“THE BOOK CHINA DOESN’T WANT YOU TO READ.” —CNN
SELECTED AS A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by THE ECONOMIST and FINANCIAL TIMES
This “powerful and disturbing” (Bill Browder, author of Red Notice) New York Times bestseller is narrated by a man who, with his wife, Whitney Duan, rose to the top levels of power and wealth—and then fell out of favor. Whitney had been disappeared four years before, but this book led to her dramatic reemergence.
As Desmond Shum was growing up impoverished in China, he vowed his life would be different. Through hard work and sheer tenacity he earned an American college degree and returned to his native country to establish himself in business. There, he met his future wife, the highly intelligent and equally ambitious Whitney Duan who was determined to make her mark within China’s male-dominated society. Whitney and Desmond formed an effective team and, aided by relationships they formed with top members of China’s Communist Party, the so-called red aristocracy, he vaulted into China’s billionaire class. Soon they were developing the massive air cargo facility at Beijing International Airport, and they followed that feat with the creation of one of Beijing’s premier hotels. They were dazzlingly successful, traveling in private jets, funding multi-million-dollar buildings and endowments, and purchasing expensive homes, vehicles, and art.
But in 2017, their fates diverged irrevocably when Desmond, while residing overseas with his son, learned that his now ex-wife Whitney had vanished along with three coworkers.
This vivid, explosive memoir shows “how the Chinese government keeps business in line—and what happens when businesspeople overstep” (The New York Times) and is a “singular, highly readable insider account of the most secretive of global powers” (The Spectator).