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The Lost Generation is a vital component to an understanding of Maoism. Bonnin provides a comprehensive account of the critical movement during which seventeen million young educated city dwellers were supposed to transform themselves into peasants, potentially for life. Bonnin closely examines the Chinese leadership's motivations and the methods that it used over time to implement its objectives, as well as the day-to-day lives of those young people in the countryside, their difficulties, their doubts, their resistance, and, ultimately, their revolt. The author draws on a rich and diverse array of sources, concluding with a comprehensive assessment of the movement that shaped an entire generation, including a majority of today's cultural, economic, and political elite.