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The Last Days of Old Beijing Michael Meyer

The Last Days of Old Beijing By Michael Meyer

The Last Days of Old Beijing by Michael Meyer

Condition - Very Good
Only 1 left


The most original China book of 2008--a fascinating, intimate portrait of Beijing through the lens of its ancient neighborhood, facing destruction as the city, and China, is relentlessly modernized.

The Last Days of Old Beijing Summary

The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed by Michael Meyer

Journalist Michael Meyer has spent his adult life in China, first in a small village as a Peace Corps volunteer, the last decade in Beijing--where he has witnessed the extraordinary transformation the country has experienced in that time. For the past two years he has been completely immersed in the ancient city, living on one of its famed hutong in a century-old courtyard home he shares with several families, teaching English at a local elementary school--while all around him progress closes in as the neighborhood is methodically destroyed to make way for high-rise buildings, shopping malls, and other symbols of modern, urban life. The city, he shows, has been demolished many times before; however, he writes, the epitaph for Beijing will read: born 1280, died 2008 what emperors, warlords, Japanese invaders, and Communist planners couldn't eradicate, the market economy can.The Last Days of Old Beijing tells the story of this historic city from the inside out through the eyes of those whose lives are in the balance: the Widow who takes care of Meyer; his students and fellow teachers, the first-ever description of what goes on in a Chinese public school; the local historian who rallies against the government. The tension of preservation vs. modernization--the question of what, in an ancient civilization, counts as heritage, and what happens when a billion people want to live the way Americans do--suffuse Meyer's story.

The Last Days of Old Beijing Reviews

It's rare that a writer truly lives a book, commits himself to the rhythms of a place, and turns research into something deeper. For the past two years, Mike Meyer has lived and taught in the hutong neighborhoods of Beijing; nobody writing in English knows this world as well as he does. Peter Hessler, author of River Town and Oracle Bones.

About Michael Meyer

Michael Meyer first went to China in 1995 with the Peace Corps, where he lived for two years before moving to Beijing. A Minnesota native, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of California-Berkeley with degrees in education. He was also Blakemore Fellow at Tsinghua University, concentrating on Beijing's urban planning and architecture. A Lowell Thomas Award winner for travel writing, Meyer has published stories in Time, Smithsonian, the New York Times Book Review, the Financial Times, Reader's Digest, the Asian Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, among others. In China, he has represented the National Geographic Society's Center for Sustainable Destinations, training China's UNESCO World Heritage Site managers in preservation practices. The Last Days of Old Beijing is his first book. He lives in Beijing and San Francisco.

Additional information

The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed by Michael Meyer
Used - Very Good
Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us

Customer Reviews - The Last Days of Old Beijing