Young people were at the center of the most pivotal moments in China’s modern history. Joining Jeremiah in this episode is Alec Ash, author of the book Wish Lanterns: Young Lives in New China. Alec and Jeremiah look at three of these moments from the 20th century: The May Fourth/New Culture Era, the Cultural Revolution, and the 1980s.
We take a deep dive into the existential crises of the New Culture era to the turbulence and chaos of 1966 and the student movements which shook China in the decade between 1979 and 1989,
What were the common themes for young people and youth culture behind these events and eras? What role did generational forces play? Alec also discusses China’s millennial generation, the subject of his new book, and what the future looks like for youth movements in China.