BRINGING DOWN THE GREAT WALL: Writing on Science, Culture, and Democracy in China by Fang Lizhi
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BRINGING DOWN THE GREAT WALL: Writing on Science, Culture, and Democracy in China

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Brilliant and important first publication in English of the collected writings of China's foremost dissident. Fang is captivating, biting, and profound with every word of this rich, beautifully translated compilation of essays, letters, speeches, and papers--some previously published in Western outlets like The New York Review of Books--collected over 20 years in the life of one of China's most prominent physicists and most outspoken and eloquent spokespersons for democratic change. The book is divided into sections representing facets of this Renaissance man. ""The Cosmologist"" introduces Fang's pet theme of science as a tool for democracy. His work on the Big Bang model, criticized by the Communist Party as ""bourgeois idealist,"" becomes a platform for debunking Marxist philosophy and government philistines who submit even creation theory to political tests. ""The Cosmopolitan"" contains letters and essays from abroad savaging Chinese isolationism and chauvinism; modernization is a ""communicable disease,"" Fang writes with Swiftian irony, and ""China has avoided this worldwide plague."" ""The Democrat"" includes attacks on Chinese policy toward education and calls for ""complete openness, the removal of restrictions"" in every intellectual sphere. Last, ""The Dissident"" includes transcripts of interviews with Western media and essays written in ""exile"" after Fang's official expulsion. An appendix of letters of support from Chinese friends, as well as a glossary of terms from Chinese culture and politics, finishes a dazzling tour through one of the world's most fertile minds. Luminous, literate, and essential writing about the future of China and world democracy.

Pub Date: Feb. 18th, 1990
Publisher: Knopf