Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory



[Reading] ➺ Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory Author Peter Hessler – E17streets4all.co.uk From the bestselling author of Oracle Bones and River Town comes the final book in his award winning trilogy, on the human side of the economic revolution in China In the summer of , Peter Hessler, th From the bestselling author of Oracle Bones A Journey PDF ´ and River Town Country Driving: Epub / comes the final book in his award winning trilogy, on the Driving: A Journey PDF ↠ human side of the economic revolution in China In the summer of , Peter Hessler, the longtime Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, acquired his Chinese driver s license For the next seven years, he traveled the country, tracking how the automobile and improved roads were transforming China Hessler writes movingly of the average people farmers, migrant workers, entrepreneurs who have reshaped the nation during one of the most critical periods in its modern historyCountry Driving begins with Hessler s , mile trip across northern China, following the Great Wall, from the East China Sea to the Tibetan plateau He investigates a historically important rural region being abandoned, as young people migrate to jobs in the southeast Next Hessler spends six years in Sancha, a small farming village in the mountains north of Beijing, which changes dramatically after the local road is paved and the capital s auto boom brings new tourism Finally, he turns his attention to urban China, researching development over a period of than two years in Lishui, a small southeastern city where officials hope that a new government built expressway will transform a farm region into a major industrial center Hessler, whom The Wall Street Journal calls one of the Western world s most thoughtful writers on modern China, deftly illuminates the vast, shifting landscape of a traditionally rural nation that, having once built walls against foreigners, is now building roads and factory towns that look to the outside world.Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory

Peter Hessler is a staff writer at A Journey PDF ´ The New Yorker, Country Driving: Epub / where he served as Beijing correspondent from , and is Driving: A Journey PDF ↠ also a contributing writer for National Geographic He is the author of River Town, which won the Kiriyama Book Prize, and Oracle Bones, which was a finalist for the National Book Award He won the National Magazine Award for excellence in reporting.

Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to
    Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to of , Peter Hessler, the longtime Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, acquired his Chinese driver s license For the next seven years, he traveled the country, tracking how the automobile and improved roads were transforming China Hessler writes movingly of the average people farmers, migrant workers, entrepreneurs who have reshaped the nation during one of the most critical periods in its modern historyCountry Driving begins with Hessler s , mile trip across northern China, following the Great Wall, from the East China Sea to the Tibetan plateau He investigates a historically important rural region being abandoned, as young people migrate to jobs in the southeast Next Hessler spends six years in Sancha, a small farming village in the mountains north of Beijing, which changes dramatically after the local road is paved and the capital s auto boom brings new tourism Finally, he turns his attention to urban China, researching development over a period of than two years in Lishui, a small southeastern city where officials hope that a new government built expressway will transform a farm region into a major industrial center Hessler, whom The Wall Street Journal calls one of the Western world s most thoughtful writers on modern China, deftly illuminates the vast, shifting landscape of a traditionally rural nation that, having once built walls against foreigners, is now building roads and factory towns that look to the outside world."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 448 pages
  • Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory
  • Peter Hessler
  • English
  • 27 November 2019
  • 0061804096

10 thoughts on “Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory

  1. says:

    It took me a while to finish this one as I could not readthan a few pages at the time The information was interesting but many times too much detail was given There were also some funny bits that I enjoyed.One thing is for sure I will forever bee afraid of Chinese tax drivers from now on Not that I did not find them incompetent already Ain detail review might comeor not.

  2. says:

