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Old Beijing: People, Houses, and Lifestyles

by: Xu Chengbei

Beijing China: Foreign Languages Press and Jiangsu Fine Arts Publishing House 2001, Hardbound
ISBN: 7-119-02837-5

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Spring Volume: 2007 Issue: 14(1) page(s): 37

Second in a series of books about ancient Chinese cities, the first in the Bejing series, Old Beijing--in the Shadow of Imperial Throne includes more history. The last about this city, Old Beijing--The Dawn of Change we have on order.

This volume emphasizes ordinary folk, and views what life was like in this capital city whrough more than a hundred black and white archival pictures. They show houses, streets, and people. From a food perspective, they include vendors, eating venues, and more.

The text is illuminating as are the pictures. Although we have not seen other series yet, the ones about Nanjing are said to be equally enticing. We purchased ours at the Soyodo bookstore in Flushing NY. They have taken our order but not located other copies for us, as yet. The book recommends contacting them as sales@flp.com.cn Reading/writing Chinese helps folks navigate that location, English is less valuable.

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