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Reviews 79 much broader context and at least to understand, ifnot to condone, the sending oftroops against civilians. He interprets China as a third-world country that has had to respond to Western imperialism and whose leaders might have been put in positions where violence seems the only way out. But in this argument Brook does not give himself the space for the rigorous step-by-step logic that characterizes the rest of Aie book, and Aie conclusions seem a bit wobbly, even to Aie author himself. On the whole this book stands, at least until history gives us better data, as by far the most thorough and analytical public account of the military suppression of the 1989 protests in Beijing. Perry Link Princeton University F Jo-shui Chen. Liu Tsung-yüan and Intellectual Change in T'ang China, 773-819. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992. xii, 221 pp. It is a pleasure to welcome a new book on Liu Tsung-yüan, one of the great poets and prose writers of the T'ang period, who was also an important figure in the revival ofinterest in the thought of Aie pre-Han period as a source ofideas for the salvation of the country after the An Lu-shan rebellion in 755. It is a thorough and scholarly study and a valuable addition to the small body of material that is available on Aie subject in English. I want to emphasize this at the outset because much Aiat I shall have to say about Aie book will be critical, not of Dr. Chen's scholarship, but of the way in which he has approached the subject and of the picture of Liu Tsung-yüan that he ends up presenting. The book is not, nor does it purport to be, a fully rounded treatment of this fascinating and many-sided writer. As the author states in his introduction, "This is not an intellectual biography in the strict sense. My foremost goal is to try to shed more, and hopefully, new, light on the Mid-T'ang Confucian revival through an appreciation of Liu's life and tiiought. All issues will be examined in view of their connections to or implications for the nature and evolution of this Confucian revival" (p. 5). At first glance this seems to resemble what I had in mind in my own brief treatment of© 1994 by University Liu Tsung-yüan in my old article, "Neo-Confucianism and Neo-Legalism in T'ang ofHawai'i PressIntellectual Life" (1960), and it is this, perhaps, that justifies my reviewing the book in spite of the fact Aiat it is many years since I was engaged in active re- 80 China Review International: Vol. 1, No. 2, Fall 1994 search in the area. On closer examination, however, it turns out that Dr. Chen's aim is really something quite different from mine. Dr. Chen's interest in what he calls the Mid-T'ang Confucian revival is primarily directed toward evaluating Han Yu, Liu Tsung-yüan, and Aieir colleagues as thinkers by the extent to which they can be seen as forerunners of"a potent Confucian revival . . . [that] established Confucianism as the mainstream of thought in China until the May Fourth Movement of the early twentieth century" (p. 1). As I said at the beginning of my own article, to look on Han Yu, Liu Tsung-yüan, and their colleagues as precursors of what happened in the Sung and later has long been the conventional approach. Understanding the origins of NeoConfucianism is a legitimate aim and one Aiat is especially likely to motivate contemporary Chinese scholars who identify themselves to a greater or lesser degree widi Aie post-Sung Confucian tradition. My contention was and is, however, that one must first set aside diis teleological perspective and try to understand them in the context of their own time. What Sung writers and thinkers made of them is interesting and important, but it is a separate question, and to apply that measure before one has a good understanding ofwhat die T'ang writers were trying to do in their own day, living in very different social...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-9367
Print ISSN
1069-5834
Pages
pp. 79-84
Launched on MUSE
2011-03-30
Open Access
No
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