This text had a major impact in its original Chinese version. Reviewed in the Far East Economic Review as 'one of the richest portraits of the Chinese countryside published in the reform era', it charts a long journey through the hinterland region of the Yellow River undertaken by the author between 1994 and 1996. It examines in exhaustive detail the lives and work of peasants, Party and local government officials, providing a wealth of data on the nature of life in post-reform rural China. The author argues that global integration is but the latest 'great leap forward' in a succession of reforms over a hundred years.
'Cao Jinqing has excelled in providing and guiding a hugely important conversation which will, as a result of his book, extend far beyond the peasant houses, Party schools and government offices of rural Henan.' - China Review
1. Historical and Theoretical Aspects of Sociological Research 2. Making Arrangements 3. Three Misfortunes Facing the Peasants 4. Promotion Prospects 5. A Visit to a 'Model of Prosperity' Village 6. The Election of the 'Top Ten Officials' 7. Two Wedding Customs: 'Pressing the Bed' and 'Bean Stuffing' 8. A Woman Who Had Escaped the Confines of Traditional Village Life 9. A Visit to the Kaifeng County Party Secretary, 'Yang the Just' 10. The Apple Orchard Owner 11. More on Village Party Secretaries and Corruption 12. The Eye Goddess Temple 13. Abortion Targets - Bureaucracy Gone Mad 14. Imperious Officials in China's Interior 15. An Economically Important Xiang - Chenliu 16. Joint Enterprise and Family-Run Businesses in Zhuqingzhai Village 17. Local Government in a Predicament Over the 'Veto' 18. The Carve-Up of Power at Xiang or Town Level 19. A Visit to Chenliu's Head of Finance 20. Liudian Xiang - Land Reclaimed From the Yellow River 21. Liudian's Drainage Project 22. Village Cadres Who Kept the Flood Drainage Work Going 23. Five Good Things about Being Village Party Secretary 24. Trip to Southern Henan 25. Dual Fields System 26. A Reflection on the Xinyang Affair 27. Some Issues of Mutual Concern 28. A Visit to the Xinyang Region 29. Tensions Between Party and People 30. Tobacco and Cotton - Crops Doomed to Fail 31. One Person Can Make or Break a Kingdom 32. 'Can't Find a Law That Fits' 33. The County Head Talks about Controlling the Officials 34. Visiting the Old Lady at Dongjia Huts Purchasing Favour or Reciprocating Hospitality? 35. Borrowing Money to Make Tax Payments 36. An Episode at Zhengzhou Station 37. The Final Stage of My Trip - the Luo River 38. How the Hill Folk Lived 39. The Bullying Brothers 40. Fighting For 'Poor County' Status 41. 'Cadre Visits are a Waste of Petrol' 42. Back From the Northern Chinese Plains