Fionnuala님이 이 책을 읽었어요
If you think of the relationship between the USA and China as key in today’s world, then maybe it’s worth giving the beginning of that relationship a closer look. And what Griffin finds is fascinating. The spontaneous meeting of a pair of ping-pong players that led to ‘Ping-Ping Diplomacy’ and Nixon’s visit to Beijing in 1971 wasn’t so spontaneous after all. In fact, it turns out the Chinese preparation was incredibly meticulous and that most Americans, including those in our own State Department, had little idea of what was going on. Who knew that the guy in charge of table tennis’s International Federation was a British aristocrat who just happened to be a Communist spy? I guess Joe McCarthy missed that one.
The book borders on the absurd, which is what makes it so much fun because this is all true. Griffin traces the game back through its strange beginnings, how it arrived in China, how the Chinese start using it as a political tool to cover the Great Famine, how it barely survives the Cultural Revolution (and how some of the top players didn't survive). The book builds to where ping-pong is finally deployed against America for everyone's mutual benefit. It’s history at it quirkiest but also, at one of his most pivotal moments.