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Foreign Friend: My Life With The Geniuses Who Made Modern China


Foreign Friend is an unabashed love letter to China’s society and culture, written from the point of view of someone with no political or ideological agenda.

Spanning the period from 1982-1989, and seen through the hearts and minds of the people who created an economic miracle, my book pays homage to a China that no longer exists.  It will take you into the center and soul of this seminal period – the tumultuous years between the end of the Cultural Revolution and the tragedy in Tiananmen Square. Years that are crucial to understanding today’s China.

For more than 30 years I have had most uncommon access to China’s government leaders, working people, and their families. Through this book, you will too.

No other book examines China’s people, government, society, culture, and modern history as this memoir does: through portraits of places rarely visited by westerners, and riveting dialogues with a wide variety of remarkable persons.

Government officials and political counselors. Farmers, fishermen, and factory workers. Military and police officers. Pilots and drivers. Cooks, bodyguards, and doctors. Shop owners and shoppers. Economists and roadside gamblers. Parents, teachers, and students.

Foreign Friend lets you experience through your own senses China’s society and people as they were during the era when one fifth of humanity decided collectively to cast off thousands of years of repression and exploitation, and forge a new paradigm of collaborative pragmatism. A massive, utterly unique experiment in essentially apolitical, entirely areligious economic development.

My book is not only a reenactment of that momentous era. It is also an elegy for it. A lament for a complex, flawed, often hilariously quirky arcadia in which an enormous citizenry struggled mightily, suffered horribly, lived in proximal equality, and experienced the nobility and elation of transforming their country.

Foreign Friend may change your life, as China and her people changed mine.


Foreign Friend: My Life with the Geniuses Who Created Modern China is available from Amazon. For a sample chapter and ordering information, please click the following link: