In his new essay collection, China’s Brave New World – And Other Tales for Global Times (Indiana University Press), history professor Jeffrey Wasserstrom shares with readers his unique experiences and observations of Chinese cultural changes. Part memoir, part history lesson, China’s Brave New World takes a deliberately non-academic tone as Wasserstrom recounts his visits to Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Nanjing, Taipei – 10 trips in the last 20 years – seeking better understanding of China’s past and future. Wasserstrom warns against simple interpretations of the changes he’s observed, such as Mickey Mouse becoming a beloved household figure or McDonald’s becoming a popular restaurant for special-occasion dinners. This does not signify the Americanization of China, Wasserstrom says. China’s history, like the history of globalization, is complex, nuanced and “messy.”