"This is a beautiful and unusual book. I know of no parallel volume that both promises and sustains such a thorough exploration of Chinas still-attainable built past, and its all-too-swiftly vanishing present. As the authors note, what they have been striving to trace in China is a special type of luxury, one that confers 'the privilege of seeing beauty that others cannot see or have not yet noticed.' That is a lofty goal, but certainly the authors come very close to attaining it." Jonathan Spence, author of The Search for Modern China; Sterling Professor of History Emeritus, Yale University
China¿s Vanishing Worlds is an impressive documentation in images and text of modernization¿s effect on traditional ways of life, and a sympathetic portrait of lives burdened by hardship but blessed by simplicity and tranquility. The scars of China¿s recent history and the decay of centuries-old traditions are made visible in this volume, but so is the lure and promise of technology and another life for young people. In the next twenty years, an estimated 280 million Chinese villagers will become city dwellers, leaving their ancestral homes in search of urban jobs and opportunities. China¿s Vanishing Worlds offers readers a rare opportunity to glimpse China as it once was, and as it will soon no longer be.
Biografie (Matthias Messmer)
Dr. Matthias Messmer, geboren 1967, studierte Politik, Recht und Wirtschaft an der Universität St. Gallen. Seit Jahren verfasst er regelmäßig Beiträge über chinesische Themen, u. a. für die Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Er lebt und arbeitet als Publizist und Berater in Shanghai.