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Publisher's Summary

The Chinese Economic miracle is happening despite, not because of, China's 900 million peasants. They are missing from the portraits of booming Shanghai, or Beijing. Many of China's underclass live under a feudalistic system unchanged since the 15th century.
Wu Chuntao and Chen Guidi undertook a three-year survey of what had happened to the peasants in one of the poorest provinces, Anhui, asking the question: have the peasants been betrayed by the revolution undertaken in their name by Mao and his successors?
The result is a brilliant narrative of life among the poor, a vivid portrait of the petty dictators that run China's villages and counties, and the consequences of their bullying despotism on the people they administer.Told principally through four dramatic narratives, Will the Boat Sink the Water? gives voice to the unheard masses and looks beneath the gloss of the new China to find the truth about its vast population of rural poor.
©2007 Chen Guidi and Wu Chuntao; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Delano on 02-02-10


I travel to China often, and the original Chinese version of this book is incredibly influential there. Even though it's been banned, illegal copies of it are sold all over and practically everyone has read it or at least knows it. Too many books in English on China just tell Americans what they want to hear, and this is a rare chance to hear what people there really think is going wrong. Most American listeners will find that it's not to their taste. . . but that's exactly the point. It's not written for you. By listening to this book, you're eavesdropping on what people in China are saying to each other.
It's also one of the few audiobooks where the reader pronounces Chinese names and words correctly. Usually.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Alexandra on 02-26-10

What is really going in China

I'd have to concur with the other reviewer that if you want to really understand how people in China perceive their situation, this is the best book out there. But be forewarned that although there is some adaptation for an American audience (mostly footnotes that I found disrupt the narrative), it was written for a domestic Chinese audience. If you know little of Chinese history and government, this book will be difficult to follow. Nonetheless, its incredibly rewarding.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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