Bookshelf: Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade

One of my Fourteen Books for 2014 I’ve always heard that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, but I was not fully aware of how much treasure is out there until I spent the weekend reading journalist Adam Minter’s lucid and engrossing new book on the global scrap and recycling business, Junkyard Planet: TravelsContinue reading “Bookshelf: Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade

LA Review of Books: Missing the Harmony Express

I’ve been in the United States for the past month, and during that time I’ve spent a lot of mental energy comparing China and the U.S. In terms of air quality, ease of accessing information online, and presence of Wawa convenience stores, Philadelphia definitely beats Shanghai. But in other areas, China has the edge, andContinue reading LA Review of Books: Missing the Harmony Express”

#AHA2014: Book Mania

Like every other historian I know, I love books and can’t resist a deal (or free ones). Publishers are aware of this, and they enable us to quench our thirst for new reading material by setting up huge exhibition halls at academic conferences like the annual meeting of the American Historical Association (AHA) that I’veContinue reading “#AHA2014: Book Mania”

I’ve Become a Talking Head

I’m spending the weekend in the very, very, VERY cold city of Washington, DC, attending the annual meeting of the American Historical Association. I will have more to say about that later, but for the moment, a quick link to a video interview with me that History News Network just posted. HNN’s editor is tapingContinue reading “I’ve Become a Talking Head”

Liangyou: Kaleidoscopic Modernity and the Shanghai Global Metropolis, 1926-1945

One of the nice things about going to UC Irvine is that during my coursework years, I had the option of taking classes at any other UC campus at no cost beyond a little bit of paperwork and administrative hassle. For one reason or another, though, it never worked out before my third year asContinue reading “Liangyou: Kaleidoscopic Modernity and the Shanghai Global Metropolis, 1926-1945