Barbarians at the Gate

China’s New Youth1 min read

Barbarians at the Gate talks to Alec Ash

In this episode, hosts Jeremiah Jenne and David Moser catch up with writer and editor Alec Ash, to discuss the new US edition of his book Wish Lanterns: Young Lives in New China. Alec’s book is an intimate portrait of six diverse members of China’s “post-80s” generation, tracing their lives’ trajectory in the context of China’s turbulent and unpredictable economic modernization process. Orville Schell called the book “a fascinating mosaic that gives us a wonderfully vivid sense of what it’s like to grow up today in the People’s Republic of China.” With the themes of the book as a jumping-off point, the topic broadens in historical scope, exploring communalities and contrasts in earlier youth movements such as the May 4th movement, the Tiananmen Square movement, the Red Guards of the Cultural Revolution, and the current resurgence of nationalism among the “post-2000s” generation. Alec is China correspondent for the Los Angeles Review of Books, and his articles have appeared elsewhere including The New York Review of Books, The Economist, the Guardian, and The Sunday Times.

This is an episode of the Barbarians at the Gate podcast, syndicated with permission. Header: A Song era scroll depicting Khitans using eagles to hunt.