Actress and model Isabella Rossellini compares Botox and plastic surgery to the ancient Chinese practice of foot-binding, while Jennifer Aniston claims it makes her heart break when she sees the effect it has had on the faces of friends.
Including more than 100 reports by prominent international journalists working in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East, Schiffrin's book also includes Ken Saro-Wiwa's defense of the Ogoni people in the Niger Delta; Horacio Verbitsky's uncovering of the gruesome disappearance of political detainees in Argentina; Gareth Jones's coverage of the Ukraine famine of 1932-33; missionary newspapers' coverage of Chinese foot-binding in the 19th century; Dwarkanath Ganguli's expose of the British "coolie" trade in 19-century Assam in India; and many others.
He describes how parental attempts to control mating shape social structures that enable them to do so, such as foot-binding, clitoridectomy, and inheritance rights; how parents use psychological manipulation to exercise their influence; how they prefer different traits in a daughter-in-law vs.
For several decades, he lived a bachelor life on the undeveloped, wooded site, surrounded by his pets and his vast collection of Chinese literature, pottery and other acquisitions, from Edison phonograph cylinders to 1893 World Exposition memorabilia to a Chinese foot-binding collection.
Additionally, listeners learn about the customs of Chinese ancestor worship--the very real belief in ghosts (especially "hungry" ghosts) that interact with the world--the importance of dreams, foot-binding for young women, arranged marriages, and the severely restricted lives of women in China during that period.