DAILY LIFE IN PEOPLE'S CHINA by Arthur W. Galston

DAILY LIFE IN PEOPLE'S CHINA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

When they bid farewell to their American guests -- Yale biology professor Galston, his wife and daughter -- the Shih family must have felt a certain relief. Rejecting official tours and scientific colloquia, the Galstons insisted on a Visit to the People during their two weeks with the Shihs in a commune near Peking. They weeded tomatoes, picked beans, sat in on a political meeting, talked to their hosts, and attended a health station. ""The rhythm of communal life engulfed us. . . ."" But the reader can easily infer that the work pace was geared to the guests' physical condition and every effort made to give them VIP treatment. . . an extra burden for the already hardworking Shills. After laboring in the fields the Galstons visited a duck farm, a nursery school, a semi-conductory factory, Peking and Tsinghua Universities, and also witnessed an acupuncture anesthesiology for major surgery. Peking captivated them: wide roads with bicycles everywhere, cleanliness, complete confidence in other people's honesty. The propaganda bored them somewhat, especially the political peptalks on the commune, but they still describe the universities as having ""forged close links to the masses"" and they tout the Cultural Revolution. As a scientist Galston is meticulous, though not overly curious, and for all their gadding about there's nothing especially new; the observations of Jack Chen in A Year in Upper Felicity (KR, p. 350) penetrate further.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1973
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell