China Underground by Zachary MexicoChina Underground by Zachary Mexico

China Underground

byZachary Mexico

Paperback | January 27, 2009

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At the beginning of the 21st century, it is hard to imagine a place more exciting than China. Westerners hear much about China's role as the next "global superpower," but they know less about the young people who make up China's varied and fascinating subcultures. Drawn by the streets humming with the energy of constant change, Zachary Mexico, who had spent two years in China, returned there in the summer of 2006 to conduct formal research on how the changing environment has affected the Chinese of his generation. Readers are introduced to a wannabe rock star from the desert of Xinjiang, trying to make it big in Shanghai; a disillusioned journalist; a budding screenwriter; a vagabond ladies' man; a straight-A student at China's best university; a Chinese mafia kingpin; a punk band trying their best to stay relevant; a prostitute; the world's most polluted city; Beijing's drug-fueled club scene; and many others. This is an engaging firsthand account of a young American writer's encounter with the new China and the young people who are pursuing their future there. China Underground tells their stories, and some of Mexico's own.
Title:China UndergroundFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.87 inPublished:January 27, 2009Publisher:CounterpointLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1593762232

ISBN - 13:9781593762230

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Customer Reviews of China Underground

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll I think most of us have a certain picture of China based on what we've read or seen through touristic voyages. Zachary Mexico takes us through a journey to the margins of modern Chinese society by relating the accounts of a group of eclectic individuals. So, instead of the over-reported macro-level socio-economic stories, Mexico explores the subaltern, about the people on the streets and how modernity was changing their lives. My favorite chapter of the book is definitely "The Uighur Jimi Hendrix," about a Uighur who is rockin' it out in Shanghai. Throughout the stories, Mexico injects a few historical and political tidbits that provide context to the stories. Another interesting story was one about the mass murderer Ma JiaJue who is emblematic of the social disillusionment that many of China's youth experience today as a result of the pressures of competition in the modern capitalistic society. Another fascinating story is the one about "Jimmy Boy," a Nigerian expat who is just one of thousands (perhaps millions) of Nigerians living and working in many of China's mega-cities. Overall, this is a highly readable, highly enjoyable book about a side of China that you will likely never read about anywhere else or even see unless you are Chinese. Definitely recommend to anyone who wants to learn more about the real China.
Date published: 2009-06-24