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My Country And My People
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My Country And My People (Writing In Asia)

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  227 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
In this atmosphere of change, the present intellectual youth of China has grown up. Where the fathers imbibed the doctrine of Confucius and learned the classics and revolted against them, these young people have been battered by many forces of the new times. They have been taught something of science, something of Christianity, something of atheism, something of free love, ...more
Paperback, 396 pages
Published November 2006 by Hesperides Press (first published 1935)
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Oct 02, 2007 Tom rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, china
Lin Yutang was a Chinese Nobel-Prize nominee writing in the first half of the 20th century, mainly with the purpose of explaining Chinese culture to the West. His piercing insight into the attitude and character of most Chinese people resonates with me every day that I live here. He writes completely in English, with the skill of a gifted native speaker (he was Harvard-educated). If anyone wants to understand into what the average Chinese person was like in the early 20th century, a period of ...more
Jan 01, 2013 Yao rated it it was amazing
The book is almost a century old and I guarantee you that most Chinese look very different at a glance. But if scraping off the communist ideology on the surface Chinese are still very much the same people, especially the intellectuals.

This is also a very quotable book, full of little gems (think Oscar Wilde).

Highly recommended.
Zhe Sha
Aug 13, 2015 Zhe Sha rated it it was amazing
"So they fell more seriously to business of living than to the business of making progress. They took infinite pains and spent sleepless nights over the planning of their private gardens or the cooking of sharks' fins, and fell to eating with the seriousness and gusto of an Omar Khayyam, who trailed the dust of philosophy in vain and took again the vine for his spouse..." How true it is -- here's someone who can't sleep because of thinking too hard about making some chicken soup... A note at the ...more
Apr 06, 2014 Qiaomu2003 rated it really liked it
If one wants to understand Chinese people in 20th century, there is no better than this.
Wei Wei
Nov 18, 2016 Wei Wei rated it really liked it
What did China look like in 20th century in the eyes of a scholar who had been deeply influenced by western cultures and literatures. But he still had neutral opinions on many of the issues.
Mar 13, 2016 aupiff rated it really liked it
Most of all, "My Country..." is worthwhile because of Lin's brilliant explanation of the opposing roles of Daoism and Confucianism in Chinese society. Lin has a fast-paced and very quotable style--this proved useful for getting through some dull parts of the book.

The chapter on Chinese literary life is essential and provides very good background for recent events like the New Culture movement. Lin's opinions on race and gender roles might be offensive to modern readers but I think they're intere
Jan 22, 2014 Nick rated it it was ok
This was an interesting read in the fact that I could still see quite a bit of overlap in Chinese culture that he described of the early 20th century and current Chinese culture. I didn't really appreciate his commentary of Christianity and thought it surprising that he could have a pastor as a father and yet be so misinformed about Christianity. I also didn't really care for his ethnocentric overtone that Chinese culture is superior, but I guess that in itself is a rather common element of ...more
Lin Yutang writes here in a systematic approach to a western audience about China and Chinese culture. Still prescient even today, after nearly seventy years, Lin truly understands what it is to be Chinese and conveys that to his audience, and is frank and sincere about China's shortcomings and positives. Highly recommended at the time of its publishing, it ought to remain so today.
David Guy
Oct 14, 2013 David Guy rated it liked it
Some years ago I read and really enjoyed The Importance of Living, so I thought I might like this book, which I found at a used bookstore. Lin Yutang writes beautifully, and has an interesting take on things, but ultimately I found long stretches of this book rather tedious.
Old Chinese Scholar reflects on Chinese culture, mentality, style, lifestyle, etc. And because it's an old Chinese dude, it's super "Chinese things are awesome!"

By the way, it made me realize how Chinese I am. Shoot.
R. Shurmer
Jul 25, 2011 R. Shurmer rated it really liked it
Shelves: asia
Anyone contemplating spending time in China should read this book. I wish I had BEFORE working in Shanghai.
Apr 02, 2014 !Tæmbuŝu marked it as to-read
Shelves: china, history
Nathan Lin
Feb 29, 2016 Nathan Lin rated it really liked it
Great introduction to Chinese culture. Really enjoyed the first several chapters, which are about the characteristics and personality of Chinese people. Worth reading.
Raintal Chan
Nov 30, 2008 Raintal Chan marked it as to-read
I have just bought this book,and I'm going to read it.You know,this book was written by a Chinese.I'm proud of it,and I believe it is a wonderful book.
Geoffrey Cobb
Geoffrey Cobb rated it it was amazing
Aug 08, 2008
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May 24, 2016
Lynne rated it it was amazing
Dec 24, 2015
Zsanett Simko
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Mar 28, 2014
Muhammad Shakil
Muhammad Shakil rated it it was amazing
Dec 10, 2012
Ke Yu
Ke Yu rated it it was amazing
Apr 07, 2011
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Jun 11, 2016
Miao Gu
Miao Gu rated it it was amazing
Dec 16, 2015
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Feb 18, 2014
Sumengshen rated it it was amazing
Nov 28, 2016
Eason Lau
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May 09, 2009
SasakiNozomi rated it it was amazing
Feb 26, 2015
Kelsey rated it really liked it
Feb 12, 2014
Isaac Shi
Feb 22, 2013 Isaac Shi rated it it was amazing
If you need read one book to understand China, this is the one
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pursuit of happiness v. progress 1 5 Feb 04, 2013 08:54PM  
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Prolific writer of a wide variety of works in Chinese and English; in the 1930s he founded several Chinese magazines specializing in social satire and Western-style journalism.

Lin, the son of a Chinese Presbyterian minister, was educated for the ministry but renounced Christianity in his early 20s and became a professor of English. He traveled to the United States and Europe for advanced study; on
More about Lin Yutang...

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“For a Westerner, it is usually sufficient for a proposition to be logically sound. For a Chinese it is not sufficient that a proposition be logically correct, but it must be at the same time in accord with human nature.” 10 likes
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