The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed (Paperback)

Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a City Transformed

By Michael Meyer

Walker & Company, 9780802717504, 371pp.

Publication Date: May 26, 2009



A fascinating, intimate portrait of Beijing through the lens of its oldest neighborhood, facing destruction as the city, and China, relentlessly modernizes.
Soon we will be able to say about old Beijing that what emperors, warlords, Japanese invaders, and Communist planners couldn't eradicate, the market economy has. Weaving historical vignettes of Beijing and China over a thousand years Michael Meyer captures the city's deep past as he illuminates its present, and especially the destruction of its ancient neighborhoods and the eradication of a way of life that has epitomized China's capital. With an insider's insight, "The Last Days of Old Beijing "is an invaluable witness to history, bringing into shining focus the ebb and flow of life in old Beijing at this pivotal moment.

About the Author

Michael Meyer first went to China in 1995 with the Peace Corps. A longtime teacher and a Lowell Thomas Award winner for travel writing, Meyer has published stories in Time, Smithsonian, the New York Times Book Review, the Financial Times, Reader's Digest, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune. In China, he has represented the National Geographic Society's Center for Sustainable Destinations, training China's UNESCO World Heritage Site managers in preservation practices. The Last Days of Old Beijing is his first book.