NOW let me change the subject from the economic to the socio-cultural aspects of life on the highlands, leading eventually to politics, wars, and revolutions. Perhaps a convenient way to do this is to start with a few cities before approaching the less-known fortresses and hamlets,* to make clear the continuum, and the "discontinuum," from city to hamlet, or the other way around, in terms of social organizations and their functions, and in terms of cultural sophistication. I have yet to find an account, however brief, of a western Hubei city or large market town in the 1920s or 1930s. The traditional gazetteers do exist, but they hardly meet our needs here. Therefore, I use Nanchuan and Fuling in southeastern Sichuan, and Fenghuang in western Hunan for illustration.