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The Problem of China (Dodo Press) Paperback – April 4, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Dodo Press (April 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409901033
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409901037
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,309,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970). Philosopher, mathematician, educational and sexual reformer, pacifist, prolific letter writer, author and columnist, Bertrand Russell was one of the most influential and widely known intellectual figures of the twentieth century. In 1950 he was awarded the Noble Prize for Literature in 1950 for his extensive contributions to world literature and for his "rationality and humanity, as a fearless champion of free speech and free thought in the West."

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 53 people found the following review helpful By William Hu on July 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Russell explained in depth the power balance in China among British, French, Russia, US, Germany, and Japan in the late 19th century and early 20th century. As a peace lover, Russell disgusted at the Japanese invasion and control in China. He was able to explain the root cause of the Japanese aggression using the Race, Culture, Religion, and Industry development factors. As he stated the Chinese culture could not incubate aggression as contrary to the Japanese culture. Since the Far East culture root is deep and usually carries along for centuries, I believe his view still holds true in the 21st century. This book also explained the possibility of a 'Red China' in 1922. Because Russia was a traditional enemy of Japan in the Far East, Russell thought Russia would have a huge impact on 'Young China' because "one's enemy's enemy is usually a friend". I was so much impressed by Russell's social analysis and insightful thought on China. I wish he were still alive today so he could educate the Westerns about who is the true peace loving people in the Far East.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Goh Kai Ling on June 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bertrand Russell gives an in-depth account and analysis of the problems faced by China during the early 20th century. While analyzing the dynamics at play on the global front, he also attempts to identify the three most pressing issues which China faced internally--the need for an orderly government, industrial development under Chinese control and the spread of education. Notwithstanding the fact that he is a Westerner, he strives to debunk myths and prevailing misconceptions of the Chinese people. Russell writes elegantly and this book is indeed a remarkable account for those who wish to learn more about China.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
In this book, Bertrand Russell expressed his ideas about both the positive and negative characters of Chinese. It can only be written after carefully thinking over what are in Chinese people's mind. And only you have been to China for over 6 months can you really understand what he really means. This is perhaps the best book for western people to learn the way of thinking of Chinese and the character of the Chinese people. After reading the book I think people will rebuild an idea about China, thus they can understand the Chinese people in American better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jule64 on December 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Why read a book about China published in the 1920s to try to understand today's China? The answer is simple: Bertrand Russell.
In The Problem of China, Russell, one of the great minds of the 20th century, offers a study of China and its relationships with the world and particularly Japan at the beginning of the last century. China no doubt has changed since, but Russell's understanding of this country and its people was such that he was able to extract its key cultural, demographic and economic features and make incredibly accurate predictions on its future place in the world.
Russell surely understood China well, probably better than any modern living author who wrote on the subject, giving the reader a compelling argument for grabbing a copy of this book and start learning about this complex nation on the right foot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Electric Flue on September 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This work reads like it was written within the past five years, instead of over 80 years ago. Mr. Russell traces the history of China (and Japan) against the backdrop of Western nations and their interest and plans for the Far East. And when he wrote (in the 1920s) that "war between Japan and America is inevitable," it made me realize how smart and insightful a man he was. Well worth the read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Honest Abe on July 31, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Those familiar with Bertrand Russell's excellent prose will not be surprised to hear that this book is wonderfully written: lucid, informative, and concise. Russell visited China in 1920 to give lectures on philosophy and was clearly quite taken with the civilization he encountered. Russell gives high praise to the virtues of the Chinese without turning a blind eye to their vices. The best part of the book was certainly the analysis of the historical, political, and economic factors that brought China to its contemporary state.

Naturally, this book is dated, but it remains a worthwhile read. Readers will learn a great deal about early 20th century China and become acquainted with a civilization that Russell thought might one day produce a much greater society than the West had yet achieved. The whole of the book is colored by Russell's moral worldview, which I don't entirely agree with, but with which most will find some common ground.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There is nothing that I can add to the excellent reviews already written.

The Kindle format was done perfectly.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great book. A lot of information is dated by now (such as the population and geography of China), of course, but looking back, I see that Russell's understanding of China and prediction about China's future is amazingly correct. His discussion on China's relationship with Japan and the Chinese civilization is also very informative and interesting. He also wrote this book with sympathy -- an outsider trying his best to understand a foreign culture with a humble heart -- which, unfortunately I rarely see in books on China (in English) nowadays.
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