In the late 1940's two young, idealistic American scientists made the extraordinary decision to settle down and work in a remote district of China. They were drawn by the promise as they saw it, of profound social revolution. Joan Hinton was a physicist, one of the few women to have worked on the Manhattan Project to develop the atomic bomb. Sid Engst was from Cornell University in up state New York, and a specialist in agriculture. They came to China to observe the unfolding revolution for themselves, intending to stay perhaps for a couple of years. Two years came and went, and still they stayed on. Eventually they adopted China as their home and came to see their role as playing a part in the dramatic changes that were taking place. They lived through the final violent break up of the traditional China and the founding of the New People's Republic, with all the turbulence and mayhem of the Cultural Revolution, and went on with their work of designing and building agricultural equipment in an effort to help local farmers adapt to more modern farming methods. This is a fascinating account of the lives these two Americans built for themselves in the very midst of China's most troubled times. Sid Engst died in 2003. Joan Hinton lived alone on their farm near Beijing until she died in June 2010.