Penguin.com (usa)

American Shaolin

Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in theNew China

Matthew Polly - Author

Paperback | $16.00 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9781592403370 | 384 pages | 27 Dec 2007 | Gotham Trade Paperback | 8.26 x 5.23in | 18 - AND UP
Additional Formats:
Awards
  • Alex Award
Summary of American Shaolin Summary of American Shaolin Reviews for American Shaolin An Excerpt from American Shaolin
The raucously funny story of one young American’s quest to become the baddest dude on the planet (and possibly find inner peace along the way)

Growing up a ninety-eight-pound weakling tormented by bullies in the schoolyards of Kansas, Matthew Polly dreamed of one day journeying to the Shaolin Temple in China to become the toughest fighter in the world, like Caine in his favorite 1970s TV series Kung Fu.

American Shaolin
is the story of the two years Matthew spent in China living, studying, and performing with the Shaolin monks. The Chinese term for tough training is chi ku (“eating bitter”), and Matthew quickly learned to appreciate the phrase.

This is both the gripping story of Matthew’s journey and an intimate portrait of the real lives of the Shaolin monks, who struggle to overcome rampant corruption and the restrictions of an authoritarian government. Laced with humor and illuminated by cultural insight, American Shaolin is an unforgettable coming-of- age story of one man’s journey into the ancient art of kungfu—and a poignant portrait of a rapidly changing China.

“I loved American Shaolin.”—PJ O’Rourke

“An original and insightful book.”—Boston Globe

“Polly is an easy amateur to root for.”—Entertainment Weekly

“It takes a special kind of person to leave the comforts of Princeton University and move to rural China to smash his forearms against tree trunks. Meet Matthew Polly.”—NY Post

“I picked up American Shaolin and read it straight through. It is first rate. Polly’s book tells more about what's going on in China and has more insights into the real China than anything in recent years. It is a wonderful true-life story with profound, behind-the-headlines observations about Chinese life. A tip of the Stetson to Matthew Polly.”—Dan Rather


To keep up-to-date, input your email address, and we will contact you on publication

Please alert me via email when:


The author releases another book