Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Patriot Number One, Fighting Chinese Corruption

Journalist Lauren Hilgers was covering a story of Chinese villagers protesting the land-grab by local authorities and demanding democratic rights when she met Zhuang Lienog, son of a fisherman and tea shop owner. When the corrupt local government decided to crack down on protesters, Zhuang and his wife managed to leave China for Flushing, NY to join a community of Chinese immigrants.

Journalist Lauren Hilgers was covering a story of Chinese villagers protesting the land-grab by local authorities and demanding democratic rights when she met Zhuang Lienog, son of a fisherman and tea shop owner. When the corrupt local government decided to crack down on protesters, Zhuang and his wife managed to leave China for Flushing, NY to join a community of Chinese immigrants.

Zhuang's story as the activist Patriot Number One and his continuing activist work in America reveals a great deal about the situation in China. At the same time, readers learn about the challenges of immigrant life, finding work and adapting to a new world. Readers get to know Zhuang and his wife Little Yan, their friends and neighbors.

As Zhuang continues his protests in America, his Chinese family is targeted as a way of silencing him. Zhuang's commitment to his home village and for democracy truly makes him Patriot Number One.

I enjoyed the insight into modern China and the plight of immigrants. The author keeps a journalist's objectivity. This is not a fault, but the story may feel flat to readers used to more emotional bias.

Read an author interview at
https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/540901/patriot-number-one-by-lauren-hilgers/9780451496133/

Patriot Number One
by Lauren Hilgers
Crown
Publication March 20, 2018
$27 hardcover
ISBN 9780451496133