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The Forbidden Game

Golf and the Chinese Dream

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


Financial Times Best Book of 2014

It’s still known as the “rich man’s game” and considered taboo, and yet golf is booming in China — hundreds of new courses have opened in the past decade, despite it being illegal for anyone to build them. Award-winning journalist Dan Washburn follows the lives of three men intimately involved in China’s bizarre golf scene. We meet Zhou, a peasant turned golf pro who sees the game as his way into China’s new middle class; Wang, a lychee farmer whose life is transformed when a massive, top-secret resort springs up next door; and Martin, a Western executive maneuvering through a highly political business environment, ever watchful for Beijing’s “golf police.”

Charting these three different paths to the new Chinese Dream, The Forbidden Game is a rich and arresting portrait of a country of contradictions.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 28, 2014 – Golf has yet to catch on in China, in part, according to Washburn, because the government bans the building of golf courses. In this rigorously reported book, Washburn, the managing editor of Asia Society Online, describes how developers and local governments keep trying to build courses, often by driving residents from their homes and stiffing them on financial agreements. He follows three people in this land of limited opportunity: Martin Moore, an American golf course designer thriving in Asia, tries to handle the lofty expectations of his bosses; Zhou Xunshu, a security guard and pro golfer, finds his skills dulled by work and family obligations; and Wang Libo, who lives in Hainan, the southernmost province of China, gets squeezed out by another golf course. Washburn captures China's shift from its agrarian roots toward more Western pursuits in this engaging story.
The Forbidden Game
View in iTunes
  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Economics
  • Published: Jul 18, 2016
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications
  • Seller: Perseus Books, LLC
  • Print Length: 336 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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