By Mark Salzman

Rating: 🙂 🙂

This intriguing book of a man studying in China captures the intricacies of the culture, while still managing to interest readers.  Told as a memoir, it is about Mark Salzman and his journey to China to teach English, and everything that he learned while he was there.  There are many eye-opening moments about cultural differences, especially if you are an American who has never been to China, or any country similar to it, and I think this is more about culture in general than the martial arts, although Salzman does market it as having a focus on the martial arts.

Iron and Silk is a strange book, especially if you do not know what you are expecting at first.  For me, I picked it up because it was required reading for English class, and dove in with an open mind.  However, from the start I found the writing style slightly dry, and the story didn’t move quick enough for my tastes.  Typically, I enjoy nonfiction and less “teen” writing styles, but this book didn’t really do it for me.

That being said, I still learned SO much China and the people’s culture there.  I am fascinated by the Communist revolution, and how it occurred when it seems like so many people were against it, and I think this book really helped explain to me just how that occurred.  It wasn’t about Communism at all, and it is much more modern, but you read about interactions with people that open your eyes to just how easy it is to spread propaganda that people will believe.

I would not recommend this book to the average reader, but it can be interesting for someone with an interest in China and their culture, especially the martial arts.  If that is interesting to you, then this book would probably be a great way to get a first-hand perspective about life in that Asian country.

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If you’ve read it, let us know what you think! comment below!

Have you read any other books about martial arts/China that you think would be more interesting?