Read Four Hundred Million Customers: The Experiences--Some Happy, Some Sad of an American in China and What They Taught Him by Carl Crow Free Online
Book Title: Four Hundred Million Customers: The Experiences--Some Happy, Some Sad of an American in China and What They Taught Him|
The author of the book: Carl Crow
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 6.65 MB
Date of issue: June 28th 2002
ISBN 13: 9781891936074
Read full description of the books Four Hundred Million Customers: The Experiences--Some Happy, Some Sad of an American in China and What They Taught Him:Four Hundred Million Customers (1937) is a collection of humorous essays and piquant anecdotes underpinned by well-informed insight and highlighted by witty drawings by G. Sapojnikoff. Like a bowl of salted peanuts, these vignettes make you want "more." The book was welcomed on its publication as the most entertaining and instructive introduction to the rapidly modernizing people of the new China and their resilient customs. While it has been taught in recent years at the Harvard Business School, the book — or at least its title — has been cited much more than read, usually to illustrate American illusions about the China market. Yet the book has lost none of its still perceptive insights into China, which is now more than triple "four hundred million."
"Crow, living in Shanghai [in the early twentieth century], wrote in a bemused manner about city dwellers. [While] Crow’s book was of little value to the China watcher of the 1950s and 1960s … once Chinese reform and opening took off after 1978, the clever city dwellers that Crow described in the 1930s are a far better guide to the China of today than [Edgar] Snow’s revolutionaries or [Pearl] Buck’s peasants.
"I have a former student, a successful businessman, who opened a factory in Shanghai a few months ago. On his reading stand he keeps a copy of Four Hundred Million Customers. ‘No other book,’ he said, ‘including many more contemporary works on the Chinese economy, provides as much insight into the business environment I face. And it helps me keep my sense of humor as I face the frustrations of doing business in China.’ No need to repeat the wonderful stories and phrases found in the book. Enjoy." —from the Introduction by Ezra F. Vogel
Read information about the authorCarl Crow was a Missouri-born newspaperman, businessman, and author who managed several newspapers and then opened the first Western advertising agency in Shanghai, China. He ran the agency for 19 years, creating calendar advertisements and the so-called sexy China Girl poster. He was also founding editor of the Shanghai Evening Post.
In the 1930s and 1940s, Crow wrote 13 books; and his most popular book, 400 Million Customers (1937)won one of the early National Book Awards: the Most Original Book of 1937.
Carl Crow arrived in Shanghai in 1911 and made the city his home for a quarter of a century, working there as a journalist, newspaper proprietor, and groundbreaking ad-man. He also did stints as a hostage negotiator, emergency police sergeant, gentleman farmer, go-between for the American government, and propagandist. As his career progressed, so did the fortunes of Shanghai. The city transformed itself from a dull colonial backwater when Crow arrived, to the thriving and ruthless cosmopolitan metropolis of the 1930s.
Among Crow’s exploits were attending the negotiations in Peking which led to the fall of the Qing Dynasty, getting a scoop on the Japanese interference in China during the First World War, negotiating the release of a group of western hostages from a mountain bandit lair, and being one of the first westerners to journey up the Burma Road during the Second World War. He met and interviewed most of the major figures of the time, including Sun Yat-sen, Chiang Kai-shek, the Soong sisters, and Mao Zedong’s second-in-command Zhou En-lai. During the Second World War he worked for American intelligence alongside Owen Lattimore, co-ordinating US policies to support China against Japan.