New Books Network

Marta Hanson, “Speaking of Epidemics in Chinese Medicine: Disease and the Geographic Imagination in Late Imperial China” (Routledge, 2011)
Marta Hanson‘s book is a rich study of conceptions of space in medical thought and practice. Ranging from a deep history of the geographic imagination in China to an account of the SARS outbreak of the 21st century, Hanson’s book maps the transformations of medicine and healing in late imperial... Read More
Tong Lam, “A Passion for Facts: Social Surveys and the Construction of the Chinese Nation-State, 1900-1949” (University of California Press, 2011)
We tend to take for granted that we have bodies, that these bodies are knowable and measurable, and that we understand how to relate our own bodies to those of the people around us. To put it more simply: if I were to ask you how tall you were, how... Read More
Andrew F. Jones, “Developmental Fairytales: Evolutionary Thinking and Modern Chinese Culture” (Harvard UP, 2011)
Simply put: you should read Andrew F. Jones‘s new book, Developmental Fairytales: Evolutionary Thinking and Modern Chinese Culture (Harvard UP, 2011). It is both an immense pleasure to read, and a truly brilliant study of the ways that a discourse of development was taken up from evolutionary works of Lamarck,... Read More
Daqing Yang, “Technology of Empire: Telecommunications and Japanese Expansion in Asia, 1883-1945” (Harvard University Asia Center, 2010)
Daqing Yang‘s Technology of Empire: Telecommunications and Japanese Expansion in Asia, 1883-1945 (Harvard University Asia Center, 2011) is a gift to both historians of East Asia and scholars of science and technology studies (STS). Yang’s book dissects the body of the Japanese empire from 1853-1945 to reveal its pulsing “nerve... Read More
Yi-Li Wu’s book, “Reproducing Women: Medicine, Metaphor, and Childbirth in Late Imperial China” (University of California Press, 2010)
In what must be one of the most well-organized and clearly-written books in the history of academic writing, Yi-Li Wu‘s book, Reproducing Women: Medicine, Metaphor, and Childbirth in Late Imperial China (University of California Press, 2010),¬†introduces readers to a rich history of women’s medicine (fuke) in the context of late... Read More
Ann Fabian, “The Skull Collectors: Race, Science and America’s Unburied Dead” (University of Chicago, 2010)
What should we study? The eighteenth-century luminary and poet Alexander Pope had this to say on the subject: “Know then thyself, presume not God to scan; The proper study of mankind is man ” (An Essay on Man, 1733). He was not alone in this opinion. The philosophers of the... Read More
James Fleming, “Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control” (Columbia UP, 2010)
In the summer of 2008 the Chinese were worried about rain. They were set to host the Summer Olympics that year, and they wanted clear skies. Surely clear skies, they must have thought, would show the world that China had arrived. So they outfitted a small army (50,000 men) with... Read More