The author, who writes with an infectious energy, lets us eavesdrop on the conversations he’s had with scores of young Chinese, often referring to them by the Western names they were given by teachers or chose for themselves. In venues ranging from cacophonous Karaoke bars to opulent office parks, these Toms, Zizis, Renées, and Lin Lins share their life stories and offer opinions about everything from skyrocketing real-estate prices to parent-child relations … There is a refreshingly ordinary, as opposed to sensationalistic, feel to many of the stories recounted in Young China: The author is such a lively spinner of tales that he can tease humor and pathos out of even run-of-the-mill interaction … We do not, despite the subtitle, get much of a sense of how the ‘restless generation’ will or even might ‘change their country and the world.’
He paints a remarkably revealing portrait of China's youngest generations in his fascinating new book, Young China: How the Restless Generation Will Change Their Country and the World … No generations in China's history have been more exposed to the outside world nor, perhaps, more devoted to questioning societal assumptions. These bold, anxious, and driven young people could produce a new kind of Chinese resilience, a new kind of nation – and a new kind of world power.
...entertaining and instructive … Dychtwald develops insights about everything from the obscure (the hugely popular ‘double-eyelid’ cosmetic surgery, which creates a more ‘Western-shaped’ eye) to the well known (China’s now abolished one-child policy) to the inevitable (sex). He discovers that contemporary young people in China and the United States have essentially identical dreams. But the journey to this point is a fascinating story, and Young China tells it well.
[Dychtwald] delves into the trends and culture of Chinese youths to explore how modern-day China is evolving into a more open and inclusive society ... It’s a richly informative and surprisingly intimate portrait of a side of China unknown to most Westerners.
The author ventures insightful comments about his time in China, likening his explorations to the rock walls of the Grand Canyon, each layer telling its own story, from the differences between Chinese and American cultures to the differences between the idealized Chinese life of Buddhism and Confucianism and the actual Chinese life of consumer capitalism … Informative and often entertaining—good reading for anyone looking into the crystal ball for a glimpse of the world a quarter-century from now.