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An American Historian Abroad

Historian Philip Foner recently returned from a stint in China, where he lectured on the current state of civil rights, labor and women's movements in the United States. He shares his impressions of Chinese views on recent American history, as well as the current state of Chinese social conditions.


A Thriller that's More than a Thriller

Book critic John Leonard says that Robert Stuart Nathan's new mystery book, The White Tiger, features a memorable portrayal of Beijing, and makes for fine summer reading.


Molly Yard: New Leader, Veteran Activist

The new president of the National Organization for Women, now in her 70s, joins Fresh Air to discuss her lifelong awareness of women's second-class status, which fueled her political activism. She hopes to use NOW to support more women running for elected office.


Joan Chen Discusses Being an Actress in China.

Actress Joan Chen. She co-stars in the epic film "The Last Emperor" as the Emperor Pu Yi's wife. In her native China, she was one of the country's leading actresses. Since moving to the United States, she has also appeared in the film "Tai-Pan."


How China is Opening Up to the West.

Writer Orville Schell. His latest book, Discos and Democracy: China in the Throes of Reform, chronicles one year in China's rush toward Democracy, and the country's continuing love-hate relationship with the West. Schell's work appears regularly in The New Yorker.


Paul Theorux Rides the Rails Through China.

Writer Paul Theroux. Since his first book, Waldo, was published in 1966, Theroux has written prolifically. His extensive travels have taken him through Africa, Asia and Central America, and a central theme of his work is the ironic examination of the clashing and mingling of Western and Third World cultures. Theroux's newest book, Riding the Iron Rooster, is an account of his travels by train through China.


An Answer to "The Question of Hu"

Book critic John Leonard reviews historian Jonathan Spence's newest work, about a Chinese convert in France who is institutionalized by a Jesuit priest name Jean-Francois Foucquet. Leonard says that the historical novel feels more like a poem about history.

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