Fortunate Sons

Fortunate Sons

The 120 Chinese Boys Who Came to America, Went to School, and Revolutionized An Ancient Civilization

Book - 2011
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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.
Published: New York : W.W. Norton, c2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780393070040
Branch Call Number: 951.035 LEI
Characteristics: 319 p., [16] p. of plates :,ill. ;,22 cm.
Additional Contributors: Miller, Matthew I. 1979-


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Jul 21, 2015

Interesting account of Chinese history in the late 1800's, as they fell behind the industrialized nations. There was an organized attempt to send the best and brightest (boys, of course) to America for an education that they could bring back to China. The deep religious and political strongholds of the Orient proved to be the critical obstacle in industrial advancement.

I am not a history buff, but you can teach me something if you tell it right. This book reads pretty easily, and personalizes the stories of the young boys who land in New England.
I admit, I found it difficult to keep all of the similar Chinese names straight.


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