The Accidental Capitalist

The Accidental Capitalist : A People's Story of the New China

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In the last three decades China has experienced the largest population movement in human history. Millions have left behind homes to find work and new opportunities in the emerging mega-cities. Through months of sustained interpersonal contact with migrant workers and factory owners, Behzad Yaghmaian paints a unique portrait of a country experiencing the turmoil of rapid development. His close listening has produced an intimate look at the hopes, hardships, triumphs and tragedies of those behind the Chinese 'economic dragon'. The Accidental Capitalist reveals the human reality behind China's rise to global-superpower status. Yaghmaian articulates the collective narrative of a people which will resonate with anyone living under capitalism and provide valuable material to students and scholars.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 150.11 x 230.12 x 17.78mm | 467.2g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 20 photos, 1 map
  • 0745332315
  • 9780745332314

Table of contents

History Timeline Maps Introduction: The Greatest Migration BOOK I: Tenants of Li Family, The Beautiful Rose Garden, The Li Family Village, The Portrait of Mao, Grandpa, The Communists Buried their Soldiers, The Great Famine, The Decorator's Fortune, The Scent of Fresh Grass BOOK II: Migrant Girls' Long March, Toy Factory Girls, I Want to See the World, The Great Flood, Bean Curds, I Will Be My Own Boss, Red Lanterns on the Mountain, A White Color Worker BOOK III: The Accidental Capitalist, Zhao Gang: The Declining Export-Processing Industries, Child Labor, Ancestor's Tomb, Lujiang Leaving for Shenzhen, Arise, You Prisoners of Starvation BOOK IV: A Man for All Seasons, Yue Haitao: Saving the World in the New China, Leaving Qingdao, Running to Die, Taking Side, Own a Piece of America, The Bastille Day Conclusions Index
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Review quote

This remarkable book paints intimate portraits of some of the faceless millions of migrant workers who have made China's economic miracle possible. Through their stories of hope and heartbreak, Yaghmaian takes readers beyond the statistics to show the revolutionary changes of the last generation. -- Ivan Watson, CNN Foreign Correspondent A new account of China's epic transformation, told through the personal biographies of men and women working in factories and construction sites. A fascinating, moving and highly readable book. -- Jeff Crisp, Head, Policy Development and Evaluation Service, UNHCR Like Ian Johnson's Wild Grass or Leslie Chang's Factory Girls, The Accidental Capitalist takes us to the epicenter of China's world-changing transition through a series of portraits of the men and women who make that change possible. Living among them, Yaghmaian trains his political economist's eye on China's throes of export-led commercial expansion ... He vividly conveys his acquaintances' sense of excitement and even optimism. -- Professor James Millward, History, Georgetown University A modern Alexis de Tocqueville, the author lived among his subjects in Shenzen, 'the heartbeat of the rising China,' while scouring the metropolis for stories. -- Publishers Weekly
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About Behzad Yaghmaian

Behzad Yaghmaian is Professor of Political Economy at Ramapo College, New Jersey. He has taught in the United States, Iran and Turkey. He is author of Embracing the Infidel: Stories of Muslim Migrants on the Journey West, and Social Change in Iran: An Eyewitness Account of Dissent, Defiance, and Movements for Rights.
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