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Melting down the ‘iron rice bowl’

The Honorable Henry M. Paulson, Jr.

By Rana Mitter (original source The Telegraph)

“Over the past century, many Americans have tried to interpret China for the West. The most famous was probably Pearl S Buck, who earned a Nobel Prize for literature in 1938 for her novels about the suffering of the Chinese peasantry.

Dealing with China and In Manchuria are memoirs by contemporary Americans with long experience of China; both seek to extrapolate their own experiences into a wider message about today’s Middle Kingdom, and how the West should understand it. The Chinas they examine are, at first glance, entirely different countries. Henry Paulson draws on his years as CEO of Goldman Sachs and then as US Treasury Secretary to tell a tale of his dealings with the country’s leaders. Michael Meyer spent months living in a tiny and remote village in north-eastern China with the unpromising name of Wasteland (Huangdi). Yet read together, the books show that what Buck called these “several worlds” are inexorably linked.”

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