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Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China's Past and Present by Peter Hessler
Oracle Bones refers to ancient bones inscribed with the earliest writing in China which were used to predict the future. Peter Hessler, the Beijing correspondent for New Yorker magazine and once an English teacher in China, examines the country's past and present in an attempt to show how it is changing in the 21st century. He follows some of his old students as they migrate from the countryside to the cities where China's export and manufacturing industries are booming. He highlights the plight of some of the ethnic minorities, the government's confrontations with Falum Gong, and its complex relationship with the United States. He also looks at China's ancient and recent history that both built its conservative nature and ruined many of its intellectuals. Oracle Bones has received mostly positive review with USA Today saying, "Looking to the past for a hint of what's to come remains a good way of understanding China. Oracle Bones is an excellent place to start."