Great Books of China: From Ancient Times to the Present
Francis Wood is an historian of China and Chinese culture. In Great Books of China, she assembled a collection of selected Chinese books stretching from three-thousand years ago to present times. She has a long, detailed introduction that gives readers the review of history, politics and culture of China. The main body is the list of sixty-two Chinese books in chronological order, beginning from 1000 BCE. In each of these, Wood introduces the author, placing the author and the book in the context of its time and its history. These books range in genre, including stories, dramas, fiction, science, travel, and poetry. In many, particularly in poetry, Wood adds quotes and poems (translated into English). The authors were philosophers, artists, government officials, and rulers, both men and women. The book closes with a chronology, notes, and an index. Readers interested in China, its history, and its culture will benefit from this list, though they may not be able to read the original books unless translated. It seems the author read these in their original form. Though the review copy is an uncorrected proof in paperback, the final copy will be in hardcover.
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