Full episode
467: Americans in China
Act Two

Beautiful Downtown Wasteland

There are so few farmers in the United States that in 1993, the census stopped counting the number of Americans who live on farms at the time. But in China, despite the vast migration to cities in recent years, more than half the country still lives in rural areas. Michael Meyer is a writer whose first book, The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed detailed his three years living in Beijing’s oldest neighborhood. His newest book, about living in rural China — specifically, in the village his wife comes from — is called In Manchuria. (17 minutes)