From Tea to Coffee: The Journey of an "Educated Youth"
by Cheng Wang
Born in the year of the "Anti-Rightist Campaign" launched by Mao in 1957 and raised during the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976, the author's upbringing perfectly captures the zeitgeist of the Mao era. During those years, knowledge was considered poison to the soul, and schools were mostly closed. By heeding the highest call of the times, Cheng Wang became an "Educated Youth," sent to a secluded village in Inner Mongolia for three years for "re-education".
Over the following decades, profound political changes and external societal factors have shaped and reshaped China, and more particularly himself. Sadly, more than one generation of talented people were ruined by the Cultural Revolution. However, a handful of bright men and women transformed themselves by transcending the many socioeconomic and cultural barriers in front of them. Be it by fate or personality, Cheng Wang was one of them.
However, even when Cheng achieved success at the dawn of economic revival in China, he still had many unanswered questions, which drove him to a new quest for Western ideas. To that end, he started a new life in America with only two hundred dollars and a desire to understand the doubts that had grown within him. He exchanged Chinese for English, tea for coffee, and, in the process, came to understand more about the ideologies that define, and so often divide, our two worlds.
Cheng became a Ph.D. candidate in economics at the University of Cincinnati, and later a Principal Member of Tech Staff at AT&T. In his spare time, he is an avid tennis player, seasoned investor, and voracious reader, but only writing is truly in his heart. Now, he is a freelancer and a Chinese-American cross-cultural messenger.
From Tea to Coffee
From Tea to Coffee is the story of struggle and triumph during China’s modern-day cultural and political drama, and is a rare and personal account that showcases the Chinese national psyche.