WHY THE CHINESE ARE THE WAY THEY ARE by Benjamin Appel

WHY THE CHINESE ARE THE WAY THEY ARE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Condescension and contrariety are built into the title of this series (Russians preceded) and confusion is bound to follow from the practice of intermixing common misapprehensions and valid generalizations at the head of each chapter; the text, however, isn't bad, allowing for occasional inaccuracies (Sun Yat-sen was not ""born into a Chinese Christian family"") and for some misleading oversimplifications, especially in reference to early history (Confucius, with his stress on filial attachments, would be somewhat less sanguine about Communism than the author indicates). In essence, this is a brief survey of Chinese history which, because of its concision, is easier to follow than Robert Myron's recent Two Faces of Asia (1967, 1375, J-519); it would be still better in this respect if it didn't resort to frequent backing and filing. Necessarily, considering their greater scope and scholarship, Goldston (1967, 1371, J-515) and Scott (1967, 1376, J-520) are far superior on Communism vs. Kuomintang and on current conditions but this does strike a quick balance. The last two chapters are exhortation for accepting and understanding Communist China, valid sentiments sledgehammered home. Altogether an unsubtle book--you'll have to strike your own balance.

Pub Date: March 21st, 1952
Publisher: Little, Brown