Martin Bernal is Professor Emeritus of Government at Cornell. His controversial study of Ancient Greece, Black Athena, explores the origins of Hellenic culture and, in particular, the influence of Egypt and Phoenicia on the development of Ancient Greece.

Traveling Light

With the exception of Joseph Kraft’s short work, all the books on China mentioned here have been padded. Barbara Tuchman includes a fascinating historical essay. Galbraith has animadversions on San Francisco, Paris, TWA, and many other matters, and Harrison Salisbury adds chapters on Korea, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Salisbury has a …

What Is It About the Vietnamese?

As Frances FitzGerald would be the first to point out, Fire in the Lake is a synthesis. Quite rightly she has relied heavily on the work of others. Many sources are referred to both in the footnotes and in the text. But her book is largely dominated by the work …

Who’s Who in China

Written Chinese is extremely difficult. Before the revolutions of the twentieth century, the literary language was a barrier protecting the Confucian elite. Anyone who could jump over that barrier by passing the official examinations immediately joined the ruling class. The strengths of written Chinese were its huge vocabulary and its …

Was Chinese Communism Inevitable?

It is likely that, even now, many people in America and Britain still hold to the simple formula that people are good and communism is evil. And, just as good cannot support evil, people cannot support communism. Therefore any political movement that appears to be popular and communist cannot really …

Mao and the Writers

By the 1930s the intolerable quality of life and the inefficiency, corruption, and conservatism of the Kuomintang had driven nearly every serious creative writer in China to the Left. Most turned toward some form of Marxism, which not only offered the most convincing explanation of the appalling international and internal …

A Mao for All Seasons

A psychologist and an expert on the Far East, Mr. Lifton believes that the most fruitful way to look at Mao Tse-tung and the Cultural Revolution is to combine the investigation of psychological motives with historical analysis in what he calls the “psychohistorical” approach. He claims that the present confusion …

Pekinology

Mr. Pye is disarming and sensible in his description of his method. From the start he makes it clear that The Spirit of Chinese Politics is an “interpretive and largely speculative essay.” He refuses to cite specific examples to strengthen his case for fear that facts chosen as illustrations might …

Puritanism Chinese-Style

Specialists in the USSR and East Europe have both helped and hindered modern Chinese studies. Many scholars such as Benjamin Schwartz came to the serious interpretation of Chinese Communism from Slavic studies. On the other hand, less sensitive East Europeanists have imagined that their training gave them a unique understanding …

Contradictions

Professor Schurmann is not modest. Near the beginning of his book he writes: “translations from Chinese, Russian and Japanese are my own, and hundreds of articles had to be read in the original Chinese with precision and at the same time extensively. It was important to interview peopleā€¦and this required …

Down There on a Visit

In many ways this is the book that everybody interested in China has been waiting for, a book describing what it feels like to be a peasant living through the Chinese Revolution. In the summer of 1962 Jan Myrdal, the thirty-year-old son of the famous Swedish sociologist Gunnar Myrdal, lived …

Mao’s China

To most Westerners China is not a part of the known world and Mao is not a figure of our time. The ignorant believe he is the leader of a host of martians whose sole occupation is plotting the destruction of civilization and the enslavement of mankind. The more sophisticated …

The Popularity of Chinese Patriotism

Fundamentally China is a sellers’ market. The first half of this century, when there was a glut of books, seems to have been the exception. Since 1949 a veil has once more been drawn over the center of the mysterious east, and the situation has reverted to that of the …