    This is superlative The author is engaging and gives us wonderful and sometimes heart rending insights of the people in China and at other times he is hilarious in describing the odd situations that pop up now and again in a country that is vastly different from Western society But this country, at the same time, is producing a wide variety of the goods used by Western society.Page 294 my book There was nothingterrifying than a drive through the city s coastal suburbs Fifteen years ag This is superlative The author is engaging and gives us wonderful and sometimes heart rending insights of the people in China and at other times he is hilarious in describing the odd situations that pop up now and again in a country that is vastly different from Western society But this country, at the same time, is producing a wide variety of the goods used by Western society.Page 294 my book There was nothingterrifying than a drive through the city s coastal suburbs Fifteen years ago, this region was all farmland Now you judged transitions by advertisements on the side of the road First I cruised through a neighborhood where virtually every billboard displayed hinges, and then I began to see signs for electric plugs and adaptors Soon they were replaced by plastic light switches next came fluorescent bulbs At last I came to the district of Ru an, which according to the local government was home to exactly 1,208 manufacturers of automobile engine accessories, brakes and steering systems.The author is fluent in Mandarin spoken and written so he is able blend in and take in the activities around him, like family squabbles, business deals China is a country undergoing massive transitions Rural people have moved in the millions to urban areas to work in factories and do construction The landscape is being physically flattened for the making of these factories and the vast network of roads surrounding them Many of the people moving have little education many are illiterate their life is in upheaval, but possibilities are endless.Businessmen mostly men network with others Part of this social process involves the handing out of cigarettes There are hundreds of brands of cigarettes which signify the class of the person for example there are cigarette brands smoked by people in rural areas andexpensive types smoked in urban areas By handing out a particular brand signifies who you are, or aspire to be, in this changing world.Young girls are leaving home to move and work in the cities and manufacturing sites They are becomingindependent The author provides a stunning account of a fifteen year old girl who gets jobs at a factory for her entire family she masqueraded as an 18 year old to do this.The book is in three sections The first is a road trip along the Great Wall The second takes place in a small rural village that undergoes, within a few years, the transition to aurban lifestyle due to the entrepreneurship of the villagers Lastly the author spends time with workers and managers in the start up of a factory that is making bra hooks and bra wires by the thousands in whatever colour desired for the hooks, and all sizes for the wires This is a great book about a country on the move.Page 362Going to a new job is like gambling Master Luo explained You leave and you hope that the new factory does well If it doesn t, then you probably can t go back to the old job and the old life What s in the past stays in the past

  3. says:

    The author, a journalist and old China hand, describes life on the road in a rural China that is rapidly developing, with new roads and factories being built every year At 420 pages, the book s scope is much wider than the simple comedy of renting a car in a heavily bureaucratic society that nevertheless has a vibrant under the table economy, or the perils of driving in a country where most people behind the wheel have had very little training and eschew wipers and lights Hessler rents a house The author, a journalist and old China hand, describes life on the road in a rural China that is rapidly developing, with new roads and factories being built every year At 420 pages, the book s scope is much wider than the simple comedy of renting a car in a heavily bureaucratic society that nevertheless has a vibrant under the table economy, or the perils of driving in a country where most people behind the wheel have had very little training and eschew wipers and lights Hessler rents a house in a village, and describes one family s gradual rise to political and financial success He follows the Great Wall, visits an artist community in Lishui, and follows the creation, rise, and struggles of a bra ring factory, and the workers who live in it.So the title is only partially descriptive of the book, but so what Hessler s breadth of knowledge, empathy, sense for the human side of the story, and clear, witty writing make all his subjects interesting He unfolds the drama of an ill village boy, and the disjunct between his own Western eyes and China s traditional medicine coupled with xenophobic doctors He shows the great cultural divide between East and West citing group impulse twice to explain some Chinese behavior , but also zeroes in on the emotions and frustrations that all humanity share He keeps encountering a sort of superficiality in Chinese economic life, where appearance isimportant than content, and where bribes and lies are a part of life, but explores the deeper currents that motivate the players Hessler is a gifted reporter of cultures, and this is a thoroughly fascinating look at a modern but still changing China

  4. says:

    County Driving is really three books in one The first, about Hessler s road trip along the Great Wall and about driving in China generally is entertaining, but ultimately the least interesting of the three Although the episodes of his road trip are interesting, it fails to add up to anythingthan shaggy dog story.In the second part about life in a small village outside Beijing that undergoes huge transformation in just a few years as it is discovered by road tripping Beijingers, Hessler s County Driving is really three books in one The first, about Hessler s road trip along the Great Wall and about driving in China generally is entertaining, but ultimately the least interesting of the three Although the episodes of his road trip are interesting, it fails to add up to anythingthan shaggy dog story.In the second part about life in a small village outside Beijing that undergoes huge transformation in just a few years as it is discovered by road tripping Beijingers, Hessler stays put and takes the time to allow the full, rich story to unfold The details are personal and insightful, at times emotionally touching and at times academically fascinating.The third part, about a new industrial district in the south and a factory there, shows the same power of observation and insight as the second part Through the experiences of one factory and one district, Hessler fills out a detailed picture of the modern Chinese economy and how it is changing.The first part of the book is worth reading, but the second and third parts make it truly fascinating and enjoyable

