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How did your life collide with the headlines in 2007?
Iraq, the subprime crisis, Facebook, immigration, oil prices - 2007 had no shortage of hefty headlines. We'd like to hear about how these and other major news events of the past year affected you. Where did your life collide with the news in 2007?

What's your holiday performance story?
The office talent show, the neighborhood caroling posse, the school pageant ... At holiday time we often sing, dance, and dress as shepherds. Did you bloom in the warmth of your audience's adulation, or freeze up like the snowman you'd rather be building? Did your holiday performance change your life or that of someone close to you?

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Recommended Reading on China - Jessica Smith

After finishing this report Jessica told us that many people she interviewed said they want to know more about China, especially the government. So Jessica browsed her own bookshelf for her favorite titles and also emailed friends for their favorites.


There are COUNTLESS books, histories, and memoirs on China. If you do a search on Amazon, you'll be overwhelmed. For serious, but readable histories of China, try anything by Jonathan Spence. Here are some other good picks:


About Face, James Mann. A history of the US political relations with China (Nixon to Clinton.) The amazing story of how Nixon "opened up" China!

The Private Life of Chairman Mao, by Li Zhisui. Written by Mao's former physician, this book caused a stir when it came out (it was officially banned in China). It is a close look at the dictator as a man (orgies and all), not just a political figure. Some dispute the claims in the book, but it's a fascinating read.


Mr. China, by Tim Clissold. A memoir of a British businessman in China in the early 1990s. This was recommended by Jocelyn Ford, currently Marketplace's Beijing bureau chief, who wrote "it's more about business, but it shows how government works at the local level."

Culture, society

River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze, by Peter Hessler. Hessler was a Peace Corps volunteer in a remote town in Sichuan province. He describes life, politics and history of the town. Hessler writes beautifully about contemporary Chinese society and is now The New Yorker's correspondent there.

Bad Elements, by Ian Buruma. Buruma is one of the best writers about Asia. This is a cool book about the rebels struggling against authoritarian regimes in the contemporary Chinese world, from the PRC and Singapore to Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Wild Grass: Three stories of change in modern China, by Ian Johnson. Johnson was the Wall Street Journal correspondent and won a Pulitzer Prize. This book is an account of three ordinary people who decide to struggle for what's right, and find themselves up against the beast...

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China, by Jung Chang. A saga about three generations of women in the author's family, and their fate in China's turbulent 20th century. A good read.

The Asian Mystique, by Sheridan Prasso. A must-read for anyone interested in Asia. Prasso's book is the only serious exploration of American images of Asia, and Asian women in particular. She explores the Western image of Asian women as docile, erotic, where they come from and why they.

Cultural Revolution memoirs: Son of the Revolution, by Liang Heng, is one of the first chronicles of the Cultural Revolution, the ten year "holocaust" of revolutionary extremism that destroyed a generation of Chinese and ravaged China's intellectuals. There are loads and loads of great memoirs, and I haven't read the most recent ones. But another early one I read is Born Red: A Chronicle of the Cultural Revolution, by Yuan Gao.

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