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Monday, September 16, 2007:


My wife, Stephanie, teaches Spanish and speaks several other languages. Chinese is her latest interest, and at one point a couple of years back we took a course together. I lasted only the one semester, preferring learning characters to pronunciation. My interest in China, though, dates back to 1989 when Professor Herman Mast at the University of Connecticut told us we would all go to China, not much of a stretch considering it was a course in ancient Chinese history.

I haven't been yet, but two friends are living and working there for the next year and I can't wait to visit. I suspect Stephanie and I will call it home at some point in our careers, or at least we'll live somewhere close. HB is a fool on this one in that the gulf of misunderstanding between the US and China is deep on lots of levels. Tiananmen Square offered a confusing glimpse of something, but I'm not sure most Americans understand just what. I don't, not exactly anyway, but a few books have helped me get a little closer. Of course learning to speak the language would probably go a long way here, but in the meantime, here are a few books that have broadened my understanding, and I would welcome your suggestions for others:

-The Ageless Chinese by Dunn J. Li

-In Search of Modern China and Treason by The Book by Jonathan Spence

-Fanshen by William Hinton

-In Search of History by Theodore White

-Red Color News Soldier by Li Zhengsheng (pseudonym)

-River Town and Oracle Bones by Peter Hessler


-Bob Stevenson 

Angela Dunn (angela) says: I love your character designs...this is such a fun comic!
Bob Stevenson (rstevenson) says: Thanks Angela. That helps me want to fit more of them into my very busy schedule.
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artist, history teacher, programmer, world traveler ... full profile