How to Leap a Great Wall in China: The China Adventures of a Cross-Cultural Trouble-Shooter

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What begins as a means of acquiring a livelihood to support Den Leventhal’s decision to spend another year studying classical Chinese literature and philosophy turns out to be a serendipitous segue into the beginning of a “professional career as a ‘shirtsleeve sinologist.'” Leventhal’s eye-opening, and often hilarious, memoir takes an in-depth look at the cultural differences and business practices between two powerful countries and how one man successfully bridges those gaps.

Recognized as one of America’s business pioneers, Den Leventhal keys in to the fundamental elements to establish healthy business ties with China. Pulling from what he describes as his “twelve-volume hand-written log” of business travel activities, Leventhal captures the essence of a thirty-year career living and working in the heart of the Chinese culture in less than 200 pages! Leventhal’s narrative reaches out to a wide audience. Although he incorporates various aspects of the business world, Leventhal’s candid admission to his trials and tribulations, as well as triumphs, speaks volumes to those who desire to create strong relationships with others of diverse backgrounds.

Amid meticulous details that outline a range of changes occurring within China (and in connection with America) from the ’70s to the ’90s, Leventhal’s memoir centers on the importance of learning and respecting another culture’s history. Indeed, it helps to speak their language—and in the case of Leventhal, he is well versed in both, prior to his induction into Chinese-American business transactions. Yet he has no idea that being a sinologist—specializing in the study of language, literature, history, and custom of China—will ultimately play such an important role in the international business industry.

Leventhal’s experiences, such as being a point man and having to deal with middlemen, only begin to touch the surface as he breaks “a virtual Great Wall”—a Chinese government monopoly. While many chapters zero in on critical phases leading to this noteworthy commercial achievement via understanding the Chinese mindset, such as “the Continuity Factor” (how they observe people over time) and “the Documentation Factor” (American law versus Chinese monopoly), Leventhal also includes uproariously funny and priceless tales befitting Chinese hospitality.

In a nutshell, How to Leap a Great Wall in China is not only engaging from cover to cover, but also a must read for cross-cultural enthusiasts.


Reviewed By:

Author Den Leventhal
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 198 pages
Publisher MerwinAsia
Publish Date 01-Oct-2014
ISBN 9781937385583
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue May 2015
Category Biographies & Memoirs
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