Drawing on an abundance of primary sources as well as on the author's extensive personal experience in the Chinese school system, this book examines the evolution of non-governmental schools in China between 1895 and 1995. The author begins with an overview of private education in pre-modern China, and discusses the growth of modern private schools in the past century as part of the Chinese people's struggle for national survival. He argues that even though the government since the Late Qing period has placed a premium on education, the government never had enough resources, and private schools filled the gap. The author maintains that the disappearance of private schools in China in the 1950s was a casualty of the Chinese revolution. In the post-Mao era, private schools re-emerged when the nation underwent some very fundamental social and economic transformations. Being part of China's burgeoning market economy, private education has not been immune to various problems. Nevertheless, the author argues that it is private education in the 1950s that has spearheaded China's educational reform.