Industrial Eden: An Interview

Brett Sheehan’s new book traces the interwoven histories of capitalism and the Song family under a series of five authoritarian governments in North China. Based on a wide range of sources a range of sources including family papers, missionary archives, corporate records, government documents, newspapers, oral histories, novels, and interviews, Industrial Eden: A Chinese Capitalist Vision (Harvard UP, 2015) explores a family of “capitalists without capitalism.” The book follows the development of Song Chuandian and his son Song Feiqing into businessmen in order to inform and transform how we understand the modern history of the Chinese economy in its social and political context. We talked about it for the New Books in East Asian Studies podcast, and you can listen to our conversation by heading over here.