Catherine Woodman's Reviews > Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory

Country Driving by Peter Hessler
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's review
Jul 29, 2011

I really enjoyed reading this book, which is really three different essays on his travels in China. The first third of the book is about his adventures traveling by car in rural China along the Great Wall. His descriptions of the car he rents,t he people he meets and the expectations of people in rural China are hilarious and foreign and illuminating. The second third of the book is about the village he rents a house in and the people he meets there--this is more of a 'we are all the same, but in different cultural packaging' kind of story--there are the same personalities everywhere--how they get their power, what can be done to contain them, those are the cultural contexts-- which are important, because it is how you contain the ass holes that really makes a culture great or terrible or just tolerable. The last third is about the factory culture that has taken over China and how that worked, why it worked and just how different the whole thing is from what we think of as manufacturing in the western world.

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