Wang offers his account of his tenure as head of the Chinese collection of the Library of Congress.
Academic in style and scope, Wang has collected his various writings that center on Chinese culture, publishing and library collections. Starting with his many years working for the Library of Congress, the author maps out his life, from his marriage and Ph.D. to the years of the Cultural Revolution in China and the Tiananmen Square protests. Attention is given to the nature of the library system and the publication processes throughout China; these are told mostly via firsthand accounts of Wang’s visits there. Throughout the work, there is an underlying theme that the Library of Congress has long played a role in the cultural history of China. He notes a remark from the Honorable Elaine Chao, secretary of labor, “The Chinese collection at the Library of Congress is indeed our nation’s crown jewel.” But not all attention is given strictly to the Library of Congress, as other libraries, specifically those of China and of Hong Kong, are also discussed. Moving beyond the historical, Wang gives recommendations for future plans of action, such as recommending that Chinese scholars involved in American studies be given opportunities to come to the U.S. on study tours. The range here is broad—the Hong Kong University Library, a trip to the Chinese Film Festival of 1982, the teaching of U.S. History in the People’s Republic of China—and competently covered.
May be of great value to those interested in the history of Chinese studies in America and/or the Library of Congress.