  5. says:

    We read this for the August Book club but we didn t get a chance to discuss it because of schedule conflicts I liked the book overall It had a bitdetail than the ususual expat book because it was outside of Shanghai and Beijing The one thing I kept thinking of while I was reading it was whether it was already all out dated The book was published in 2010, but much of it was based on his research and trips from the early 2000 s So much changes so fast in China everything is another We read this for the August Book club but we didn t get a chance to discuss it because of schedule conflicts I liked the book overall It had a bitdetail than the ususual expat book because it was outside of Shanghai and Beijing The one thing I kept thinking of while I was reading it was whether it was already all out dated The book was published in 2010, but much of it was based on his research and trips from the early 2000 s So much changes so fast in China everything is another whole generation past what he experienced Here are some of the items I found most interesting or thought provoking, or were new insights considering I ve already read about 5 expat memoirs thinly veiled novels.1 I never knew the use of headlights was banned in Beijing until the 1970s That explains alot to me.2 The old man who asked him if he was Chinese I thought you weren t Chinese That made me laugh.3 I really wish some of the sections on the great wall had pictures He is fine at describing things, but it is hard for me to really imagine things from his descriptons.4 In the part where he talked about the differences between the three country brothers and the Beijing kids he said, I never saw kids like this in Beijing in the capital, nearly everybody is an only child, coddled and spoiled from birth It really evoked the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins for me and it really is like that in China, how much the people in the cities have, vs the subsistence life styles in the country.5 I didn t know the bus drivers were paid on a percentage of ticket sales, that explains why the bus was so overstuffed in a long haul bus accident I heard about a few months ago.6 Unbelievably it is the second time I have heard a story of the office paper from the US UK sent to China for recycling it was also in a book about Chinese quality.7 I really liked the stories in the Village where he slowly befriended the towns people, I think that was the most engaging section of the book It was interesting to see the families changing with the influx of money and the opportunities.8 Also to see how they tried to navigate the politics shows me why I am so bad at it here.9 I think the stories of the people who work in the pleather factories are tragic.Overall I really liked the book

  6. says:

    This book was my top read of the summer I found myself laughing outloud, and searching for opportunties to read tid bits to whoever was around to listen Hessler has an engaging writing style, and an ability to effortlessly jump from an emotional, moving description that almost brings you to tears to a hilarious depiction so absurd you can t imagine it to be true When he said he got on the new highway in China and couldn t get off for two hours because the on and off ramps hadn t been built, I This book was my top read of the summer I found myself laughing outloud, and searching for opportunties to read tid bits to whoever was around to listen Hessler has an engaging writing style, and an ability to effortlessly jump from an emotional, moving description that almost brings you to tears to a hilarious depiction so absurd you can t imagine it to be true When he said he got on the new highway in China and couldn t get off for two hours because the on and off ramps hadn t been built, I about died

  7. says:

    I picked up this book because I vividly remembered the author s 2007 New Yorker article about driving in China and about the Chinese becoming a society of drivers This contains the same material but a lotit s roughly divided into three sections The first is about exploring the Great Wall by car the second is about a village north of Beijing, Sancha, where the author has a second home the third is about a factory outside Wenzhou that makes bra rings you know, the little rings on the s I picked up this book because I vividly remembered the author s 2007 New Yorker article about driving in China and about the Chinese becoming a society of drivers This contains the same material but a lotit s roughly divided into three sections The first is about exploring the Great Wall by car the second is about a village north of Beijing, Sancha, where the author has a second home the third is about a factory outside Wenzhou that makes bra rings you know, the little rings on the straps that make the bra adjustable.While I was reading this, there seemed to be a newspaper article every day that directly related to it or that was explained by it What s covered here is great for understanding the news about China, but it s somehow very personal as well, because of the author s fluency in Chinese Just his ability to hop into a rented car and drive around and chat with people makes him unusual among Westerners The best section is the most personal one, dealing with Hessler s friendship with a family in Sancha My only complaint is that there are passages where the pacing of this book is a bit torpid like a pleather factory in July I think it could have been cut a bit Still, I ll add his earlier books to my list

