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The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the…
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The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City… (edició 2008)

de Michael Meyer (Autor)

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2104101,531 (3.83)5
A fascinating, intimate portrait of Beijing through the lens of its oldest neighborhood, Dazhalan. Meyer examines how the bonds that hold the neighborhood together are being torn by forced evictions as century-old houses and ways of life are increasingly destroyed to make way for shopping malls, the capital's first Wal-Mart, high-rise buildings, and widened streets for cars replacing bicycles. Beijing has gone through this cycle many times, as Meyer reveals, but never with the kind of dislocation and overturning of its storied culture now occurring as the city prepares to host the 2008 Summer Olympics--From publisher description.… (més)
Membre:laflaneuse
Títol:The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed
Autors:Michael Meyer (Autor)
Informació:Walker & Company (2008), Edition: 1, 368 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed de Michael Meyer

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  ejmw | Aug 4, 2021 |
Excellent memoir of life in a hutong in Beijing. These neighborhoods are disappearing and were especially in peril before the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Meyer presents a compelling portrait of the people and lifestyle but it's almost completely one-sided. It's still a moving picture of how easily we can elide that which used to be commonplace. ( )
  alexezell | Nov 14, 2018 |
I've traveled to Beijing and wandered the old hutongs (alleyways), which led me to purchase and read "The Last Days of Old Beijing." Because of that experience I found the book fascinating, if sometimes frustratingly jam-packed with tangents and miscellaneous information. (Rather like a hutong now that I think of it!)

The author is a fluent Chinese-speaker, having learned the language as a Peace Corps volunteer in the mid-1990s. He returns to China to live in the community of Dazhalan in Beijing, which dates back to the 1400s and contains 114 individual hutongs. Meyer's book documents the destruction of Beijing's historic neighborhoods, which accelerates as the 2008 Olympics approach.

Meyer's writing is at it's most evocative and compelling when he writes about his experience living on Red Bayberry and Bamboo Slanted Street and teaching English at Coal Lane Elementary. The further he goes from his own experience, the more erratic and disjointed his narrative becomes. Even in the face of its flaws, I'd still recommend this book to anyone who wants to get a better sense of what China is like these days. And given the intertwined relationship between the US and China in terms of both finances and world politics, that's more relevant than ever. ( )
2 vota ElizabethChapman | Oct 25, 2009 |
Loved the book! Meyer's style is easy to read and easy to imagine being there. It's sad to learn of the destruction of so many Beijing neighborhoods and how it affected community life. Meyers includes a lot of historical background in each chapter which provides much context. ( )
  chiggins | Oct 4, 2009 |
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A fascinating, intimate portrait of Beijing through the lens of its oldest neighborhood, Dazhalan. Meyer examines how the bonds that hold the neighborhood together are being torn by forced evictions as century-old houses and ways of life are increasingly destroyed to make way for shopping malls, the capital's first Wal-Mart, high-rise buildings, and widened streets for cars replacing bicycles. Beijing has gone through this cycle many times, as Meyer reveals, but never with the kind of dislocation and overturning of its storied culture now occurring as the city prepares to host the 2008 Summer Olympics--From publisher description.

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