The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom by Simon Winchester

The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries…

bySimon Winchester

Kobo ebook | March 17, 2009

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In sumptuous and illuminating detail, Simon Winchester, the bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman ("Elegant and scrupulous"—*New York Times Book Review*) and Krakatoa ("A mesmerizing page-turner"—*Time*) brings to life 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.

No cloistered don, this tall, married Englishman was a freethinking intellectual, who practiced nudism and was devoted to a quirky brand of folk dancing. In 1937, while working as a biochemist at Cambridge University, he instantly fell in love with a visiting Chinese student, with whom he began a lifelong affair.

He soon became fascinated with China, and his mistress swiftly persuaded the ever-enthusiastic Needham to travel to her home country, where he 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 thrilling and dangerous journeys, vividly recreated by Winchester, took him across war-torn China to far-flung outposts, consolidating his deep admiration for the Chinese people.

After the war, Needham was determined to tell the world what he had discovered, and began writing his majestic Science and Civilisation in China, describing the country's long and astonishing history of invention and technology. By the time he died, he had produced, essentially single-handedly, seventeen immense volumes, marking him as the greatest one-man encyclopedist ever.

Both epic and intimate, The Man Who Loved China tells the sweeping story of China through Needham's remarkable life. Here is an unforgettable tale of what makes men, nations, and, indeed, mankind itself great—related by one of the world's inimitable storytellers.

Title:The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries…Format:Kobo ebookPublished:March 17, 2009Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0061795887

ISBN - 13:9780061795886

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Different View of China! I love the topics that Simon Winchester covers in his books. This time we learn about the eccentric British scienticist, Joseph Needham, who showed the West how important China was to our lives. Removing history from the lens of the West, Needham brought to light the sheer magnitude of inventions and ideas that emanated from China. At the end of the book, various theories are discussed on why the West caught up and surpassed China in the fields of science and industry. However, the author does allude that given China's long history and its current redevelopment. that we are indeed seeing the rise of a new and dynamic China once more. A worthwhile book for the general history reader.
Date published: 2014-04-15