amidst all that Paul: The Founder of Christianity he immersed himself in the remarkable lives of his classmatesBeginning with Pomfret s first day in China Goldilocks Conditions Chinese Lessons takes us down the often torturous paths that brought together the Nanjing University History Class ofOld 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 Roswitha Und Conrad Celtes (Classic Reprint) 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 Earthling and a moving portrait of its extraordinary people Incredible book that has a fairly balanced first person perspective written from a necessary point of privilege. There is lots of material on the exiles, refugees and China based casualties of the Cultural Revolution, but this is the first I ve read with confessions As JP s friend Zhou says everyone in China claims to be a victim, but do the math What could the ratio of victim to torturer be This book doesn t answer that, but sheds light on the Cultural Revolution s environment and aftermath.Also, westerners tend to see Tienanmen Square through an idealistic lens JP reports on hunger fasts with 8 hou There is lots of material on the exiles, refugees and China based casualties of the Cultural Revolution, but this is the first I ve read with confessions As JP s friend Zhou says everyone in China claims to be a victim, but do the math What could the ratio of victim to torturer be This book doesn t answer that, but sheds light on the Cultural Revolution s environment and aftermath.Also, westerners tend to see Tienanmen Square through an idealistic lens JP reports on hunger fasts with 8 hour shifts and petty police actions No bicycle here JP heard little dialog among the protestors Demagoguery was met with louder demagoguery and sometimes fisticuffs The major leaders left China when the chips were down leaving behind many followers who lost what little they had Some, like JP s composer friend, spent years in prisons where they were mercilessly beaten.Each of JP s survivor friends had to make compromises of a nature inconceivable to most westerners Some began in youth gangs, empowered by party leaders to harass and destroy parents, teachers, anyone with a modicum of success or talent Some actually tortured their parents Others were only steps removed from their parents murders The lucky ones merely had to deny or denigrate parents, teachers or neighbors to survive the gangs of angry peasants, the urban poor and probabilistically vulnerable young people with hormones running wild The immediate mental calculus was simple, you couldn t beat them so you joined them.There is one generational twist JP s friend Song has an alcoholic father who dreadfully abused him worse than the system For what we know of abusive family relationships we are not surprised that Song returns to China at great risk to himself upon his father s bidding The father shows no acknowledgement of or care for the danger involved.JP s longitudinal examination of these, perhaps typical, students of this generation is a major contribution Despite their relative success, their lives are not easy, and their success is vulnerable to the jealousies and connections of others They continually make compromises, like the composer who lyrics that the Chinese people have won their freedom, or the party propagandist who intimates that China needs a free press and the entrepreneur who teaches Marxism on the side.The story is not over This generation will be succeeded by the little emperors Will these children, fully indulged by 2 parents and 4 grandparents, emerge with self esteem unavailable to the culture revolution generation or complete selfishness How will these young people with greater education, travel, material well being and opportunity react to the current immovable system How will they administer China when they become the system Fascinating John Pomfret has spent much of his adult life fully absorbed in Chinese culture, beginning with attending Nandu University in 1982 This book tells the complicated stories of a handful of his classmates, as well as John s own experiences and reflections on the country he loves in spite of its crazy contradictions When I think of modern China I think of a new economic superpower, but Pomfret s perspective opened my eyes to so muchthan that Two passage from the book really Fascinating John Pomfret has spent much of his adult life fully absorbed in Chinese culture, beginning with attending Nandu University in 1982 This book tells the complicated stories of a handful of his classmates, as well as John s own experiences and reflections on the country he loves in spite of its crazy contradictions When I think of modern China I think of a new economic superpower, but Pomfret s perspective opened my eyes to so muchthan that Two passage from the book really stood out I dog eared the pages so I could find them to quote in this review There is no word in Chinese for irony, perhaps because the whole structure of society is so infused with incongruity that the Chinese can t see it any a Communist Party that is capitalist an ancient culture hell bent on burying its past a workers paradise of unparalleled exploitation.Faced with a vacuum in belief and values, Ye and his comrades have sought to fill it with food, drink, clothes, and electronics the goodies on display on Hunan Road But this love of stuff, which helped bring China to where it is today, will not bring China where it wants to go tomorrow For centuries, Chinese debated what it was to be a good person, a good citizen What was the Good, the Virtuous, and the Right Fifty plus years of Communist censorship and political campaigns have silenced those debates, and it is still unclear whether the country has the ability to revive the tradition of asking these timeless questions.I am anxious to look beyond the pagodas and skyscrapers for the China Pomfret describes when I visit this spring I read this book again, 8 years later, that s how much I liked it Original review from August 2007 follows I love love loved this book This man lived in China off and on from 1980 to 2005 I lived there in 1992 it was fascinating to hear his thoughts on life in China before my year there, and then also to learn about how it has changed after being there What made this book different for me from the many books about China out there, is that he spent so much time in China during their tran I read this book again, 8 years later, that s how much I liked it Original review from August 2007 follows I love love loved this book This man lived in China off and on from 1980 to 2005 I lived there in 1992 it was fascinating to hear his