Roel Sterckx is Joseph Needham Professor of Chinese History, Science and Civilization at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Clare College. He is a sinologist specializing in the cultural history, religion and thought of pre-imperial and early imperial China as well as the classical and literary Chinese language.
A terrific book, rich and endlessly thought provoking. Roel Sterckx is a delightfully engaging and informed travelling companion who gives us a wonderful overview of Chinese thought. If you are looking for one book to understand the core ideas of Chinese civilisation, read this--Michael Wood, author of The Story of China We have been waiting for this book for too long. For centuries, the real China has been locked in a distant castle by both the western media and Chinese propaganda. If you are curious about the origin of China's yin and yang, if you want to know more about the roots of Chinese philosophy, if you want to know how to do business with the Chinese, if you want to gain insight into Chinese art, or even if you want to understand the mentality of Chinese people, this book will answer these questions for you. Roel Sterckx's book can be the key to opening that Chinese castle's gate, and help you to understand how Chinese life has taken shape from Confucius to the food menus of today--Xinran Xue, author of Sky Burial, The Good Women of China, and China Witness An outstanding introduction to the world of thought in classical China. Engagingly written and beautifully argued. . . an invaluable work for anyone interested in exploring the key ideas and concerns that have animated so much of Chinese civilization--Michael Puett, author of The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life An indispensable read for those keen to understand China past and present. Sterckx's journey through the complex world of Chinese thinking is thorough, clear, accessible, articulate and fascinating. I will be recommending this book to my students, colleagues and friends alike--Michael Scott, author of Ancient Worlds Ever wondered why Chinese have valued ritual more than law, harmony more than personal accomplishment? In this engagingly-written book, Roel Sterckx makes these and other central elements in Chinese thought easy to understand and interesting to think about--Patricia B. Ebrey, professor of history, University of Washington