In Manchuria

In Manchuria

A Village Called Wasteland and the Transformation of Rural China

Book - 2015
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Not since Pearl Buck wrote The Good Earth has anyone brought rural China to life as Michael Meyer has here. This combination of memoir, contemporary reporting, and historical research presents a unique profile of China's legendary northeast. For three years, Meyer rented a home in the rice-farming community of Wasteland, hometown to his wife's family, and their personal saga mirrors the tremendous change most of rural China is undergoing, in the form of a privately held rice company that has built new roads, introduced organic farming, and constructed high-rise apartments into which farmers can move in exchange for their land rights. Once a commune, Wasteland is now a company town, a phenomenon happening across China that Meyer documents for the first time. Amplifying the story of family and Wasteland, Meyer takes us on a journey across Manchuria's past, a history that explains much about contemporary China, from the fall of the last emperor to Japanese occupation and Communist victory. Through vivid local characters, Meyer illuminates the remnants of the imperial Willow Palisade, Russian and Japanese colonial cities and railways, and the POW camp into which a young American sergeant parachuted to free survivors of the Bataan Death March.--From publisher description.
Published: New York, NY :, Bloomsbury Press,, 2015.
ISBN: 9781632860569
1632860562
9781620402887
1620402882
9781620402863
1620402866
Branch Call Number: 951.8061 MEY
Characteristics: 346 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates :,illustrations (some color), maps ;,25 cm

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m
margotdiltz
Sep 08, 2015

This book is both a personal memoir of an American living in a Manchurian village and the results of his research into the history and current status of this part of China. The narrative is humorous and he obviously loves the people and the rural land. He records the many changes occurring to rural villages under changing political regimes and suggests that even more dramatic changes will erase the way of life he has witnessed.

r
Rock_Shadow
Jun 16, 2015

Fascinating read. I enjoyed the relatively small location with a big story: complex and complicated international history of rather desolate place and it's people - old and new. Kirkus review sums it well for me: A work of enormous heart as well as research.

ChristchurchLib Mar 01, 2015

An author who lived for three years in China's legendary northeast territory, looks at the tremendous change most of rural China is undergoing via the story of a privately held rice company that has built new roads, introduced organic farming and constructed high-rise apartments into which farmers can move in exchange for their land rights. History and Current Events March 2015 newsletter.

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