Orwell and China

I have been meaning to blog about Ibisbill’s post on George Orwell and China, but as I have not come up with anything to say, I suppose I should just toss the link out. As he points out, Orwell, talked a bit about China. This seems mostly (to me) to have been in reference to […]

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Socialism is good

Finally. Just in time for the end of the semester. I managed to find an on-line version of Socialism Is Good. Well, not just a version. There are lots of fairly standard ones out there. but the first one is, I think, one that was recorded back in the 90’s by the Beijing Modern Art […]

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Sinology and Simon Leys

New York Review of Books Classics has re-printed Simon Leys’ The Hall of Uselessness: Selected Essays. This makes him the first Sinologist to crack the NYRB Classics list as one of the masters of world literature, this despite the fact that the original book of these essays only came out in 2011. Leys write about […]

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The Most Effective Kind of Education

While there are many historical problems worthy of exploring in the study of history, I personably believe that one of the most important is an attempt to understand the process by which humans come to accept violence as legitimate. History has no monopoly on this, it is a deeply interdisciplinary issue. A second related, and […]

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Modern Archaeology

Great Leap Forward era backyard iron furnaces have been unearthed [via] and there is discussion about whether to preserve them as historical evidence, even a cultural heritage. The site is described thus The backyard furnaces are located on the south slope of a hillside within the borders of Heiyaodong Village in Baiyin Mongolian Township, Sunan […]

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Zhou Confucianism? Ming Quality Control?

In an absolutely fascinating article on the modern petition redress system1 focusing on attempts by regional officials to prevent petitions from reaching a national office, the Financial Times sidebar, “Confucian Accountability” says China’s petition system dates back to the Zhou dynasty 3,000 years ago. It embodies a Confucian tradition that idealises an authoritarian yet benevolent […]

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Lost Stories

I recently came across a book called Some of Us[i], recommended to me by one of the contributing authors, Dr. Jiang Jin. The book is a collection of memoirs and stories put together by 9 women who lived through China’s Cultural Revolution and subsequently got their Ph.D.s and now are teaching (or in Jiang Jin’s […]

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