Inside the Red Mansion: On the Trail of China's Most Wanted Man

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Jun 12, 2008 - History - 288 pages
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The notorious gangster Lai Changxing started out as an illiterate farmer, but in the tumult of China’s burgeoning economy, he seized the opportunity to remake himself as a bandit king. A newly minted billionaire of outsized personality and even greater appetites, he was a living legend who eventually ran afoul of authorities. The journalist Oliver August set out to find the fugitive Lai. On his quest he encountered a highly entertaining series of criminals and oddball entrepreneurs—and acquired unique insight into the paradoxes of modern China. Part crime caper, part travelogue, part trenchant cultural analysis, August’s page-turning account captures China’s giddy vibe and its darker vulnerabilities.
 

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Inside the red mansion: on the trail of China's most wanted man

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August (former Beijing bureau chief,Times of London) draws on his observations of China's almost lawless business underworld to write a rattling good story: Lai Changxing rose from illiterate poverty ... Read full review

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Selected pages

Contents

1 WRITERS
2 PETITS BOURGEOIS
3 THE LANDLORD
4 BOATMEN
5 DANCING GIRLS
6 THREE HANDS
7 VILLAGERS
8 BELIEVERS
14 ROCKET CADRES
15 THE VICEMINISTER
16 LAWYERS
17 THE GAMBLER
18 THE GAMBLER II
19 THE OFFICER
EPILOGUE
Back Matter

9 THE GOOSE LIVER KING
10 BANDITS
11 THE MADAM
12 FUGITIVES
13 NIGHT TRADERS
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Back Cover
Spine
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Oliver August spent seven years in China as the Beijing bureau chief for the Times of London. He was previously the paper’s youngest-ever New York correspondent. He now reports from the Middle East.

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