The Man Who Loved China

The Man Who Loved China

The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom

Downloadable Audiobook - 2008
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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.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, c2008
ISBN: 9780061688102
Branch Call Number: eAudiobook
Characteristics: 1 sound file : digital
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


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Dec 15, 2017

There is much to find out about this world, and the individuals who populate it that make it more compelling. Joseph Needham is one of those people. Simon Winchester's reading of this book did a wonderful job of bringing this man and his world to life.

There are many individuals who seek to find out as much as they can about certain things. There has to be a certain zeal for life that propels this kind of search. This is the true adventurer who is able to fill his days with these discoveries. The inclusiveness of Needham's approach to his understanding of China is to be admired.

Nov 04, 2017

A terrific biography of a fascinating man with a fascinating - and fascinated - mind, excellently read by the author. I had once noticed the great work (Science and Civilization In China) was held by the library (HPL), but now is not, but it certainly catapulted to my (ever expanding) must read list entirely because of this of this biography.
I can imagine an over-precocious fifteen year old rebutting a teacher 'but Joseph Needham smoked and drank and danced and went with a lot of girls and he accomplished great things' after reading (or listening) to this book.

Jul 08, 2016

This author has far-reaching talents of research on subjects that seem to capture his interest. Sometimes he's sarcastic,cynical, stuffy in a posh sort of manner (likely due to his education & accent) and yet I'm always hooked by his writing. A bit like Bill Bryson in random trivia forays when one subject veers into another - rather ADD in interests. I've learned some obscure facts, no one will ever ask me about & will be forever stuck in the gray matter folds, yet I find him fascinating. First & probably my favorite book, The Professor & the Madman, on how the OED came together in early 1900's.


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