Science and Technology in Chinese Civilization Cheng-Yih Chen, ed. World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, 1987. 352 pp. £55.70.

This beautifully produced book is a collection of edited papers originally prepared for one of two conferences held in the summer of 1985—the 17th International Congress of the History of Science, in Berkeley, and the San Diego Workshop on the History of Science and Technology in Chinese Civilization. The 14 papers, a fair sample of current research, range from early Chinese mathematics to Chinese historical earthquake records and ancient China's transfer of gunpowder and rocket technology to the rest of the world.

Though their quality is somewhat uneven, all the papers are written in a very accessible style. Even for those familiar with some of the extraordinary technical accomplishments of early China, the topics and details of these straightforward narratives cannot help but fascinate. And for those wanting to follow up a...

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