By Simon Winchester
In luxurious and illuminating aspect, Simon Winchester, the bestselling writer of The Professor and the Madman ("Elegant and scrupulous"—New York instances e-book Review) and Krakatoa ("A captivating page-turner"—Time) brings to existence the extreme tale of Joseph Needham, the bright Cambridge scientist who unlocked the main heavily held secrets and techniques of China, lengthy the world's such a lot technologically complex kingdom.
No cloistered don, this tall, married Englishman was once a freethinking highbrow, who practiced nudism and used to be dedicated to a unusual model of people dancing. In 1937, whereas operating as a biochemist at Cambridge college, he immediately fell in love with a vacationing chinese language pupil, with whom he all started a lifelong affair.
He quickly turned interested by China, and his mistress speedily persuaded the ever-enthusiastic Needham to go back and forth to her domestic state, the place he launched into a sequence of notable expeditions to the farthest frontiers of this historical empire. He searched in all places for facts to strengthen his conviction that the chinese language have been liable for enormous quantities of mankind's so much usual innovations—including printing, the compass, explosives, suspension bridges, even bathroom paper—often centuries sooner than the remainder of the realm. His exciting and unsafe trips, vividly recreated by way of Winchester, took him throughout war-torn China to far-flung outposts, consolidating his deep admiration for the chinese language humans.
After the conflict, Needham was resolute to inform the area what he had chanced on, and commenced writing his majestic Science and Civilisation in China, describing the country's lengthy and brilliant background of invention and expertise. by the point he died, he had produced, basically single-handedly, seventeen large volumes, marking him because the maximum one-man encyclopedist ever.
either epic and intimate, The guy Who enjoyed China tells the sweeping tale of China via Needham's striking existence. here's an unforgettable story of what makes males, countries, and, certainly, mankind itself great—related by means of one of many world's inimitable storytellers.