China Editor, The Economist
An NPR Foreign Correspondent and China Editor of The Economist magazine, Rob Gifford authored the critically acclaimed China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power. Gifford speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese and he has traveled from Tibet to the Muslim Northwest, to the border with North Korea filing news and feature stories for NPR News. Gifford also travels widely in East Asia for NPR, covering elections in Taiwan and East Timor and diplomatic visits to North Korea, and produced a range of features on everything from Christian missionaries in Mongolia to Internet start-ups in Hong Kong. Read More >
China Road records a two month journey along Route 312, the Chinese equivalent of Route 66. The road flows three-thousand miles from east to west, passing through the factory towns of the coastal areas, through the rural heart of China, then up into the Gobi Desert, where it merges with the old Silk Road. The highway witnesses every part of the social and economic revolution that is turning China upside down. Read More >
Gifford tells the story of his journey through the lives of the colorful Chinese characters he meets along the way: garrulous talk show hosts and ambitious yuppies, impoverished peasants and tragic prostitutes, cell phone salesmen, AIDS patients and Tibetan monks. Using the road trip as a prism to view modern China, he asks bigger questions about where China is going, who the Chinese people are, and whether we in the West should be concerned about China’s rise. Read Less ^
"Rob was EXCELLENT and we got such a positive response from everyone. He was so cordial and handled all of the patron's questions wonderfully. He was so gracious to autograph his books as well as many more for Barnes and Noble to sell at the store. He enjoyed Fargo and we reciprocated with a warm welcome and a genuine appreciation for all of his knowledge, wit, and candor."
"Today's Town Hall lecture is the best we’ve had yet! It was a refreshing break from the dour news of the economy and wars. It was fascinating to hear about the Chinese common people through the eyes of someone who has actually been where they work and live rather than behind a desk and microphone. He was thought provoking and made me hungry for more!!! "
"Rob Gifford – the best! As I think about the speakers I have heard at The Woman’s Club over the past six years, I would put Rob at the top of the list. His presentation was substantive and timely. His delivery was organized and engaging. He had a self-deprecating humor that the audience found charming. There was a real buzz after the program about how wonderful he had been."
"Rob was incredibly generous with his time and very open to discussion and speaking individually with the attendees. We're still hearing the glowing reviews from those who attended."
"Rob was fantastic! The comments I heard after the lecture and the luncheon was extremely positive. He was very social and easy to talk with. Since I have been to China a couple of times, I found his lecture spot on regarding the feelings that I had about the country."
"Our audience loved him. Our board would have stayed and listened to him talk until the wee hours after dinner yesterday. He was great! Rob autographed about 100 books today!"
"Rob Gifford is really good. He speaks with no notes, great visual presentation and content was just the right note of entertaining/interesting/educational/challenging."