Book review

How Janet Yellen came to teach a Chinese hard labourer economics

A Beijing boy's escape from digging ditches in the desert to lecturing at Wharton: Weijian Shan’s memoir Out of the Gobi makes for an inspiring holiday read.
Gobi Desert, Inner Mongolia
Gobi Desert, Inner Mongolia

Weijian Shan’s book reads like the classic tale of the American Dream, but with a twist it starts in communist China.

Born the son of a Chinese customs administration official in 1953, Shan grew up in a one-room home in Beijing. Today he is chairman and chief executive of private equity firm PAG, one of the most respected investors in China.

His book Out of the Gobi my Story of China and America offers a rare contemporary view of the events that helped to shape the psyche of China’s current business and political elite, from the brutality of the Cultural Revolution to the...

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