|a"From a desperately poor village in northeast China, to a career that took him across the world, this is the incredible story of Li Cunxin -- a story that almost vanished, like so many other peasants' lives, amid revolution and chaos. At age eleven, Li was chosen by Madame Mao's cultural delegates to be taken from his rural home and brought to Beijing, where he would study ballet. In 1979, the young dancer arrived in Texas as part of a cultural exchange, wary of class enemies and prepared to "serve glorious communism." It didn't take long for him to fall in love with America -- and with an American woman. Two years later, through a series of events worthy of the most exciting cloak-and-dagger fiction, he defected to the United States, where he quickly became known as one of the greatest ballet dancers in the world. This is the remarkable story of his journey -- a heartening rags-to-riches story [and] a fascinating glimpse into the history of Chinese-U.S. relations and the dissolution of the Communist ideal in the life of one fortunate individual."--Page 4 of cover.