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My Country and My People Hardcover – January 1, 1938


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Halcyon House (January 1, 1938)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9971642050
  • ISBN-13: 978-9971642051
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.1 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,257,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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See all 8 customer reviews
If you can get the book it is a must read for any history buff or researcher.
Nora M Qudus
As I'm fluent in Chinese (my own native language), I find his essays very enjoyable, very humorous - more so than his English books.
Bibliophile
It is the best book in the market to help you acurately understanding Chinese people.
Y. zheng

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Bibliophile on November 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book made headlines in America when it came out in the 1930's. For perhaps the first time a Chinese wrote a book in English about China and the Chinese, and the sympathetic reaction of many Americans to China's plight in the struggle against Japan made this book a bestseller. I still think it is a good book. It sets out in language that is still easy to read the Chinese mind, their history, philosophy, characteristics, etc. A good deal of the descriptions are the author's own opinions, inevitably, but it is a testament to the author's brilliant mind and perceptive eyes that much of the book is still valid today. Indeed, now that war, revolution, and communism are things of the past, the Chinese are reverting more and more to their old ways, both good and bad, and their old ways are what this book is about.
Pearl Buck, the first American woman to win the Nobel Literature Prize, was the one who persuaded Lin to write this book. Her faith in him is fully justified. Few indeed were native sons of China who were immersed in both Chinese and Western cultures. And Lin was one.
Given my interest in both Lin Yutang and JRR Tolkien, I cannot resist a comparison. There is no evidence that Lin and Tolkien knew each other, although both were philologists (linguists interested in the historical origins of words) living in the same period.
Their specialties were quite different, however. Tolkien was an expert in Old English, and was comfortable in many northern European languages, both old and modern. (He could even read Finnish!) Lin's expertise was in Chinese literature from the classical period, and what made him unique at the time was his almost native fluency in English (as well as in German, plus a couple of modern European languages).
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 6, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Ever wondered what China was like before the "peoples" revolution? Here's an answer by a scholarly writer. This book is now out of print but shouldn't be! Beautifully written, and fully indexed; the best editions were printed in the mid 1930's. These were made so well that if you are fortunate to find one it will still be in good condition, because of the carefull crafting of the binding and covers, and also because of the good paper used.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Peter Lee on September 4, 2005
Format: Unknown Binding Verified Purchase
I'm a Chinese American fluent in both Chinese and English and I think Mr. Lin did a phenomenal job of explaining the Chinese people and its culture to a Western audience in a very humorous way. I chuckled many times at all the contradictions he pointed out about the Chinese mind and even learned why sometimes my people act the way they do. I've bantered about to friends on the tyranny of family in the Chinese life. But Mr. Lin explained to me why and what that is and its consequences. A great read. One complaint: Mr. Lin tended to throw out names of historical and contemporary figures alike without fully explaining who they are. I was able to guess correctly half of them because of my heritage. But I think most Westerner would find this frustrating because they may be altogether puzzled at who is and why is this person cited.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nora M Qudus on September 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a must read for anyone wanting to understand the history and people of China up to the era of Mao. Many times we forget how long China has been....it is contemporary to ancient Egypt, Greece, and was old when there was Rome. This country, its people and customs are unique when compared to other cultures. If you can get the book it is a must read for any history buff or researcher.
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