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Understanding China better

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This article is the outcome of a challenge from the editorial management of Logos to the author to suggest a list of 10 books a Westerner planning to visit China for the first time might read in advance to prepare against culture shock. It is somewhat in imitation of a more ambitious collection of reading lists that Gordon Graham edited for Logos in 2012 for a novice visitor to the US. The author has tried to encompass the huge historical sweep and rich cultural diversity of Chinese civilization in 10 very heterogeneous titles, mainly modern but some ancient, all available in English, but by both Chinese and Western authors. Since the list was fated to be less than adequate to the immensity of the task, each title is backed up with some further reading, which, taken together, might form a small China library of some fifty works. For the time-impoverished the author has also suggested just one chapter from one book.


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