A secret history of China - a fresh new way of thinking about a people, a civilisation, an epic story.
Philip Ball writes regularly in the scientific and popular media and worked for many years as an editor for physical sciences at Nature. His books cover a wide range of scientific and cultural phenomena, and include Critical Mass- How One Thing Leads To Another (winner of the 2005 Aventis Prize for Science Books), The Music Instinct, Curiosity- How Science Became Interested in Everything, Serving The Reich- The Struggle for the Soul of Science Under Hitler and Invisible- The history of the Unseen from Plato to Particle Physics.
"What a splendid idea: to write a history of China through its relationship with water. Far-fetched you might think: not in the least, as you will find immediately you start to read this fascinating book ... You will never think of China in quite the same way again." -- Martin Jacques, author of WHEN CHINA RULES THE WORLD "In his excellent, smartly written new book, British science writer Philip Ball identifies water as "one of the most constant, significant and illuminating themes" in China's history and culture." -- Jonathan Fenby * Financial Times * "Extraordinary." * The Times (Book of the Week) * "Ball's journey along the history, politics and culture of China's waterways encompasses many heroes of Chinese hydrology, men who grappled with elemental forces and imperial censure and sometimes came out on top." -- Isabel Hilton * Guardian * "The Water Kingdom presents us with an epic portrait of China's water management history and its deep interlacing with culture currents. It's essential reading for any serious understanding of the dynamic relations between humans and nature, not only in China, but in the world at large." -- Xiaolu Guo, author of I AM CHINA