Socrates in Shanghai

Reports about China’s economic prosperity often obscure the serious problems the pace of development is creating for the world’s most populous nation. Nowhere is the distance between China’s Communist past and its hypercapitalist present more evident than in the gap between wealthy urban elites and dirt-poor villagers in the provinces.

An egregious example of the desperate measures to which many poor Chinese have been driven is the unsanitary blood trade that developed in the 1990s....

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About the Author

Mark C. Taylor is chair of the department of religion at Columbia University. His latest book is Field Notes from Elsewhere: Reflections on Dying and Living.