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Simon Winchester's THE MAN WHO LOVED CHINA


Jerry
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Joseph Needham 1900-1995, was a Cambridge biochemist and linguist among other pursuits, and in 1937 he discovered China via a grad student named Lu Gwei-djen.

 

He was intrigued by China's early civilization and wondered why it had not continued to progress in technology after 500 AD. In the end he found only possibilities, not answers, such as "It became too bureaucratic" and "It had no mercantile class,"

 

He left 24 volumes of Science and Civilsation in China" after spending four years there during World War II, dressed as a mandarin, and meeting with as many scientific and intellectuals as he could in war time. He brought many historical books and artifacts to Britain for safekeeping from Japanese and Maoist Philistines.

 

Oh, two years after his wife died in 1987 he married Lu.

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