Thursday, July 07, 2005

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Is it a coincidence that CHINA is an anagram of MICAH? (well, almost.)

I've been "recalled", so I'm back in Shanghai for a few days. Turns out Hangzhou doesn't need me all that much.

I'm re-reading Jean Levi's The Chinese Emperor, a historical novel about three characters who brought China out of the Warring States period and into a new unity under Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇), king of the Qin state. I picked this book up at a used bookstore in Ann Arbor. It was the first book to really bring Chinese history to life for me, and has shaped my thinking about historiography (along with the influence of prof James Lee). It was clearly written by an academic so it can be bland at times unless you are interested in the details, in which case it is fascinating. The Wikipedia has articles on all three of the books main characters: merchant Lü Buwei, statesman Li Si, and king-emperor Qin Shi Huang.

I went out to dinner with Lilyann and some other co-workers on Tuesday night, and they didn't pressure me to drink. That was the second time this has happened in China. It makes me infinitely happy.


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