Ever heard of Joseph Needham? Probably not, though he almost single-handedly documented the history of cultural and scientific innovations in China from ancient times through the mid-20th century. Did you know that Gutenberg was not the first to print books? The Chinese did it several centuries earlier. This is just one of many discoveries Needham made when he traveled to China at the height of World War II. His unwavering enthusiasm for all things Chinese (thanks to his Chinese mistress) led to international fame and glory when he published an encyclopedia about their accomplishments. He was also vilified when the communists came into power and was labeled a sympathizer in his home country, England. Fascinating story of a unique and eccentric genius. With such a focus on China these days, this is a timely book.