China’s tragic tales of personal struggle
Asia Times published a review on Ian Johnson’s book: “Wild Grass – Three Stories of Change in Modern China”
There is a certain cruel paradox about Ian Johnson’s finely tuned reportage. While the book Wild Grass is subtitled, Three Stories of Change in Modern China , the conclusion is entirely the opposite: China is quite a ways from any kind of significant reform, or as one of the severely wronged protagonist’s concludes, “China isn’t ready for change.”
“Perhaps” – rather than “is not” – is probably a better word, as what Johnson does is report three stories at length to show how China is evolving. Luckily for the general reader (and a handy reminder for the more Asia-focussed), he takes as his starting point not so much the economic reform story but its social consequences and how people are responding. By and large it is not uplifting.