Prof. Hardy has an excellent attitude and style. He is well versed and sees the big connections between these many schools and makes occasional reference to western thinkers and historical occurrences. I can think of no better way to get into eastern thought, especially Chinese (confucianism and daoism), Indian (Various forms of hinduism), and Buddhism (chinese, japanese, etc.).
A nuanced and careful look at some pretty fiery characters. The professor has a nice cadence and clear speech (rare in philo profs!). I wanted more when he finished!!
I was expecting a more broad-based look at rural peasant life in China (cultural practices, traditions, habits, etc.), so was a bit surprised by this very particular set of accounts of corruption and abuse and the stories that went along with that. As a bold account of those incidents, this book is incredible and I was shocked to hear how little has changed from the Maoist years of peasant abuse. The later chapters do a good job of describing a "split China" with rural and urban populations that follow very different rules, taxes, etc.
I recommend this to anyone who wants a close look act some of the abuses at the ground level in rural China and an interesting description of how individuals tried to work through the bureaucracy with varied results.
Note: it's very short and I got through it in about two days. Am eager to know more. Also, the reading out of URL addresses (even wikipedia articles) was a bit annoying...
What masterful writing and thinking. Durant is brilliant.
Such a great way to introduce and understand philosophical ideas and see how they arise.
He clearly understands what he is reading and helps with the clarity by emphasizing the right things. One of my favorite narrators.
Not laughing or crying, but certainly a few Eureka moments!
For any student of philosophy at any level, this is golden.
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