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The Genius of China: 3000 Years of Science, Discovery & Invention

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  75 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
The captivating, award-winning look at ancient China's unparalleled achievements now gets a lavish, revised color edition. Undisputed masters of invention and discovery, the ancient Chinese made pioneering strides in engineering, medicine, technology, math, science, warfare, transportation, and music that helped inspire the West's agricultural and industrial revolutions. T ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Andre Deutsch (first published January 1st 1986)
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(showing 1-30 of 321)
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Jan 28, 2012 Clint rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Let me start my one-star review by saying that this book can be pretty fun, and that there are good reasons to read it. If you like steampunk or are looking for inspiration for a role-playing game, go for it. Just don't use it to learn anything about the history of science. I know Joseph Needham says nice things about it, but I can't believe he actually read it. From what I've seen of Needham's Science and Civilisation in China, he tries to document and support all of his claims. Robert Temple d ...more
Todd Stockslager
Jun 04, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel-geography
Review title: What China did first
Iis pretty much everything, says Temple. This book pays tribute to the fruits of a large population over long periods of time with an empirical mindset.

First a bit of history (a subject the Chinese probably invented, although too broad to be cataloged here). Temple is a devotee of Joseph Needham, the scientist turned Sinologist made famous by Simon Winchester's biography The man who loved China. The Genius of China is in fact an authorized synopsis of the massiv
Bill Leach
Jun 19, 2013 Bill Leach rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: informative
Excellent book on inventions and discovery that originated in China by Robert Temple, a disciple of Dr Joseph Needham.

One question is whether these ideas originated in China and migrated to Europe, or whether they were independently developed in Europe. On the migration side, Temple provides numerous period records that support the migration. However, in some cases the link is not documented and it would appear that the idea was independent, but later.

The best part of the book is the detail. For
Eddie Hsu
So the book is kinda outdated (the editors proudly assert that the abacus is still the primary form of number-crunching in the modern Chinese bank,) but it doesn't detract from the book. Apparently, almost everything worth inventing up until the 18th century, was invented by the Chinese. Undoubtedly, the authors have a tendentious view of history, but nonetheless, it's amazing how the Chinese were able to maintain such a berth of technological superiority vis a vis the rest of the world for the ...more
Oct 14, 2013 Yasmin rated it it was amazing
A truly wonderful book! The information is concise and interesting and the proof to back up that the Chinese were one of the most advance people on earth is incredible. Here in the history of China before Europeans that there was hope for humanity, up to a certain point as their weapons of warfare were decidedly deadly.
Dr. Carl Ludwig Dorsch

Joseph Needham says in his Foreward, "It is, in its own way, a brilliant distillation of my Science and Civilization in China, published by the Cambridge University Press, a work which will be complete in some twenty-five volumes and of which fifteen have now appeared or are passing through the press."
Ευθυμία Δεσποτάκη
Πάρα πολύ αναλυτικό και σε σημεία βαρυφορτωμένο βιβλίο, με πλούσια εικογράφηση. Οι με αδύναμη όραση να κρατούν μεγεθυντικό φακό, η γραμματοσειρά είναι εξάρα.

Πολλά είναι εκπληκτικά διαφωτιστικά, αλλά είναι και φορές που ο συγγραφέας ρέπει προς την υπερβολή.
Aug 19, 2013 Jbondandrews rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely marvelous book. The pictures were amazing. The combined work of Robert Temple and Joseph Needham was fantastic. It just goes to show how little regard Western cultures have for other cultures and like to conveniently forget how achievements were made.
Dec 02, 2011 Ken-ichi marked it as didnt-finish  ·  review of another edition
Only read the first chapter, but there were no citations and no analysis of *why* China as so innovative. Also, Game of Thrones began dominating my reading life. So. Back to the library.
Jul 26, 2011 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not the most elegant prose, but an eye-opening book nevertheless. Temple and Needham illustrate the enormous debt the modern world owes the ancient Chines.
David Li
Apr 28, 2013 David Li rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: china
Interesting read about the innovative ancient Chinese.
Lisa Smith
Aug 14, 2011 Lisa Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Invaluable!!!! A must read.
Dec 06, 2011 Stezsen rated it liked it
Hummm hummmm
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