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Extended Audio Sample China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power Audiobook, by Rob Gifford Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.21333333333333 out of 54.21333333333333 out of 54.21333333333333 out of 54.21333333333333 out of 54.21333333333333 out of 5 4.21 (33 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rob Gifford Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455187409
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National Public Radio’s Beijing correspondent Rob Gifford recounts his travels along Route 312, the Chinese Mother Road, the longest route in the world’s most populous nation. Based on his successful NPR radio series, China Road draws on Gifford’s twenty years of observing firsthand this rapidly transforming country, as he travels east to west, from Shanghai to China’s border with Kazakhstan. As he takes the reader on this journey, he will also take us through China’s past and present while he tries to make sense of this complex nation’s potential future.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Gifford is great company and great fun, and China Road is a terrific, highly readable book.”

    Jim Yardley, Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times Beijing correspondent

  • “How I envy Rob Gifford and his journey along China Road. How grateful I am to him for allowing me to share the trip through his vivid writing and his deep knowledge of and great love for China. As vicarious enjoyment goes, this one’s a ten.”

    Ted Koppel, managing editor, Discovery Channel

  • “I loved Rob Gifford’s book. His journey along Route 312 is a great road story...China Road is insightful, funny, analytical, anecdotal, full of humble humor and magnificent discoveries.”

    Scott Simon, host of NPR’s Weekend Edition and author of Pretty Birds

  • “Informative, delightful, and powerfully moving…Rob Gifford’s acute powers of observation, his sense of humor and adventure, and his determination to explore the wrenching dilemmas of China’s explosive development open readers’ eyes and reward their minds.”

    Robert A. Kapp, president, US-China Business Council, 1994–2004

  • “A great book, a terrific read. Rob Gifford’s story is as engaging as any travel writing, but it is equally full of historical and philosophical wisdom about the future of the world’s largest country.”

    Joseph S. Nye, Jr., former assistant secretary of defense, Distinguished Service Professor, Harvard University

  • “Rob Gifford has found the perfect road trip. His years in China have given him a keen eye and a deep understanding of the country’s contradictions; he’s the perfect guide to this magnificent road from Shanghai to the Kazakhstan border.”

    Peter Hassler, author of River Town and Oracle Bones

  • “Want to learn more about a country which will increasingly impact our lives for years to come? Ride along with Gifford as he travels from Shanghai to Kazakhstan on China’s longest road. You’ll think it’s the writer himself talking—so closely does Vance approximate his age, British nationality and dexterity with the Chinese language…At the end of this valuable listening experience, Gifford predicts China’s chances of making it as a major power.”

    AudioFile

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 2/11/2014

    " This book exposed me to a wealth of information about both present day, and past China. Well written and easy reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandie | 2/10/2014

    " A great book! I recommend it for anyone who wants to know more about China, especially contemporary China. I liked Rob Gifford when he was the NPR correspondent over there. This book is about a trip he took on Route 312 from Shanghai to the western border of China, meeting and talking to ordinary people along the way. He throws in a little history and his thoughts about the political situation there, actually more than his thoughts, because he did research for the book and there is a good bibliography. The book is indexed and there are great photos. His writing style is very readable. I wish I had read this book before my trip to China but it wasn't published then. But I am glad I read it now. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ryan | 2/4/2014

    " Couldn't get through this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JJ W | 2/2/2014

    " Rob Gifford brings his great story telling ability and love of Chinese culture to bear on China's longest road, the route 66 of the Middle Kingdom. Filled with lovely anecdotes and heart-wrenching stories, historical parallels and frightening visions, the book sums up Gifford's decades-long engagement with China. I wish Gifford had been a bit more optimistic and underestimates the ingenuity of the Chinese people. Read this to get a better idea of what kinds of hybrid governance and management models may emerge from a China that defies all expectations and changes faster than you can close your eyes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Larry | 1/26/2014

    " One man's view of China as he hitchhikes his way across the country. The author focuses on China today but he puts it in the context of China past and future. A very good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diana | 1/25/2014

