How did ordinary people live through the extraordinary changes that have swept across modern China? How did peasants transform themselves into urbanites? How did the citizens of Shanghai cope with the epic upheavals—revolution, war, and again revolution—that shook their lives? Even after decades of scholarship devoted to modern Chinese history, our understanding of the daily lives of the common people of China remains sketchy and incomplete. In this carefully researched study, Hanchao Lu weaves rich documentary data with ethnographic surveys and interviews to reconstruct the fabric of everyday life in China's largest and most complex city in the first half of this century.