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Crashing the Party : An American Reporter in China
by Scott Savitt


Overview - It's 1983. Scott Savitt, one of the first American exchange students in Beijing, picks up his guitar and begins strumming Blackbird. He's soon surrounded by Chinese students who know every word to every Beatles song he plays. Scott stays on in Beijing, working as a reporter for Asiaweek Magazine.  Read more...

 
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More About Crashing the Party by Scott Savitt
 
 
 
Overview
It's 1983. Scott Savitt, one of the first American exchange students in Beijing, picks up his guitar and begins strumming Blackbird. He's soon surrounded by Chinese students who know every word to every Beatles song he plays. Scott stays on in Beijing, working as a reporter for Asiaweek Magazine. The city's first nightclubs open; rock 'n' roll promises democracy. Promoted to foreign correspondent for the Los Angeles Times then United Press International, Scott finds himself drawn into China's political heart.

Later, at 25 years old, Scott is the youngest accredited foreign correspondent in China with an intimate knowledge of Beijing's backstreets. But as the seven week occupation of Tiananmen Square ends in bloodshed on June 4, 1989, his greatest asset is his flame-red 500 cc. Honda motorcycle--giving Scott the freedom to witness first-hand what the Chinese government still denies ever took place. After Tiananmen, Scott founds the first independent English language newspaper in China, Beijing Scene. He knows that it's only a matter of time before the authorities move in, and sure enough, in 2000 he's arrested, flung into solitary confinement and, after a month in jail, deported.

Scott Savitt's memoir turns this complex political-historical subject into an extraordinary adventure story.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781593766528
  • ISBN-10: 1593766521
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press
  • Publish Date: November 2016
  • Page Count: 296
  • Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Editors, Journalists, Publishers
Books > Political Science > World - Asian
Books > Biography & Autobiography > Personal Memoirs

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-09-12
  • Reviewer: Staff

In this page-turning debut, Savitt, the New York Timess in-house Chinese-English translator, relates his experiences in China. He begins his story in 1982, when he was a first-year Duke student; grief stricken after his girlfriends death, he decided to go on a study abroad trip to the country. Returning after graduation to pursue his journalistic dreams, Savitt finds himself in the midst of historic news stories. The book vividly describes his 17 years of knowing China as intimately as an American can, during which he sees its cultural and economic flowering. He also observes the Tiananmen Square massacre, where he dodges bullets and fights the urge to participate, not just witness. His creation of Chinas first independent English-language newspaper gets him noticed, first by the Beijing bureaus of Western media outlets and then by the Communist Party. He comes across as a risk taker whose wealthy family back home could only help him so muchhis activist reporting style eventually leads to solitary confinement and a hunger strike. Savitt is a smart, thrilling memoirist, but his book is not just a narrative roller-coaster ride: readers will receive a new understanding of what has happened in China over the past 30 years, from someone who stood shoulder to shoulder with students asking for a better country. (Nov.)

 
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