What is the synopsis of Steven W. Mosher's book titled Broken Earth: The Rural Chinese?

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Steve W. Mosher wrote Broken Earth: The Rural Chinese while a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at Stanford University in California. Mosher spent a year in China and, after a difficult time navigating Chinese bureaucratic red tape, was granted permission to live among rural Chinese peasants away from the urban center. His book, which outraged the Chinese government and gained him an expulsion from Stanford's Ph.D. program, told the story of his year there and of the things he witnessed among the peasants living under Communist rule.

After he saw through what he came to believe were glowing propaganda messages, Mosher began to realize the detrimental, and sometimes devastating, affects of Communism on peasants and villages. This was particularly true in terms of women, work and traditions. Speaking first of work, Mosher discusses what he learned about active attempts to sabotage government collective labor projects that peasants disapproved of and about the lethargy with which peasants faced their obligation of collective farm and project work.

Speaking now of women, Mosher discusses what he witnessed as community population control police monitored women's pregnancies and forced women who were already the mother of one child to abort subsequent existing pregnancies. In a similar manner, the youth renounced old Chinese traditions and village mores while denouncing any who were found to be holding to ancient or Western traditions or intellectualism.

[A website that might give further information and from which this answer was drawn is TheFreeManOnline.org, "Book Review: Broken Earth: the Rural Chinese by Steven W. Mosher" by Bettina Bien Greaves.]