From an award-winning journalist for The Washington Post and one of the leading China correspondents of his generation comes an eloquent and vivid chronicle of the world's most successful authoritarian state -- a nation undergoing a remarkable transformation.
Philip P. Pan's groundbreaking book takes us inside the dramatic battle for China's soul and into the lives of individuals struggling to come to terms with their nation's past -- the turmoil and trauma of Mao's rule -- and to take control of its future. Capitalism has brought prosperity and global respect to China, but the Communist government continues to resist the demands of its people for political freedom.
Pan, who reported in China for the Post for seven years and speaks fluent Chinese, eluded the police and succeeded in going where few Western journalists have dared.
From the rusting factories in the industrial northeast to a tabloid newsroom in the booming south, from a small-town courtroom to the plush offices of the nation's wealthiest tycoons, he tells the gripping stories of ordinary men and women fighting for political change. An elderly surgeon exposes the government's cover-up of the SARS epidemic. A filmmaker investigates the execution of a young woman during the Cultural Revolution. A blind man is jailed for leading a crusade against forced abortions carried out under the one-child policy.
The young people who filled Tiananmen Square in the spring of 1989 saw their hopes for a democratic China crushed in a massacre, but Pan reveals that as older, more pragmatic adults, many continue to push for justice in different ways. They are survivors whose families endured one of the world's deadliest famines during the Great Leap Forward, whose idealism was exploited during the madness of the Cultural Revolution, and whose values have been tested by the booming economy and the rush to get rich.
Philip P. Pan is a foreign correspondent for The Washington Post and the newspaper's former Beijing bureau chief. During his tour in China from 2000 to 2007 he won the Livingston Award for Young Journalists in international reporting, the Overseas Press Club's Bob Considine Award for best newspaper interpretation of international affairs, and the Asia Society's Osborn Elliott Prize for Excellence in Journalism on Asia. He is a graduate of Harvard College and studied Chinese at Peking University. He lives with his wife and son in New York and will begin a new assignment for the Post in Moscow in 2008.
"Phil Pan is one of the finest American correspondents to have worked in China, a penetrating reporter who works from the ground up. This is an extraordinarily important book about China's unfinished politics." -- Steve Coll, author of The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century
"Out of Mao's Shadow is a stunningly researched and crafted book, filled with tales of individual heroism, triumph, and heartbreak. Pan shares his subjects' relentless curiosity and drive to find truth; the result is a book that's immediate, moving, and ultimately thrilling." -- Rachel DeWoskin, author of Foreign Babes in Beijing: Behind the Scenes of a New China
"As correspondent for The Washington Post, Philip Pan covered China like no one else, using his fluency in the language to penetrate Chinese society. He goes beyond his newspaper reporting to tell the story of Chinese people pressing unsuccessfully for political change. Pan's book gives lie to the notion that China is inevitably heading toward democratization." -- James Mann, author of Rise of the Vulcans and The China Fantasy
"Philip Pan's book is a masterpiece of reportage, revealing the layers of dirt and pain that lurk just beneath the shiny surface of modern China." -- Rob Gifford, National Public Radio correspondent and author of China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power
"Philip Pan has brought great patience and a rare sensitivity to political reporting in China.This is the story of how power actually works there." -- Peter Hessler, author of Oracle Bones: A Journey Through Time in China