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Old 02-20-2013, 11:32 AM   #4
issybird
o saeclum infacetum
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I'd like to nominate The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed, by Michael Meyer.

Here's the Amazon blurb:

Quote:
A fascinating, intimate portrait of Beijing through the lens of its oldest neighborhood, facing destruction as the city, and China, relentlessly modernizes.

Soon we will be able to say about old Beijing that what emperors, warlords, Japanese invaders, and Communist planners couldn’t eradicate, the market economy has. Weaving historical vignettes of Beijing and China over a thousand years Michael Meyer captures the city’s deep past as he illuminates its present, and especially the destruction of its ancient neighborhoods and the eradication of a way of life that has epitomized China’s capital. With an insider’s insight, The Last Days of Old Beijing is an invaluable witness to history, bringing into shining focus the ebb and flow of life in old Beijing at this pivotal moment.
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