I just finished this book and highly recommend it for providing valuable insight to what life was like for most Chinese during the 1950s through the 1990s. It also provides the perspective of the author of what it was like for her gradually becoming integrated into American life, starting as a college student, then temporary worker, wife of an American, and finally US citizen. The author does a good job of covering this summary of 60 plus years of biographical and autobiographical experiences at a fairly high level, but with enough detail and substance to make for engaging reading. Not only is the story compelling and relevant to our times, it is chock full of the author's opinions about governments, bureaucracies, values, and philosophies; most of which I found accurate and correct. So, naturally, I liked the book and wish every American would take the time to read it.
Why did I not give the book 5 stars? Because the style of writing is good, but not great (although the simplicity of the style makes for quick reading). Also, because the author does generalize quite a bit and thus loses some credibility for skimming over the complexities of human society in condemning the bad aspects of both Chinese and American society. These are minor criticisms. An understanding reader will easily overlook these trivial flaws and recognize that the author's life experiences entitle her to have firm opinions about the evils that humanity still struggles to overcome and the important role of individual liberty in the achievement of national prosperity. Valuable lessons for all.