Book

The man who loved China : the fantastic story of the eccentric scientist who unlocked the mysteries of the Middle Kingdom

Call Number

  • 921 N374W (CEN)

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Edition

1st ed.

Publication Information

New York : Harper, c2008.

Physical Description

xii, 316 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.

Summary

The "New York Times"-bestselling author of "The Professor and the Madman" and "Krakatoa" returns with the remarkable story of the growth of a great nation, and the eccentric and adventurous scientist who defined its essence for the world.

The extraordinary story of Joseph Needham, the brilliant Cambridge scientist who unlocked the most closely held secrets of China--long the world's most technologically advanced country. This married Englishman, a freethinking intellectual, while working at Cambridge University in 1937, fell in love with a visiting Chinese student, with whom he began a lifelong affair. He became fascinated with China, and embarked on a series of extraordinary expeditions to the farthest frontiers of this ancient empire. He searched everywhere for evidence to bolster his conviction that the Chinese were responsible for hundreds of mankind's most familiar innovations--including printing, the compass, explosives, suspension bridges, even toilet paper--often centuries before the rest of the world. His dangerous journeys took him across war-torn China to far-flung outposts, consolidating his deep admiration for the Chinese people. After the war, Needham began writing what became a seventeen-volume encyclopedia, Science and Civilisation in China.--From publisher description.

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