skip to Main Content

The Chinese Reading Challenge of《乡土中国》by Fei Xiaotong began on Monday March 23, 2020. We are no longer accepting sign-ups for the challenge, but you may still access the chapters and audio recordings here

We previously read 《民主的细节》by Liu Yu (刘瑜).


Buy on Amazon

We will be reading 乡土中国 From the Soil by 费孝通 Fei Xiaotong.

This classic text is both succinct and highly readable—perfect for breaking into ten-minute daily doses. It is essential reading for those looking to better understand the moral and ethical underpinnings of Chinese culture.

According to The Guardian, Professor Fei Xiaotong “was one of China’s finest anthropologists. His book Peasant Life in China (1939) made him famous in the English-speaking world, but he will be remembered in China for his role in advising the economic reformers in the post-Mao era, when the policy of rural industrialisation, which he had advocated since the late 1930s, flourished. No anthropologist or sociologist, anywhere, has been so politically prominent. Yet Fei had, inevitably, been caught up in China’s political turmoil: he escaped death by the Nationalists during the civil war, and, later, during the years of Mao Zedong was sentenced to hard labour and banned from teaching or publishing for 20 years.”

We will send links to the online readings and audiobook segments each day, but feel free to obtain your own copy of the book online.

Professor Fei Xiaotong (费孝通)



Despite best intentions, we all struggle to fit Chinese learning into our busy schedules. That’s why AMS is pleased to offer the second rendition of the Chinese Reading Challenge to help readers build a simple daily routine. No pressure, just 10-15 minutes a day, first thing in the morning. We have picked a  Chinese book, From the Soil: The Foundations of Chinese Society (乡土中国) by Xiaotong Fei (费孝通), portioned out into bite-sized pieces, delivered straight to your inbox.


乡土中国 has 15 chapters, each requiring 10-15 minutes to read along with accompanying audio, with the option to read in simplified or traditional characters. Links to each chapter and audio will land in your inbox Monday-Friday bright and early at 7am EST. On this timeline, the reading challenge campaign will last for 3 weeks. All you have to do is schedule a reading time that works best for you!


Just like the results of a daily workout routine, you will feel your Chinese get stronger day by day. New words, phrases and concepts will be repeated throughout the book, so reading will get easier as you progress.


From the Soil (乡土中国) is an important text to read for those who seek to gain a better understanding of the moral and ethical underpinnings of Chinese culture.



Before you know it, you will have read an entire book in Chinese! But more importantly, you will have started a daily routine to keep your Chinese fresh.

Back To Top