What do you do if you're a gifted linguist? Why, you find a compatible teacher and learn Chinese. With that accomplished what do you do next? You finagle your way into a diplomatic post, destination China in the midst of a horrendous war with Japan. Now that you're in China what do you do? If you're Joseph Needham you exercise your curiosity by asking innumerable questions and observing all the ins and outs of Chinese society and then you make one of the epic journeys of all time to the westernmost reaches of the vastness of China.
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