Our pastor mentioned this book in one of his sermons, so I requested it at our local library (I love the library!).

Salzman is a great story teller. He transforms his simple experiences into anecdotes that paints for us a picture of life in China on a local level. He shares his experiences with the people he meets in Changsha as an English teacher in 1982-84.

If anyone thinks Communist government is good for the masses, this book will dispel those beliefs. Salzman does not have an agenda to put down the government nor go out of his way to show us the tyranny of the Communist rule. Simply showing us the way people live and the way they react (i.e. to a woman’s suicide at the college) made me realize the freedom we have in America that we take for granted.

Even though I consider myself more American than Chinese, I was able to relate to much of the Chinese mentality of obedience, respect for authority, and politeness.

I recommend this light reading book. I would like to write like Salzman one day, and to share my life experiences in a way that is interesting for others to read.

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