The Chinese People: New Problems and Old Backgrounds

The Chinese People: New Problems and Old Backgrounds

The Chinese People: New Problems and Old Backgrounds

The Chinese People: New Problems and Old Backgrounds

Excerpt

The nucleus of this book was a series of lectures delivered in German at the University of Leipzig. A grant from the Oberlin Committee on Productive Scholarship enabled me to translate these lectures into English and to expand them. I wish here to thank the Committee for its assistance. These expanded lectures were then brought up to date and very much revised, but upon consideration, three of the chapters were condensed to the confines of the present second chapter, and a considerable amount of material intended for the third chapter, but too specifically philological in character except for the linguistic specialist, was omitted. A great deal of anecdotal material was added to illustrate various points.

The idea of the book is to explain the Chinese as the author knew them in more than a decade of association with teachers, students and officials from all over China, and with peasants and laborers in the North China area. The second chapter tries to explain who the Chinese are, some things about their relation to their habitat, and some of the ways in which that habitat conditions them. The third chapter deals with one of China's most important problems, and tries to show how the Chinese language is an index of Chinese psychology. Its importance is increased rather than diminished by current political conditions. The fourth chapter pictures the Chinese at home; in this and the succeeding chapters the ever-widening circles of ideas and emotions are discussed, ending with that factor which only recently has become a . . .

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