Book Spotlight: The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom by John Pomfret

WildChina > Editor's Pick > Book Spotlight: The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom by John Pomfret

We travel because we love stories and one of the stories we love most is that between China and the United States. For sure, it has its challenges but what complicated relationship doesn’t?

John Promfret’s The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom is the newest addition to our WildChina Reading List. The book tells the tangled tale between these two world superpowers and Pomfret, a former Washington Post correspondent and husband of WildChina founder, Mei Zhang utilizes his on-the-ground knowledge with the narrative quality of an award-winning journalist to render the complex relationship. Read on to see what you’ll find inside.


Adventurers, merchants, students, seekers, soldiers, immigrants and missionaries fill the pages as the book chronicles unexpected surprises stemming from the complicated and intimate relationship between the United States and China.

For example, did you know that profits from the early China trade drove the industrial revolution in the United States? Or that American women missionaries were at the forefront of the movement to educate Chinese women and end foot-binding?


Women Missionaries in China at the turn of the 20th Century

Layer upon layer of intertwined history has deepened the relationship between these two countries. To be expected, the exchange has faced many challenges but what complicated relationship hasn’t?

If, like us, you’re always hungry to learn more about the impact of other countries on China, this is a book you must read. Buy a copy and snuggle up in your reading chair for a voyage through rich history, culture and exchange.

The book will be available for purchase on November 29th, 2016.

John will also be giving a book talk at the Asia Society on November 30th. If you’re in New York City, book your seat for a lively discussion.

The Beautiful Country and The Middle Kingdom can be purchased at the follower re-sellers:


Barnes & Noble



The WildChina book list is always growing! Another book we love is Mei Zhang’s Travels through Dali: with a leg of ham. Both books are great gifts for the Sinophiles in your life.