Book Review: ‘China Road’ by Rob Gifford

Reading is absolutely in my top 5 when it comes to hobbies. I really want to get into doing more book reviews here (think I’ve only done one…) Every now and again, my church bring out new recommended books to be read, which is so amazing for me. This one caught my eye (bold cover and all that). I thought I would try a different book for once. Back in school, History was never a strong subject for me. Only certain topics, and only if they were taught in a visual way. If a teacher just stood there with a black whiteboard marker, droning on and on…and on, I would find it hard to remember dates and other important details. This is probably the reason why I’ve subconsciously avoided books like this one – history…travel…relating to history. 

Until now.

This book made me realise that I don’t actually know that much about the background of China, where it’s come from as a country, and where it’s going. It really opened my eyes to the fact that, probably, every country portrays itself in a certain way, but only the people that have lived there for a long time know what’s really going on. That may seem obvious but there really are so many hidden things going on that we may be clueless about. This book is very educational but not dull or monotonous. Rob Gifford’s writing style is very straightforward and I would definitely recommend reading this book and keeping it on your bookshelf!

In this utterly surprising and deeply personal book, acclaimed National Public Radio reporter Rob Gifford, a fluent Mandarin speaker, takes the dramatic journey along Route 312 from its start in the boomtown of Shanghai to its end on the border with Kazakhstan. Gifford reveals the rich mosaic of modern Chinese life in all its contradictions, as he poses the crucial questions that all of us are asking about China: Will it really be the next global superpower? Is it as solid and as powerful as it looks from the outside? And who are the ordinary Chinese people, to whom the twenty-first century is supposed to belong?

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