In This Review

Chinese Awakenings: Life Stories From the Unofficial China
Chinese Awakenings: Life Stories From the Unofficial China
By James and Ann Tyson
Westview Press, 1995, 327 pp

The authors are correspondents for The Christian Science Monitor who speak Chinese, understand Chinese history, and spent five years reporting from China. This is a unique analysis of how the Deng Xiaoping reforms are affecting Chinese society at the grass roots. The authors traveled all over China, held in-depth, face-to-face interviews with ordinary Chinese people, and managed to elude the government officials assigned to monitor foreign correspondents. Thus they show the human side of the reforms--both the accomplishments in improving living standards and social mobility and social tensions over inequality and the distribution of power. The book is admirably free of cant and sentimentality.