In discussing the members of a generational cohort deeply affected by the Cultural Revolution, I explain how the young reformers’ interpretation of political events altered the effectiveness of certain political institutions to transmit to them the Party’s worldview. These include the Communist Party as the source of truth, and other institutions, such as schools, and the Young Pioneers. The recent resurgence of interest in the generation that was raised under communism and came of age at the height of the Maoist years underscores not only their historical significance in general, but demonstrates the way the experience affected their thinking on economic and political reform. In this chapter I begin by defining this group as a generational cohort and then review salient features of their early socialization and their experience in the Cultural Revolution. How they interpreted the sum of their life in the PRC provides the framework for illuminating the growing disillusionment with applied Marxism, especially Marxist economic thought. This disillusionment became a source for their commitment to methodological changes and the conduct of reform debate. Moreover, the disillusionment with Marxist economic thought helps to further characterize how the core of the group came to be known as the “young economic reformers.” I turn to a brief discussion of how this generational cohort is portrayed in the literature on the reform movement. The discussion underscores the point that though they differed on many details of how to reform the system and how to interact with the party-state, they are nonetheless a clearly identifiable group whose impact on China’s reform transcends their numbers. And finally, as this cohort emerged through the decade, their efforts to widen participation in policy debate took on symbolic qualities, and this too is briefly discussed.