I bought a coffee table book about China a few weeks ago at an antique store in Weston, Missouri. The book, A Day in the Life of China, is a really interesting premise: sixty western photographers and thirty Chinese photographers were dispatched throughout China on April 15, 1989 to take photos. The resulting book is over 220 pages of pictures taken between 12AM and 11:59PM on that one day.
The book has a nice blend of urban, rural, factory, everyday, and scenic shots. One thing I like about it as that there are people in nearly every shot. The 老百姓 (old hundred names, common folk) of China are prominently featured.
The China of 1989 is very different from the China I was introduced to in 2006. It's pretty wild to see how fast the country developed in those seventeen years. There are so many bicycles in the book, exponentially more than you'd see on the streets of China today!
I was able to find a few of the photos from the book scanned online here. The scans are not of the greatest quality, but they'll work for this post:
April of 1989 is a very noteworthy time in contemporary Chinese history. It's just as the historic student protests began in Beijing. Being a snapshot of China just before one of the most important events in its recent history is just another reason that this book is worth checking out.
This book can be purchased for a couple bucks on Amazon used. It's been a great add to my library.