Scott Savitt’s new book, Crashing the Party: An American Reporter in China

Last night I had the privilege of interrogating Scott Savitt about his new book, Crashing the Party: An American Reporter in China, in a 90-minute program at the China Institute’s new residence in New York.

The book is a highly informative, great read about China in the period 1983-2000 when Scott succeeded in immersing himself in Chinese life in various ways starting as a student and ending as a newspaper publisher.

The book begins and ends with a vivid, still relevant description of what it’s like to be detained by the secret police for 30 days in the year 2000, so perhaps I am biased in its favor because of concern for “the rule of law”, but there’s much else in it of interest to a broad audience, and it’s painfully honest.  Scott, whom I had only met occasionally over the years until last night, proved to be a lively and stimulating witness before a good-sized crowd. It’s a shame he has been on China’s black list for so many years but, even without the opportunity to return to China, I’m sure he can write a sequel to this just-published book detailing China’s progress and his many China-related activities since 2000.

For those who will be in the NY area sometime between now and late March, I urge you to make the trek to the China Institute’s new downtown Manhattan location in order to see the really spectacular and quite large exhibition of celadon masterpieces from the Six Dynasties period. This could never have been shown in the Institute’s previous, much smaller space on 65th St.