"With its surging storyline, extraordinary events, and depth of character, this gripping tale of 120 Chinese boys sent to America…reads more like a novel than an obscure slice of history." ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
In 1872, China―ravaged by poverty, population growth, and aggressive European armies―sent 120 boys to America to learn the secrets of Western innovation. They studied at New England’s finest schools and were driven by a desire for progress and reform. When anti-Chinese fervor forced them back home, the young men had to overcome a suspicious imperial court and a country deeply resistant to change in technology and culture. Fortunate Sons tells a remarkable story, weaving together the dramas of personal lives with the fascinating tale of a nation’s endeavor to become a world power.