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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,… (edició 2011)

de Liel Leibovitz (Autor)

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612344,932 (3.56)5
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.… (més)
Membre:FOHHL
Títol:Fortunate Sons: The 120 Chinese Boys Who Came to America, Went to School, and Revolutionized an Ancient Civilization
Autors:Liel Leibovitz (Autor)
Informació:W. W. Norton & Company (2011), Edition: 1st, 320 pages
Col·leccions:Sold
Valoració:
Etiquetes:Non-Fiction

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Fortunate Sons: The 120 Chinese Boys Who Came to America, Went to School, and Revolutionized an Ancient Civilization de Liel Leibovitz

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Because I have read a lot of Chinese history (for more than 30 years), I have a fairly good background in Chinese history so I found this book at times both boring and occasionally surprisingly interesting but the ratio (8:2) was insufficient to hold my interest. It would have made more sense for me to skim through the background sections and just read the pages that told the story of these 120 young men who came to America to learn 'about the west', but unfortunately I didn't. The stories of the young men--and more importantly, their identities and who they later became--was the 'new' part and it was interesting, but it was also predictable and while sometimes that is fine (for example, the handling of Henry VIII in the brilliant Wolf Hall), in this case it wasn't. There were successes and failures, flashes of accomplishments balanced by the driest of careers, but that was to have been expected in a group recruited from families and candidates who often had to be cajoled to spend a large chunk of their youth abroad.

This book is best read by those who have a thin knowledge of China 1850-1949 as it will yield far more fruitful information, or by those who don't mind panning for the 'new'. Yes, these 120 'fortunate sons' 'went to America, [and] went to school,' but did they revolutionize an ancient civilization? Well, perhaps a few made a dent, and this is the story of those few, but time is perhaps better spent on those who went abroad and truly did revolutionize China -- Sun Yatsen, Zhou Enlai .... ( )
  pbjwelch | Jul 25, 2017 |
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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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.

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