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Understanding China’s globalization through a softer lens: a journalist’s family




View of the skyline of Shanghai during the J.P. Morgan China Squash Open 2017 in Shanghai on September 3, 2017.
View of the skyline of Shanghai during the J.P. Morgan China Squash Open 2017 in Shanghai on September 3, 2017.
CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP/Getty Images

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When tasked with opening the first China bureau for the daily radio program “Marketplace,” reporter and correspondent Scott Tong realized that the changing landscape of the world’s largest populated country could be captured through the stories of five individuals: his family members.

In his new book, “A Village with My Name: A Family History of China’s Opening to the World,” Tong reconnects with extended relatives and traces key events embedded in their lives – from the end of the Qing dynasty, to the Great Leap Forward, to China’s One Child Policy and today’s factory and export boom – to help shape a refreshing, disparate understanding of modern-day China.

Larry sits down with the veteran reporter to talk about the book and his efforts to unearth China’s mounting history at a much more human level.

Guest:

Scott Tong, former China correspondent and founding Shanghai bureau chief for Marketplace; his new book is “A Village with My Name: A Family History of China’s Opening to the World” (The University of Chicago Press, 2017); he is currently a correspondent on Marketplace’s sustainability desk