and tired socialist landscape. He speculates how former residents might have felt about returning to Shanghai. As it happens, I made my first visit to Shanghai in November 1974. When I looked back at my diaries from that trip, I felt that Wasserstrom captured the strident Maoist ideology of that time. However, he missed the appallingly crowded living conditions of working families, the dispirited shoppers on Nanjing Road, the shoddy merchandise in the stores, the factories where workers paid little attention to production, the great pyramids of cabbage that would become the coming winter's vegetables, and the obvious prevarications of our Chinese hosts. The truth is that the multiple facets of Shanghai's changing identity cannot be captured by any one book. The best snapshots come from novels and memoirs; the best histories from larger, longer, and deeper narratives such as Marie Claire Berger's, Histories de Shanghai (2002). Some foreign visitors to the 2010 Shanghai World Expo will find this book useful, as will students starting to explore Shanghai history. One of the book's best features is Wasserstrom's extensive suggestions for further reading, which contain dozens of titles that explore different aspects of Shanghai's fascinating history. David D. Buck
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jan 6, 2009
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