Fortunate Sons: The 120 Chinese Boys Who Came to America, Went to School, and Revolutionized and Ancient Civilization: Liel Leibovitz and Matthew Miller
W.W. Norton & Company, INC.
Like any well-told story, Fortunate Sons weaves together the personal journey of its characters within a larger narrative of politics, clashing cultures and adventure. This particular story, however, is also entirely factual. Using information pieced together from diaries, letters and other first-person accounts, Leibovitz and Miller weave a captivating tale of young Chinese scholars in braids and silk robes arriving on the shores of New England to study at its finest schools. Sent by the Qing Empire as part of the Chinese Educational Mission, the experience of these 120 boys - and the first American-educated Chinese scholar, Yung Wing - offer a unique look at early U.S.-China relations. As the boys navigate American culture, try to blend in at Ivy League institutions, and struggle to revolutionize their homeland, their experiences are a fascinating vantage point through which to examine both cultures, and how they have influenced each other irreparably.