The Genius of China Hardcover – 5 Feb 2007
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"Wonderfully illustrated, comprehensive, concise, definitive."
From the Back Cover
SCIENCE / CHINA Many of the world's greatest inventions have their foundation in ancient China. This book shows the true origins of: the decimal system - printing - paper money - the compass the wheelbarrow - the crossbow - the science of immunology porcelain - matches - the rudder - the game of chess the umbrella - brandy and whiskey - the mechanical clock playing cards - and more . . . Undisputed masters of invention and discovery for 3,000 years, the ancient Chinese were the first to discover the solar wind and the circulation of the blood and even isolate sex hormones. From the suspension bridge and the seismograph to deep drilling for natural gas, the iron plough, and the parachute, ancient China's contributions in the fields of engineering, medicine, technology, mathematics, science, transportation, warfare, and music helped inspire the European agricultural and industrial revolutions.Since its original publication, The Genius of China has won five literary awards in America and been translated into forty-three languages. Its Chinese edition, The Spirit of Chinese Invention, was approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education for use in connection with the national secondary curriculum in China. Based on the immense, authoritative scholarship of the late Joseph Needham, the world's foremost scholar of Chinese science, and including a foreword by him, this revised full-color illustrated edition brings to life the spirit and excitement of the unparalleled achievements of ancient China. ROBERT TEMPLE is a visiting professor of the history and philosophy of science at Tsinghua University in Beijing. He also is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society; member of the Egypt Exploration Society, Royal Historical Society, Institute of Classical Studies, and the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies; and visiting research fellow of the University of the Aegean in Greece. He is the author of ten books, including The Sirius Mystery and Oracles of the Dead, and lives in England with his wife, Olivia. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I thought this would be a slim volume but it's quite big, well designed with lots and lots of illustrations. I wondered if some of the "inventions" or "discoveries" were a bit tenuous - okay the Chinese were open to the idea of mountains becoming sea floors and sea floors becoming mountains but that idea permeates many cultures. To suggest they "discovered" coastal erosion centuries before the west is maybe a stretch too far! However, the obvious sinophilia aside, this is a fascinating book.
If you're just interested in China, or technology, or science, or whatever, it's one that will reward you time and again. It's not a book to read cover to cover, but either to dip into or look for specific things. The explanation of ceramics, for example, is particularly interesting and apart from anything else, taught me a lot about a subject I have a passing interest in, but no expertise. Now I am full of admiration for those who practise it, and for the Chinese who somehow discovered techniques that took the west a long, long time to unlock.
A very good book indeed, and a good price.
P.S. The book is a must if you want to approach the field of Ufology from a more solid ground.
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