- 6 x 9.
- 31 tables.
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- $90.00 U.S.
As a young teacher in China during the 1980s, Luo Xu thought that he knew his students well. And yet, in the summer of 1989, as he completed his first year of study in the United States, a student movement erupted in Beijing unparalleled by any other in Chinese history. A wide-ranging phenomenon that affected more than 600 universities and over forty cities, the demonstrations at Tiananmen Square seemed uncharacteristic for a generation of students deemed individualistic and self-centered. Xu began to wonder how his former students could have orchestrated such a large-scale action demanding such idealistic devotion to a common cause. Was it because they had changed since he had left? Or was it because he had not understood them well in the first place?
Searching for Life's Meaning deftly chronicles the profound changes in the beliefs and values of Chinese youth that occurred during the 1980s and that ultimately led to the confrontation in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Depicting a country in search of a grand unifying and guiding vision, Luo Xu explores the many historical forces that both shaped and inspired China's youth movement of the 1980s. From the collectivist value systems of Confucianism and communism to the individualism of the West, Searching for Life's Meaning depicts the circuitous path traversed by these young adults on their journey to understand not only themselves but also their place in the new world order.
Both poignant and thought provoking, Searching for Life's Meaning utilizes Luo Xu's personal experience as a teacher in 1980s China to help better define the culture that ultimately drove the events at Tiananmen. Supporting his arguments with hard-hitting research and solid primary source documents, Xu persuasively contends that the contemplation of the meaning of life, along with other philosophical questions, was an integral component of the general social crisis leading up to the movement of 1989.