  8. says:

    I haven t finished listening , but I can write a comment now This is a wonderful book Hessler is a wonderful and brilliant writer He has a deep and serious understanding of culture as such , as well as of Chinese culture in particular he is intelligent, observant, has emotional range, a sense of humor and, most importantly, he is writing about something important The emergence of China is a world historical event, and this book much of which takes place in rural China in 2002 2006 I haven t finished listening , but I can write a comment now This is a wonderful book Hessler is a wonderful and brilliant writer He has a deep and serious understanding of culture as such , as well as of Chinese culture in particular he is intelligent, observant, has emotional range, a sense of humor and, most importantly, he is writing about something important The emergence of China is a world historical event, and this book much of which takes place in rural China in 2002 2006 it is like reading Braudel or Hobsbawm s description of the emergence of modernity in late 18th cen Europe modernization of transport, of communications, of values all taking place before his eyes only condensed from 50 years into 5 This book, and Oracle Bones which is even better , will thus have value as a permanent record an on the ground reportage of events that historians will spend the next 50 years digesting And most importantly, reading or listening to Hessler is just so damned entertaining that it s a treat.Well, let me qualify that NOT most importantly but all the same these books ARE a pleasure

  9. says:

    I finally finished this book, from sheer willpowerthan anything else Others may find his stuff fascinating, but for me as a reader he fails to connect with stories that should seem personal coming off as detached Moreover, the narrative is often bogged down with details such as those concerning Chinese bra parts manufacturing The first third of the book, traveling by car through China in days when passenger cars were rare, held my interest the most.

  10. says:

    Not sure why, but I got the urge to learnabout modern China After researching a bunch of books about The Party, about Xi Jinping and geopolitics, I came across some glowing reviews for Peter Hessler s Country Driving, which presents China in the opposite way from the bottom up Despite the boring title, this book was a great introduction to the Chinese people s perspective on their country, through the eyes of a subtle observer and writer The book is broken up into three parts in the f Not sure why, but I got the urge to learnabout modern China After researching a bunch of books about The Party, about Xi Jinping and geopolitics, I came across some glowing reviews for Peter Hessler s Country Driving, which presents China in the opposite way from the bottom up Despite the boring title, this book was a great introduction to the Chinese people s perspective on their country, through the eyes of a subtle observer and writer The book is broken up into three parts in the first, Hessler drives the length of The Great Wall, documenting the surrounding countryside in the second, he rents a home in a small town called Sancha and lives for some years among the rural residents and in the third, he documents the growth of a boom town and the launch of a factory that manufactures bra rings In all the book took the better part of a decade to write, and that patience offers depth, a depth you re not going to find in articles or headlines about China s latest this or that But what makes Country Driving really special is the people Hessler presents to the reader As a foreigner in parts of China not used to seeing many, he has a talent for blending in, stepping aside and making local citizens feel comfortable enough to share their stories In the course of hearing about these rich, changing lives, you learn so much about what it s really like to live and work in China Every challenge, every milestone, every part of a daily routine speaks to a larger trend or philosophy, and Hessler is great at working in these contexts By the end you have learned a lot about geopolitics and economics, not in an abstract way, but through the experience of people who are actually living the rapid changes in Chinese society And those changes the book takes place from 2001 to 2007 are profound You can see the effects a decade later China is an economic powerhouse that grew and is growing much faster than many expected it could, while The Party still retains an authoritarian grip on power Though political dissent is essentially impossible, the Chinese people even those from rural regions are not powerless The chance for upward mobility in the new economy is everywhere for those who work hard and can manipulate their situation Hessler has a deep admiration for these people, but he s not wearing rose colored glasses He can t help but see the Chinese culture through American eyes, no matter how much he learns He often experiences things that shock him, and they shocked me too, but he s doesn t judge and that encouraged me to do the same The result is a feeling of sympathy for complex people facing a new world rushing toward them.I m sure I ll get to the top down, zoomed out books about China eventually, but I m glad I started with this instead It s not as boring as the title, just the opposite Promise

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *