Click Here To Purchase Why China Will Never Rule the World: Travels in the Two Chinas

Author: Troy Parfitt

Publisher: Western Hemisphere Press

ISBN: 9780986803505


Troy Parfitt is an English teacher and the author of Notes from The Other China who has lived in both Taiwan and South Korea.  He has a great sense of humor and writes so well it almost doesn’t matter what he is writing about, the reader will be both educated and entertained. I for one would read anything by this author. The back cover blurbs echoe my own thoughts perfectly:

a tour de force, vital for anyone wishing to understand what China is, what it has been and what it is likely to become.”  And:

. .  . a whirlwind tour of the Chinese world, one that enlightens, astonishes, and entertains.  Parfitt shows us he is the perfect China tour guide: the steward of an intimate knowledge of the nation’s history, culture and psyche – yet not serving any interest other than an investigative one. Here is a unique and powerful book, one that will change the way people think about China and its ‘great rise’”

A reader can open this book at random and be pulled into an entertaining anecdote that takes you right to Hong Kong, Macao,Guangzhou, Guilin or any one of the multitude of cities the author visited in his quest to get to know the Chinese Social Psyche.  The writing is sometimes lyrical:

I slept for an hour, got up before sunup, and trudged through the slumbering town. A slash of violet hovered above the horizon and the stillness was almost intimidating.  The rosy fingered dawn emerged tepidly, after which it yellowed and melted away the shadows.”  (note the homage to Homer) p.99

and most often very very funny as when he quotes a tour guide who wants to practice his English:

“ ‘ So you can see this is the splendid example of graceful Chinese culture’s architectures and histories and  perfect environment of deliberation of Dr. Sun Yat-sen father of Chinese nation-state and father of Chinese democracies in near future our government will surely grant full democracies to Chinese people everywhere in fulfilling the dreams of Dr. Sun Yat-sen no matter that person is proletariat or is aristocrat is the man woman young old all can vote I think you do not have any building like this in your countries. I think you only have MacDonalds.’

Oh that’s not true” I corrected him. “There is actually much more to Western Culture than meets the eye.”

Oh?” he replied.

Of course. We have Burger King, Dairy Queen, Wendy’s . .  .

but it was lost on him. He was a talker not a listener. . . .  . Luckily, my indoctrination was cut short by a smiling family that wanted to have their picture taken with me.” P.55

After the above ironic exchange the author then seques into an interesting detailed history of the life of Dr. Sun Yat–sen. Imagine my surprise to discover that the historic Chinese figure had once spent some time in Denver, the city of my birth, obviously well before I was born. The book is chock full of interesting, often surprising, factual information, historical, geographical, geological, sociological, all delivered up in an erudite but accessible conversational manner with a ready wit, a keen eye for the landscape (whether urban or rural) and spot on observations of both tourists and natives.  If you have any interest in China, this is a MUST read (and don’t skip the footnotes which are as fascinating as the rest). You’ll feel like you’ve been there.


Click Here To Purchase Why China Will Never Rule the World: Travels in the Two Chinas