One Child

  • by Mei Fong
  • Narrated by Janet Song
  • 7 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When Communist Party leaders adopted the one-child policy in 1980, they hoped curbing birthrates would help lift China's poorest and increase the country's global stature. But at what cost? Now, as China closes the book on the policy after more than three decades, it faces a population grown too old and too male, with a vastly diminished supply of young workers.
Mei Fong has spent years documenting the policy's repercussions on every sector of Chinese society. In One Child, she explores its true human impact, traveling across China to meet the people who live with its consequences. Their stories reveal a dystopian reality: unauthorized second children ignored by the state, only children supporting aging parents and grandparents on their own, villages teeming with ineligible bachelors, and an ungoverned adoption market stretching across the globe. Fong tackles questions that have major implications for China's future: whether its "Little Emperor" cohort will make for an entitled or risk-averse generation; how China will manage to support itself when one in every four people is over 65 years old; and, above all, how much the one-child policy may end up hindering China's growth.


What the Critics Say

"Finished just before the announcement of the policy's demise, One Child is a touching and captivating anthropological investigation of one of the most invasive laws ever devised." (Kirkus)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Truth is stranger than fiction, and often sadder

Thoroughly researched and woven with a personal narrative that effectively humanized government policy, I would recommend the book highly, despite the reader who missed the horror and the humor of the writing, pronouncing "underpant's (referring to the ctv bldg) erection" in the the same detached tone as "infanticide". I heard the author interviewed once and would have much preferred her rich voice and obvious intellectual and emotional investment to this cool reading.
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- Christine Walker


I appreciate the raw viewpoint of this author. However, she makes China out to be a sad place. I taught English in China. While there indeed is great oppression from the government of China, I can tell you that I saw glimmers of hope among my students and their families. China is not done. There is hope.
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- Jonathan and Jennifer Harper

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-09-2016
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio