Three decades of dizzying change in China's economy and society have left a tangible record of successes and failures. Less readily accessible but of no less consequence is the story, as illuminated in this book, of what China's reform has done to its people as moral and spiritual beings. Jiwei Ci examines the moral crisis in post-Mao China as a mirror of deep contradictions in the new self as well as in society. He seeks to show that lack of freedom, understood as the moral and political conditions for subjectivity under modern conditions of life, lies at the root of these contradictions, just as enhanced freedom offers the only appropriate escape from them. Rather than a ready-made answer, however, freedom is treated throughout as a pressing question in China's search for a better moral and political culture.