The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream

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9781851689484: The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream

In China, just because something is banned, doesn't mean it can't boom... Statistically, zero percent of the Chinese population plays golf, still known as the "rich man’s game" and considered taboo. Yet China is in the midst of a golf boom hundreds of new courses have opened in the past decade, despite it being illegal for anyone to build them. Award-winning journalist Dan Washburn charts a vivid path through this contradictory country by following the lives of three men intimately involved in China's bizarre golf scene. We meet Zhou, a peasant turned golf pro who discovered the game when he won a job as a security guard at one of the new, exclusive clubs and who sees himself entering the emerging Chinese middle class as a result; Wang, a lychee farmer whose life is turned upside down when a massive, top-secret golf resort moves in next door to his tiny village; and Martin, a Western executive maneuvering through China’s byzantine and highly political business environment, ever watchful for Beijing's "golf police." The Forbidden Game is a rich and arresting portrait of the world’s newest superpower and three different paths to the new Chinese Dream.

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About the Author:

Dan Washburn is an award-winning reporter and Chief Content Officer at the Asia Society. His writing has appeared in the FT Weekend Magazine, The Atlantic, The Economist, ESPN.com, Foreign Policy, Golf World, Slate, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. Washburn's work has been featured in the anthologies Unsavory Elements: Stories of Foreigners on the Loose in China and Inside the Ropes: Sportwriters Get Their Game On. He is also the founding editor of Shanghaiist.com, one of the most widely read English-language websites about China. After almost a decade spent living in China, he now lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Review:

"Compelling...Washburn tells this fascinating and complicated story through following three men who never meet but those whose lives and fortunes are all intimately tied up in the growth of Chinese golf....Washburn uses the sport with suprising effectiveness as a lens into the country's development over the past two decades." - Los Angeles Review of Books

"Engrossing...a marvellous and subtle book." - Spectator

"Strikingly original...this is a tale of modern China." - Wall Street Journal

"Excellent...[a] colourful account of the rise of golf in China." - Financial Times

"Tackles great themes...brings China to life...Gripping and revealing." - Economist

"An illuminating portrait of modern China." - New Statesman

"I know of no narrative that surpasses The Forbidden Game [on the subject of Chinese corruption]...vivid [and] revealing." - Literary Review

"Washburn's extensive research and his breezy, reporter's style make this insightful book both educational and delightful." - Shelf Awareness for Readers

"The Forbidden Game offers a thoroughly new window onto the 'Chinese Dream.' As veteran 'China watcher' Dan Washburn engrossingly reveals, it transpires that the game of golf is a barometer for all China’s current concerns economic growth, 'social harmony,' corruption, the growing wealth gap and, most absorbing, the hopes and aspirations of at least one Chinese man who’s daring to dream of a better future." Paul French, bestselling author of Midnight in Peking

"The Forbidden Game is an important and fascinating work. By taking us deep into China's secret golf culture, Dan Washburn brings to life the contradictions and complications of this unique nation’s struggles with modernity as well as an inspiring group of home-grown players who have paved the way for the rising generation of Chinese pros." Alan Shipnuck, senior writer at Sports Illustrated and author of Bud, Sweat and Tees

"I’m not a golfer or a Sinophile, but The Forbidden Game spoke to me. At its core, it is classic storytelling underdog tales of struggle, perseverance and overcoming adversity. The men in this book may not be perfect, but they are real people you can root for. It’s like the quintessential American Dream story, only it’s set in China.' Brian Grazer, award-winning producer of television and film, including Best Picture Oscar winner A Beautiful Mind

"Sometimes the best way into the heart of an enigma is through a backdoor. With The Forbidden Game, Dan Washburn has opened just such a portal for anyone finding the People’s Republic of China’s unexpected progress perplexing to understand, much less to explain. By giving us a grand tour of the surprising boom in the game of golf in China, he not only illuminates a very concrete slice of life, but gives us a graphic and readable sense of both the energy and inertia that lay at the center of the contradictory phenomena that has come to be known as 'China’s rise.'" Orville Schell, Director of the Center on US-China Relations and author of Wealth and Power: China’s Long March to the Twenty-First Century

"From a bourgeois pastime denounced by the Communist Party of China, golf became the embodiment of the new Chinese dream. The Forbidden Game speaks volumes about how much this country has changed. You can learn more from this engaging, well-written book about golf than from weightier tomes that have tried to tackle China’s transformation. A hole in one from Dan Washburn." -Barbara Demick, author of Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea and Logavina Street: Life and Death on a Sarajevo Street

