During decades of reading and reviewing books on China I have learned a great deal, even from those I didn’t like. Only a few have surprised me. Mao’s Lost Children is such a book, and those like me who believe that the Mao period was bad for China and the Chinese will also be surprised—although, as I note below, some of the surprise is negative. It starts with the cover, which shows laughing girls being drawn on an oxcart.

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