From Tea to Coffee: The Journey of an "Educated Youth"
by Cheng Wang
From Tea to Coffee:
The Journey of an "Educated Youth"
SRP (Paperback) $17.95 / SRP (eBook) $9.99
Ingrained, enthralled and overwhelmed with the prevailing creed, "Communism will one day seize the world," and following Mao's call to the young during the Cultural Revolution, Cheng Wang, a so-called ‘Educated Youth,’ boarded a train destined for a secluded village in Inner Mongolia for the compulsory period of re-education. For the next three grueling years in rural exile, he pondered how his once-privileged, loving family had been caught in a political undertow, and indeed how his own future might unfold.
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. Like all political movements of the past, the Cultural Revolution was not the first of its kind, nor quite possibly the last, yet Cheng Wang, now at home in both America and in China, maintains an optimism that is rare and welcome in confronting today's social polarization in the East and in the West.
This is a highly compelling story of a real person who has been a citizen of two very different cultures in their life. What was most interesting about the writing was that there was a lack of confrontation when discussing the two cultures, which is unusual considering how they are usually depicted in the media as opposing forces in the world. Perhaps it takes the perspective of someone who has actually lived a life in both cultures to notice the similarities and areas of compatibility between the two forces, a perspective that Cheng Wang brings to the table in this thoughtful discussion on his own life and accomplishments.
Throughout this book, real credence is given to the idea that these two different nations could have enough common ground to form a powerful friendship. As such, I recommend From Tea to Coffee to any reader with an interest in exploring cultural ideas. - Reviewed by K.C. Finn - author, journalist, educator.