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Getting Rich First: Life in a Changing China

3.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  37 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Written by a former BBC China correspondent, this is a highly readable and fascinating look at the rapid changes China is undergoing. It tells what it is like for the people on the street to live through the complete transformation of their society.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 22nd 2007 by Chatto & Windus
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(showing 1-30 of 71)
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Cecily
Aug 08, 2014 Cecily rated it really liked it
Shelves: china-japan-asia
We travelled in China in 1992 and again in 2008. Whilst we knew the country had changed a great deal in that time, we were staggered by the scale of the changes (not merely tower blocks in international cities) in less than a generation. This book, written by a British journalist who lived and travelled in China, examines the upheavals over a similar period, with more background detail than we accumulated in two three-week trips, but which chimes very closely with our impressions.
Paul
Jul 13, 2014 Paul rated it liked it
A functional, yet completely fascinating look at China’s progression since the 1980′s, Getting Rich First blew my mind with the sheer scale of, well of pretty much everything that is happening in this ancient country hurtling like an express train into modernity, if not quite as an open modernity as might be hoped. To start with, the numbers are bigger, in England our employment figures hover around one, to two million, or thereabouts, it increases or decreases in the thousands, or tens of thous ...more
Nat
Oct 20, 2013 Nat rated it really liked it
Though this book may have information that isn't up to date anymore, it gives you invaluable insights into the lives of modern Chinese, where money is supreme and people are adjusting to changing (worsening) morals in society.

It is written by a BBC correspondent and is well researched and resourceful with numerous interviews with the locals.

As someone who grew up in Hong Kong (just before and after the city was returned to China), there were still many things that I did not understand about ma
...more
Greg Strandberg
Jan 09, 2014 Greg Strandberg rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
I read this book during the first year I lived in China, in 2008. I bought it in Hong Kong for something like $190 HK dollars, which is about $30 US or so - a real bad deal.

Still, all books there are expensive. I enjoyed reading this one, many times on Chinese buses, and I thought the author did a good job talking about the different people.

I especially liked how he discussed the various taxi drivers and how they often came from the same hometowns and would call each other on their cell phones f
...more
Patrick Lum
Jun 16, 2013 Patrick Lum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic overview of life in modern China up to around 2006-07 or so, but it's still just that - an overview. Written by a BBC journalist, it still has tell-tale traces of China as seen from the outside rather than completely objectively or from the inside, but that might just be par for the course given the subject matter.
Kate
Aug 02, 2008 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An overview of life in modern China. Easy, informative read from a former BBC correspondent who has lived and worked in Beijing and Shanghai for many years.
Tc
Feb 07, 2014 Tc rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
No index; over-use of general phrases like 'in recent years'; extensive end-notes.
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