China Tripping

China Tripping: Encountering the Everyday in the People’s Republic
Edited by Jeremy A. Murray, Perry Link, and Paul G. Pickowicz
Rowman and Littlefield (2019)

About the Book This unique book is the first to bring together a group of influential China experts to reflect on their cultural and social encounters while travelling and living in the People’s Republic. Filling an important gap, it allows scholars, journalists, and businesspeople to reflect on their personal memories of China. Private experiences—vivid and often entirely unanticipated—often teach more about how a society actually works than a planned course of study can. Such experiences can also expose the sometimes naïve misconceptions visitors often bring with them to China. China experts relate stories that are always interesting but also more: they tell not just anecdotes but telling anecdotes. Why are there no campus maps? (Because, if you don’t know where you’re going and why, you don’t need to be here.) What’s the allure of Mickey Mouse? (He could break all sorts of rules and get away with it.) What’s a sworn brother in China? (Somebody who fights for your honor even when you’re not looking.) Covering nearly a half-century from 1971 to the present, these stories open a vivid window on a rapidly evolving China and on the zigzag learning curve of the China trippers themselves.

Contributors Nick Admussen, Jennifer Anderson, Jeremy Brown, Suzanne Cahill, Anita Chan, Donald Clarke, James Cook, Joseph Esherick, Charlotte Furth, Dru Gladney, Tom Gorman, Maggie Greene, James Hargett, Justin Jacobs, Wendy Larson, Perry Link, Melinda Liu, Stephen MacKinnon, Richard Madsen, Andrew Morris, David Moser, Jeremy Murray, Minxin Pei, Paul Pickowicz, Marketus Presswood, Stanley Rosen, Morris Rossabi, Vera Schwarcz, Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Martin Whyte, Philip F. Williams, Mayfair Yang, Geoffrey Ziebart

Praise for the Book
“With a sweep of forty years, China Tripping gives us a series of amusing, poignant, and downright absurd stories of foreigners and their encounters with China. Even though the country that they encounter shifts over time, what remains is a universal condition: the foreigner and the local, encountering each other with suspicion, with good will, and mostly with humanity.”—Ian Johnson, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times Correspondent

“China Tripping gathers short, lively, and personal accounts by some of the most influential American Sinologists of their experiences working in China from the tail end of the Mao years through the post-Mao reforms. China Tripping is a book about cross-cultural encounters, ranging from mundane acts of shopping and stamp collecting to boisterous drinking and dancing parties, from fortuitous meetings with powerful politicians to ‘sweaty’ academic discussions on politically sensitive issues, from emotional family reunions to intimate friendships. Organized chronologically, the essays suggest an ever-changing history of that cross-cultural encounter, with one constant—China always defies expectations.”—Kirk A. Denton, The Ohio State University

“Moving, surprising—and, on occasion, hilarious. These accounts of foreigners rediscovering China in the late twentieth century ring bells with anyone who has tried to grapple with this fascinating country and its culture. For those who have only ever seen the China of economic growth and tall skyscrapers, this book is a reminder of how far the country has come—and those who have tripped over it across the years.”—Rana Mitter, author of Forgotten Ally: China’s World War II

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