"In his revealing and witty new book, Dan Washburn unearths a story that nobody knows: how the game that Chairman Mao denounced as the sport for millionaires” stirred the dreams of farmers and soldiers, tantalized foreign pioneers, and provoked a Chinese crackdown. This is a tale about golf no more than Seabiscuit is a story about horseracing. This is twenty-first-century China in all its vivid, surprising, and human contradictions." - Evan Osnos, staff writer for The New Yorker and author of Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China

"Every bit as energetic and ambitious as the burgeoning China it so evocatively portrays, The Forbidden Game is a truly memorable feat of reporting and storytelling. By chronicling the ascent of golf in a nation whose newfound affluence has brought it as much turmoil as joy, Dan Washburn gets to the heart of what makes China's messy rise one of the century's most compelling tales. A book this richly observed and deeply humane is an all-too-rare beast these days; read it, and then cherish it." - Brendan I. Koerner, author of The Skies Belong to Us

"The stunning rise of China is usually told through upheaval in the country's politics and the economy. Dan Washburn has been smart enough to spot a much underestimated way to tell the tale the phenomenon of golf a sport which has thrived even as it has been repressed. The story of golf ("green opium: in the words of some government officials) has it all in China from the wild west developments of courses to inspiring stories of success and dark politics." Richard McGregor, author of The Party: The Secret World of China's Communist Rulers and Washington Bureau Chief for the Financial Times

The Forbidden Game is a propulsive chronicle of an old pursuit thrust into a country undergoing colossal change. But more than that, it's a richly drawn, deeply felt portrait of human striving a great story.’
Tom Vanderbilt, bestselling author of Traffic and Survival City

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Book Description Oneworld Publications, United Kingdom, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In October 2015, the Chinese Communist Party banned its 88 million members from excessive drinking, improper sexual relationships.and holding golf club memberships. But, with the rich man s game about to appear in the Olympics for the first time in 112 years, they also began to spend unprecedented sums on their own national golf team. Through the lives of three men intimately involved in China s bizarre golf scene, Dan Washburn paints an arresting portrait of a country of contradictions. A villager named Wang sees his life transformed when a top-secret golf resort springs up next to his farm - despite the building of golf courses being illegal. Western executive Martin, whose firm manages the construction of golf courses, is always looking over his shoulder for Beijing s golf police . And for security guard Zhou, making it as a professional golfer could be his way into China s new middle class. Using the unique lens of The Forbidden Game, Washburn gleans rich insights into the politics and people of one of the most powerful and enigmatic nations on earth. Bookseller Inventory # AA99781851689484

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Book Description Oneworld Publications, United Kingdom, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In October 2015, the Chinese Communist Party banned its 88 million members from excessive drinking, improper sexual relationships.and holding golf club memberships. But, with the rich man s game about to appear in the Olympics for the first time in 112 years, they also began to spend unprecedented sums on their own national golf team. Through the lives of three men intimately involved in China s bizarre golf scene, Dan Washburn paints an arresting portrait of a country of contradictions. A villager named Wang sees his life transformed when a top-secret golf resort springs up next to his farm - despite the building of golf courses being illegal. Western executive Martin, whose firm manages the construction of golf courses, is always looking over his shoulder for Beijing s golf police . And for security guard Zhou, making it as a professional golfer could be his way into China s new middle class. Using the unique lens of The Forbidden Game, Washburn gleans rich insights into the politics and people of one of the most powerful and enigmatic nations on earth. Bookseller Inventory # AA99781851689484

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Book Description Oneworld Publications. Book Condition: New. Award-winning journalist Dan Washburn uses golf as the lens through which to examine modern China and all its contradictions and complications Num Pages: 336 pages, 1 black & white illustrations. BIC Classification: 1FPC; KNSP; WSJG. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 216 x 141 x 25. Weight in Grams: 368. . 2014. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9781851689484

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Book Description Oneworld Publications, United Kingdom, 2014. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In October 2015, the Chinese Communist Party banned its 88 million members from excessive drinking, improper sexual relationships.and holding golf club memberships. But, with the rich man s game about to appear in the Olympics for the first time in 112 years, they also began to spend unprecedented sums on their own national golf team. Through the lives of three men intimately involved in China s bizarre golf scene, Dan Washburn paints an arresting portrait of a country of contradictions. A villager named Wang sees his life transformed when a top-secret golf resort springs up next to his farm - despite the building of golf courses being illegal. Western executive Martin, whose firm manages the construction of golf courses, is always looking over his shoulder for Beijing s golf police . And for security guard Zhou, making it as a professional golfer could be his way into China s new middle class. Using the unique lens of The Forbidden Game, Washburn gleans rich insights into the politics and people of one of the most powerful and enigmatic nations on earth. Bookseller Inventory # BZE9781851689484

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