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A lot of the Americans in China only stay for a few years, but then there are others — American ex-pats who’ve lived in China for a decade or more with no foreseeable plans to come home. Evan is a staff writer at There are so few farmers in the United States that in 1993, the census stopped counting the number of Americans who live on farms at the time.But in China, despite the vast migration to cities in recent years, more than half the country still lives in rural areas.As the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos was on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval.In Age of Ambition, he describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party’s struggle to retain control.The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.National Book Award Winner, Nonfiction, 2014 A vibrant, colorful, and revelatory inner history of China during a moment of profound transformation.At the close of WWI, between January and July of 1919, delegates from around the world converged on Paris under the auspices of peace.New countries were created, old empires were dissolved, and for six months, Paris was the center of the world. Weather can be deadly – especially when it strikes without warning.
A shocking amount of the expats came back with stories about different times they were on Chinese television.
Pleasant, peripatetic musings revealing a great deal about the Chinese character.
Everywhere acknowledged as a modern American classic, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and chosen by the Modern Library as one of the hundred greatest books of the 20th century, The Power Broker is a galvanizing biography revealing not only the saga of one man's incredible accumulation of power, but the story of the shaping (and mis-shaping) of New York in the 20th century.
Osnos befriended many of the new strivers—e.g., idealist soldier Lin Yifu, who defected the “wrong way,” from Taiwan to China, in 1979, determined to prosper with the new China; and Gong Hainan, a restless villager who traveled to the big city in the mid-1990s to study and ended up starting a hugely influential dating service.
The “age of ambition” required new skills, like learning English (Osnos recounts hilarious adventures in Li Yang’s popular “Crazy English” class), getting one’s child into an Ivy League school and learning how to travel in the West—i.e., by bus tour, which took the author and his Chinese group to visit such sites as Karl Marx’s birthplace.