Robert Barnett, a retired diplomat born in China, has spent much of his life trying to understand those ingredients in "Chineseness" that he believed to be unmistakably identifiable. Although this book falls short of that particular quest, it is nonetheless a touching memoir of Barnett's friendship with a Chinese classical scholar, Professor Sun Yutang. After first meeting in China during World War II and discovering they shared an interest in China's ancient history, the two men lost contact with each other-only to rediscover old values years later, and to discuss new concerns between their two countries. The chapter on human rights in China is on the mark.
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