The Genius of China

The Genius of China

3,000 Years of Science, Discovery, & Invention

Book - 2007
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Revised, full-color illustrated edition of the multi-award-winning, international bestseller that charts the unparalleled and astounding achievement of ancient China

* Brings to life one hundred Chinese "firsts" in the fields of agriculture, astronomy, engineering, mathematics, medicine, music, technology, and warfare

* Based on the definitive work of the world's most famous Sinologist, Joseph Needham (1900-1995), author of Science and Civilisation in China

* Organized by field, invention, and discovery for ease of reference

Undisputed masters of invention and discovery for 3,000 years, the ancient Chinese were the first to discover the solar wind and the circulation of the blood and even to isolate sex hormones. From the suspension bridge and the seismograph to deep drilling for natural gas, the iron plough, and the parachute, ancient China's contributions in the fields of engineering, medicine, technology, mathematics, science, transportation, warfare, and music helped inspire the European agricultural and industrial revolutions.

Since its original publication, The Genius of China has won five literary awards in America and been translated into 43 languages. Its Chinese edition, The Spirit of Chinese Invention , was approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education for use in connection with the national secondary curriculum in China. Based on the immense, authoritative scholarship of the late Joseph Needham, the world's foremost scholar of Chinese science, and including a foreword by him, this revised full-color illustrated edition brings to life the spirit and excitement of the unparalleled achievements of ancient China.
Publisher: Rochester, Vt. : Inner Traditions, 2007.
Edition: 1st U.S. paperback ed., Rev. ed..
ISBN: 9781594772177
Characteristics: 288 p. : ill. (some col.), maps (some col.) ; 26 cm.


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IndyPL_SteveB Nov 14, 2018

You probably already know that the Chinese invented fireworks, porcelain, paper, and noodles. But that ignores the dozens of other inventions invented in China, sometimes more than 2,000 years before their appearance in Western Europe. For example: the iron plow, cast iron, the belt drive, the suspension bridge, petroleum and natural gas as fuel, the wheelbarrow, the crossbow, the compass, the parachute, gunpowder, the flame-thrower, even the way we tune instruments today. This is a one volume summary of Joseph Needham’s monumental 28-volume encyclopedia, *Science and Civilisation in China.* Needham was astounded to find that many of the great discoveries in science, mathematics, astronomy, and engineering had been anticipated in China as early as 2000 BC. I was pretty astounded myself to read about it.

Very few of us are scholars willing to tackle the full work. Temple’s 1-volume summary is very readable and well-illustrated, although of necessity crowded with information. If you are interested in China or in the history of science, your mind will be expanded by this book.

Aug 10, 2015

Great book with an interesting presentation on the mathematical and physical sciences! I highly recommend the book to history buffs and people who like to know about the origin of our science.

Jul 06, 2015

Interesting overall, though tedious in places. Apparently Western culture owes more than we ever knew to ancient China!


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