Richard Bernstein was born in New York but grew up on a poultry farm in East Haddam, CT. He received his B.A. from the University of Connecticut and then spent five years in a Ph.D. program at Harvard in history and East Asian Languages. In 1973, Bernstein became a staff writer at Time magazine, which sent him first to Hong Kong as a correspondent covering China and Southeast Asia, then to China where he opened the magazine’s bureau in Beijing. He moved to The New York Times in 1982 and served as the paper’s bureau chief at the United Nations, in Paris, and in Berlin. He is the author of eight books including Ultimate Journey: Retracing the Path of an Ancient Buddhist Monk Who Crossed Asia in Search of Enlightenment (Vintage, 2002) and A Girl Named Faithful Plum (Knopf, 2011).

Last Updated: April 6, 2021

Booming China, Migrant Misery

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
At the beginning of September, a Beijing criminal court announced a decision that called attention to the difficult and sometimes tragic circumstances of millions of migrant workers in China who have left their countryside homes to work for low...

The Empire of Sister Ping

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
The headquarters of what was once the global people-smuggling operation of Cheng Chui Ping, aka Sister Ping, who is serving thirty-five years at a federal prison for women in Danbury, Connecticut, is now the Yung Sun seafood restaurant at 47 East...

The Death and Life of a Great Chinese City

Richard Bernstein from New York Review of Books
Judging from the evidence of Michael Meyer’s portrait of life in a narrow backstreet of Beijing as China prepared for the Olympic Games, old Beijing has been vanishing for a very long time. “Peking you simply would not be able to recognize except by...