Chinese Roundabout: Essays in History and Culture

Chinese Roundabout: Essays in History and Culture

by Jonathan D. Spence
     
 

Jonathan Spence has the art, as he amply demonstrates once again in Chinese Roundabout, the collection of essays that the Chicago Tribune praised as 'surprising, entertaining, and inspired.'  See more details below

Overview

Jonathan Spence has the art, as he amply demonstrates once again in Chinese Roundabout, the collection of essays that the Chicago Tribune praised as 'surprising, entertaining, and inspired.'

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Spence's intellectually adventurous essays help us understand the dynamics of China's past and the dormant promise of its future. He reviews the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 with reference to the symbolism of public spaces. He boldly interprets the life of Qing emperor K'anghsi (1654-1722) in terms of Shakespeare's seven ages of man. The tragic odyssey of Arcadio Huang, a Chinese scholar in Paris who briefly befriended Montesquieu, serves as a parable of missed opportunities in contact between China and the West. Spence ( The Search for Modern China ) shows how opium smoking radically affected all levels of society and contrasts the diet of China's poor with that of gourmets. This miscellany of previously published essays and reviews includes profiles of John Fairbank and Arthur Waley as well as lively explorations of Chinese films and medicine, the fall of the Ming dynasty and the longevity of Confucianism. Photos not seen by PW. (June)
Library Journal
Spence may now be the most important Sinologist writing in the West. A master of both breadth and detail, he writes in a vivid, free-flowing style that produces critically acclaimed masterpieces ( The Search for Modern China , LJ 4/15/90, is the most recent) one after another. This welcome collection contains reprints from more than a score of Spence's earlier books and other writings. He likes the word roundabout , he tells us, because it suggests ``meandering that is yet somehow purposeful''--precisely the effect achieved here in a gathering of diverse perspectives on China's history and culture, from the Jesuit presence in the Middle Kingdom four centuries ago to the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989, including such topics as opium smoking, poetry, movie criticism, and cuisine. A delight to read, ponder, and enjoy, Chinese Roundabout offers scholarship for the scholars and intellectual enjoyment for most general readers as well.-- John H. Boyle, California State Univ., Chico

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393033557
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
07/01/1992
Edition description:
lst ed
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
9.58(w) x 6.55(h) x 1.42(d)

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