“Factory Towns of South China: An Illustrated Guidebook” is, despite its title, more social science research than it is a real guidebook. But within the realm of social science and urban planning, it compiles an incredible wealth of information – from the history and sociology of factory towns under communist rule to a peek at a day in the life of a factory worker.
Due to its diversity of information and contributors, the quality of “Factory Towns of South China” varies from chapter to chapter. Some of its more ambitious parts, including the infographics for the daily routines of factory workers, suffer from a style over substance graphic design treatment. Despite its flaws though, it really does give an insightful picture of manufacturing in the South China and Pearl River Delta region.