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Fortunate Sons: The 120 Chinese Boys Who…
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Fortunate Sons: The 120 Chinese Boys Who Came to America, Went to School,…

by Liel Leibovitz

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This is an amazing book which tells a fascinating story, has a happy and sad ending, and has the advantage of being true. It reads like fiction, but has been painstakingly researched, with source material as diverse as imperial communications and private letters. While there wasn't room enough in one book to discuss every single one of the 120 Chinese boys who came to America at the turn of the nineteenth century, enough time is devoted to different boys to get a feeling for the highs and lows of their American experience as well as their later lives when they returned to a China in turmoil. Overall, definitely a book worth reading for anyone with an interest in Chinese-American relations.

This book was sent to me for review. ( )
  Jammies | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393070042, Hardcover)

The epic story of the American-educated boys who changed China forever.

At the twilight of the nineteenth century, China sent a detachment of boys to America in order to learn the ways of the West, modernize the antiquated empire, and defend it from foreigners invading its shores. After spending a decade in New England’s finest schools, the boys re-turned home, driven by a pioneering spirit of progress and reform. Their lives in America influenced not only their thinking but also their nation’s endeavor to become a contemporary world power, an endeavor that resonates powerfully today.

Drawing on diaries, letters, and other first-person accounts, Fortunate Sons tells a remarkable tale, weaving together the dramas of personal lives with the momentous thrust of a nation reborn. Shedding light on a crucial yet largely unknown period in China’s history, Fortunate Sons provides insight into the issues concerning that nation today, from its struggle toward economic supremacy to its fraught relationship with the United States. 40 black-and-white illustrations

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:38 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In 1872, the Qing Empire sent 120 boys to America in the hope that they would unlock the mysteries of Western innovation. They studied at New England's finest schools, befriended luminaries such as Mark Twain and Ulysses S. Grant, and exchanged ideas with their American peers that would change the course of both nations. But when anti-Chinese fervor forced them back home, the young men faced a new set of obstacles, having to overcome a suspicious imperial court and a culture deeply resistant to change. Filled with colorful characters and vivid historical detail, this book unearths the dramatic stories of these young men who led China at the pivotal moment when it teetered between modernity and tradition.--From publisher description.… (more)

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W.W. Norton

An edition of this book was published by W.W. Norton.

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