thoughts on life in China before my year there, and then also to learn about how it has changed after being there What made this book different for me from the many books about China out there, is that he spent so much time in China during their transition era I get so muchout of his descriptions because his impressions have a deep context Anyone can go to China today and tell me how it is But I appreciate Pomfret s capability to tell me how it is now compared to how it was then He also happens to be a great writer so the book is enjoyable to read Chinese people are a very strange race Their prided endurance is an easy breeding ground for injustice They take advantage of iniquity that they hate Collectively they are so full of hypocrisy and bullshit yet individually they are so admirable I know these are very strong words and they are also why I can t live in China again and why my parents would not want me to live in China But these traits did not come from a vacuum China s recent history is full of human inflicted trauma that the Chinese people are a very strange race Their prided endurance is an easy breeding ground for injustice They take advantage of iniquity that they hate Collectively they are so full of hypocrisy and bullshit yet individually they are so admirable I know these are very strong words and they are also why I can t live in China again and why my parents would not want me to live in China But these traits did not come from a vacuum China s recent history is full of human inflicted trauma that the whole culture has completely lost its moral compass Cram war, famine, complete overthrow of social classes and political massacre in a short span of 50 years how can you expect any sane person to grow out of that environment You can t understand a person as he is unless you know what he has gone through Reading this book feels like listening to a first person narrative by my parents generation Over and over I felt disgusted and heartbreaking about the circumstances but tremendous respect for individuals who pulled themselves through I wish there s a Chinese translation of this book that I can share with my parents A very interesting book which puts a human perspective on the enormous shifts and changes in China s policies and culture in the last 50 years Author journalist for the Wash Post John Pomfret was one of the first Americans allowed to be an exchange student in China he attended Nanda University in Nanjing with the Class of 82 He follows the lives of nine of his classmates They grew up during the Cultural Revolution,began their post college adult lives just prior to the Tiananmen Square ma A very interesting book which puts a human perspective on the enormous shifts and changes in China s policies and culture in the last 50 years Author journalist for the Wash Post John Pomfret was one of the first Americans allowed to be an exchange student in China he attended Nanda University in Nanjing with the Class of 82 He follows the lives of nine of his classmates They grew up during the Cultural Revolution,began their post college adult lives just prior to the Tiananmen Square massacre and watched their economy explode under the reforms on the 1990s Pomfret recounts their individual stories in a very dynamic way The reader gains insight into these individual s life choices and their ways of navigating the treacherous political shifts that offered both great opportunity and threatened peril depending upon the situation.Highly recommend This is a memoir history Pomfret went to China as a student in 1980 This made him among the first American students to study in China in the post 4 modernizations era He used his time at Nanjing University to superb advantage, acquiring impressive language fluency, building network of all kinds of relationships, and honing the skills that make him an outstanding journalist and writer The book relates his reporting in China, including his on the ground tales of June 4, 1989 in Beijing The m This is a memoir history Pomfret went to China as a student in 1980 This made him among the first American students to study in China in the post 4 modernizations era He used his time at Nanjing University to superb advantage, acquiring impressive language fluency, building network of all kinds of relationships, and honing the skills that make him an outstanding journalist and writer The book relates his reporting in China, including his on the ground tales of June 4, 1989 in Beijing The meat of the volume, however, are the stories of his classmates in the history department at Nanjing U Their suffering during the Cultural Revolution, subsequent return to Chinese acceptability, and the various ways they have lived their lives inthe years since the 1980s This is well worth the time to read You can t understand modern China without learning its past Chinese lessons gives a great outlook of the society during and after cultural revolution Every chapter dives into personal stories of red guards, farmers, intelligentsia their take on humiliation and repressions as well as struggles for better life Towards the end of the book author elaborates on how China s Open Door policy converted people into entrepreneurs with chinese specifics. This book felt less like an autobiography to me, andof a reflection piece on the author s Chinese classmates as they grew up during China s many revolutionary should I use that word periods during the second half of the 20th century.This wasn t necessarily a bad thing It was enlightening seeing how his fellow schoolmate s ideals changed or stayed strong throughout the decades alongside how much China was changing It would have been nice to see the author writeon how his experien This book felt less like an autobiography to me, andof a reflection piece on the author s Chinese classmates as they grew up during China s many revolutionary should I use that word periods during the second half of the 20th century.This wasn t necessarily a bad thing It was enlightening seeing how his fellow schoolmate s ideals changed or stayed strong throughout the decades alongside how much China was changing It would have been nice to see the author writeon how his experiences with China affected him, but this lack of reflection didn t detract from my enjoyment of the book that much While the writing wasn t the most engaging, if you want to get a better understanding of how China is today I feel like this is a must read Having this unique perspective of someone who got to study in China a few years after the Cultural Revolution and become close to people who were widely affected by it makes for an informative read