    " An important, illuminating and thought-provoking book. This will give you an overview of what China is like today - and will make you want to learn more! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hans Westermeyer | 1/19/2014

    " Excellent brief introduction to China's current struggles and historical background. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jack Ippel | 1/6/2014

    " A great book for one who know little of China yesterday and today! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angelo John Lewis | 12/27/2013

    " A good travelogue and overview of the China and the challenges its undergoing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fritz Brantley | 12/21/2013

    " Informative! If you read the news more than I do, though, you may not care. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Danni | 12/20/2013

    " great book. Moved me to tears a few times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stefan Stefaniuk | 12/6/2013

    " Incredibly insightful in regard to the diverse nature of the People's Republic of China and the challenges it faces in moving forward. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 james | 4/30/2013

    " This is a superior travel book. The author is a reporter in China for NPR. His final report for China is about his trip along China National Highway 312, which he travelled from Shanghai to the border of Kazakstan. He rode in busses, trucks, and occasionally by car. Don't miss this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 1/29/2013

    " Great book and the author used to live in my old compound in Beijing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rabi | 12/14/2012

    " An insightful number of viewpoints on China: past, present, and its possible future. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 8/29/2012

    " Super interesting and insightful! A very matter-of-fact approach to whether China is the next super-power or whether it will ultimately implode. Time will tell(: "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keith | 8/27/2012

    " For my first trip to China, this book provided me with at some knowledge on the most populated country in the World. I would easily recomend this book to anybody that is looking to learn about China and the amazing changes that are taking place in this country today. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alison | 8/11/2012

    " This was a terrific read. I gave it a three simply because I didn't really connect with the author - nothing more than that, really. Gifford's adventures are amusing and well recounted - I would recommend this as summer reading to anyone getting ready to travel to China. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott Dennis | 4/14/2012

    " Very good story, gives a good overview of the many facets of life and change in modern China from the first person narrative of Mr. Gifford whose experience and connections added depth to the reader's understanding. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shawnna | 2/9/2012

    " A great overview of where China has been and where it is going in the future! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Corinne Liu | 1/4/2012

    " Mr. Gifford writes impressively about China. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annie | 3/10/2011

    " Very great adventure through China from your very own couch

    "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Todd | 3/1/2011

    " I tried. Great precept, I couldn't take the romanticism dripping from every damn page. I gave up when he said he was keeping a copy of _The Grapes of Wrath_ in the top pocket of his backpack. Barf. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karyn | 1/11/2011

    " Great insight into China: past, present, and future - from a BBC journalist who spent much of his life in the country (and also happens to be a Christian). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yvonne | 1/11/2011

    " Interesting insight into modern China and what influences played into producing the portrait Gifford paints of this vast and diverse nation and people. Conversational style, interesting read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jack | 1/8/2011

    " A great book for one who know little of China yesterday and today! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ruth | 1/6/2011

    " Outstanding book! Really helped me to get a better understanding of some of the culture and history of China and the towns along this major road from Shanghai to northwest China. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katy | 12/13/2010

    " Very interesting tour through China written by a journalist with an extensive knowledge of China, impartial speculation on China's future. Easy to listen to, enjoyable listen. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shorel | 12/7/2010

    " Pretty well rounded grasp on the current situation in China. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 10/15/2010

    " I've read several books on China's communist history up until about 1990. This was a great book on the current China and some of its struggles on trying to rise above its past. The author did a great job of mixing his adventure of traveling across China with important historical events. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Keren | 10/12/2010

    " My uncle recommended this and I found it an amazing travel hitchhiking across China with an amazing writer! Highly recommend! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul | 10/11/2010

    " Really gives a feel for what modern China is all about. Highly recommended. "

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About the Author

Rob Gifford has spent twenty years studying and reporting on China and has just wrapped up a six-year run as National Public Radio’s Beijing bureau chief. During that time, he traveled to almost every province in China, reporting on the social and economic revolution that is transforming the nation.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with over forty Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.