In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Reviews 267© 1995 by University ofHawai'i Press price to pay for an accessible and lively prose work in English. Clearly we have come a long way from the muddled and mystical translations ofmedical works that appeared when interest in Chinese medicine was just beginning to revive in the United States and Europe. For readers who are prepared to attend closely to Xu Daqun's essays on illness etiology, principles and methods oftreatment, medical scholarship, and die social relations ofhealing in eighteenth-century China, this book will prove very rewarding. It will be most effectively put to use, however, ifsupplemented witii other works on the medical and social history ofthe period. Judith Farquhar University ofNorth Carolina, Chapel Hill UG Donald B. Wagner. Iron and Steel in Ancient China. Leiden, New York, and London: E. J. Brill, 1992. xi, 573 pp. Hardcover $157.25. This is a study ofdie production and use ofiron and steel in China from the earliest times to about the beginning of the Han period (the end ofthe third century b.c.). But it is also more: it is an investigation of one of a series oftechnological choices which treats that choice on an equal basis with all the other factors of history by investigating its consequences on the basis of exact technological knowledge . This study thus uses both written texts and archaeological material and confronts directly the methodological problems involved in developing a synthesis from these disparate sources. Its consciousness of methodological issues and its meticulous weaving ofwritten sources with material, archaeological evidence into a readable narrative text make this a remarkable, and extremely useful book. The tone is set in chapter 1, which oudines pre-Han Chinese history in such a way that source material takes the central place, with the historical narrative subordinated to a discussion of the methodological problems involved in using these sources. Chapter 2 and 3 are concerned with determining when iron was first used in China. The conclusion reached is that this was probably in a partially Sinified non-Chinese culture in southeast China in the sixth century b.c. While in the ancient West only wrought iron was used up to die late medieval period, in China cast iron was probably used before wrought iron. Chapter 4 provides a survey of the uses to which iron was put in ancient China. It rapidly became die metal of choice for most weapons and production instruments during die fourth and early third centuries b.c. Among the earliest applications were iron collars, 268 China Review International: Vol. 2, No. 1, Spring 1995 manacles, and leg irons for prisoners or slaves. Chapter 5 discusses die iron industry ofthe third century b.c. as seen through written sources, while chapters 6 and 7 deal with archaeological evidence concerning the actual technology used in iron production in ancient China. This consists largely of studies of die microstructures of ancient iron artifacts. Chapter 8 draws together the book's discussions in a more speculative mood, seeking to indicate the historical causes and effects of the series of technological choices made in iron production in China and in particular of the development of and dependence on large-scale production technology (blast furnaces producing cast iron). This prompts reflections of a similar kind on the Western adoption of small-scale production technology (bloomery furnaces producing wrought iron). Mary E. Tiles University of Hawai'i m David Der-wei Wang. Fictional Realism in Twentieth-Century China: Mao Dun, Lao She, Shen Congwen. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. 367 pp. Hardcover $45.00. One can treat the word Realism as a fixed term denoting a particular form of fiction writing developed in Europe in the nineteenth century, and adopted to varying degrees and with varying results by writers from other cultures; or one can view Realism as an open concept referring to the diverse ways writers write about the Real. Marston Anderson took the former stance in his recent work The Limits ofRealism: Chinese Fiction in the Revolutionary Period (University of California Press, 1990), in which he found that the realist mode, strictiy defined, failed to serve the needs of writers such as Lu Xun, Ye Shaozhun, Mao...

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 267-268
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.