For almost three tumultuous decades, insurance and investment fund executive Russell R. Miller, plied his trade in China and Southeast Asia. Buying and selling companies, setting up new ones and moving into public service by creating cultural and educational organizations — all the while witnessing far reaching societal transformation in China and her neighbors. In An American in Shanghai, Russell R. Miller chronicles this sweeping transformation with an eye for the telling detail as well as a sure grasp of the big picture.
Mr. Miller’s vantage point of the insurance and investment industries, as well as his public service activities, gave him the perfect window to capture the contradictions of the New China. Here is an emerging superpower, with the world’s second largest economy, striving to be modern in all things and overcome centuries of grinding poverty and humiliation by the West. A Communist political system coexists with a capitalist economy and gleaming skyscrapers can be found around the corner from a back alley being swept by a dried bamboo branch broom whose design stretches back one thousand years, nearby a sleek Mercedes pulls up to a stoplight by a pushcart piled high with discarded goods
From his home in Shanghai, one of the most Western of Chinese cities, once known as the “Paris of the East,” Mr. Miller takes us on an instructive and entertaining journey through China. As insightful as he is engaging, Russell R. Miller makes the ideal traveling companion for this journey through the paradoxes of the emerging powerhouse of New China.