'Rob Gifford is one of the few Europeans to have made the whole journey as a hitchhiker. On the way, as splendidly recorded in China Road, he takes the. Gifford's journey and his desire to get to the heart of this country make China Road an outstanding and funny travel narrative - part pilgrimage, part reportage. In , Rob Gifford set out on a mile trek across China. His trip resulted in a series for NPR and a book called China Road. It looks at an.


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This is not rob gifford china road scholarly work though there are some elements of thatbut a personal account of the lives of real people: None of these stories are in-depth enough to be completely satisfying their own, but taken together they paint a picture of present-day China, in all its industrious complexity and contradiction.

China Road by Rob Gifford |

Just as when you walk by a fence and build a picture of the backyard from a series of tiny slices, we get a taste of many different lives in such brief duration and rapid succession that a shape, at least, begins to form. Rob gifford china road rushes forward with big-city dreams and peasant feet.

No matter what happens there over the next twenty years, the rest of the world will feel it. While it's rarely factually wrong, it generally misses the point. In this utterly surprising and deeply personal book, acclaimed National Public Radio reporter Rob Gifford, a fluent Mandarin rob gifford china road, takes the dramatic journey along Route 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: Rob gifford china road it really be the next global superpower? Is it as solid and as powerful as it looks from the outside?

Laughter just at life itself, in all its modern Chinese craziness. Fury mostly at corrupt Communist Party officials and policemen.

Rob Gifford - Wikipedia

Like so many modern Chinese people, he is torn between a deep love of his country and a deep anger at the people who govern it. We travel for hours across the relentless Gobi, talking intensely at first but then with long periods of silence, during which he just drives, and I just sit, and Wang just snores in the bunk behind.

The raw beauty of the desert—the implacable desert whose vicious sandstorms used to consume whole caravans rob gifford china road camels and their precious cargoes, the unquenchable desert that used to resist all but the most hardy travelers—rolls past outside.

Though still wild, it is slowly rob gifford china road conquered by an army of blue Chinese-made East Wind trucks.

China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power

As roads such as Route grow busier, and distant cities such as Urumqi are brought closer to the main centers of population farther east, the desert seems a little less dangerous now. Rob gifford china road occasional truck whooshes past in the opposite direction, shaking us with its slipstream.

Passenger buses rob gifford china road past too, and occasional cars, but not many. Liu Qiang talks of the development he sees every day, the transformation of a country changed by the loosening of government controls, by the influx of foreign money, and most of all by the movement of people untethered from their Communist past.

China Road - Wikipedia

But mobility and greater freedom have changed people's characters, he says, and not always for the better.

Now, everyone is more free, but there is luan, there is chaos.

  • China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power by Rob Gifford
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Money has made everyone go bad. But we are still a long way behind.

China Road

It will soon be his turn to take over the driving, and Liu will take a nap. They are dropping me at the exit that leads into the oasis town of Hami. I ask Liu if rob gifford china road thinks China can make the transition from a one-party state to a democracy. There have always been changes in government, but it's just the history of one emperor being replaced by another.


The system never changes, just the people at the top. That is how China is. But I do know that China will never become like your country.