QotD: May 11th, 2007

From Peter Hessler’s “River Town”:

“They were a watershed generation, in the same way that “opening” was a watershed issue for China. I sensed that a great deal depended on the people of this age group — in some ways it was like the American generation of my parents, who grew up on stories of the Depression and World War II, and who built the America of today, for better or worse. There was the same sense of future glory in China, but the past was far more brutal than anything that had ever happened in America, which complicated things. My students had difficulty criticizing anything Chinese, and this was not surprising, because they were constantly being indoctrinated by the Communist Party. Occasionally some of my better students wrote about China with a mixture of cool accuracy and blind optimism that gave me some sense of how wonderful and difficult it was to be a young Chinese: …”