Recommendation: “Life and Death in Shanghai” by Nien Cheng

Nien Cheng, Life and Death in Shanghai
Nien Cheng, Life and Death in Shanghai

My favorite autobiography. Beautifully written English with fascinating Chinese insights. Nien Cheng was a brilliant woman in an extraordinary circumstances during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, she was Chinese and educated in England, and became the liaison between Shell Oil and the Chinese government. Her fearless integrity and her intelligence saved her life. She and her husband loved Western and Asian art, they took the best of all the cultures they were exposed to. She is both humble, sensitive, observant and a giant defender of truth and fairness. I cannot think of any better moral example for good people — her story is great life lesson in why and how to stand up for yourself and values. I mention this book specifically now because we are facing a possible cultural revolution that offers destruction and no solutions. Her story is an early warning of what is to come. Her only regret was she didn’t know sooner, if she had she would not have lost her daughter …

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