In sumptuous and illuminating detail, Simon Winchester, bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman, brings to life the extraordinary story of Joseph Needham--the brilliant Cambridge scientist, freethinking intellectual, and practicing nudist who unlocked the most closely held secrets of China, once the world's most technologically advanced country.
This biography of a man who was sent to China at a time when he could explore it without much hindrance is written with much research and the help of access to his interesting diaries. Joseph Needham was willing to put up with all sorts of difficuties to explore the country at every level. By learning Chinese he was able to converse with and become very fond of the people. Most of us see China as an enigma, and, though this book is set earlier in the last century, it provides an excellent introduction to ensuing events while telling a fascinating narrative of an interested and interesting man.
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