People in our profession frequently need to explain why we think historians have something to say about science. In this rich collection of oral histories, historian Xiong Weimin seeks to demonstrate the converse: that scientists have important things to say about history. Every scholar interested in Mao-era science will want a copy of this book; it would also be very suitable in the (Sinophone) classroom and has already received a very positive reception among more general audiences in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The bulk of the book comprises interviews with sixteen people, including research scientists spanning the physical, biological, and engineering sciences; a prominent philosopher and historian of science; administrators in the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS); and editors of major scientific publications. In addition, Xiong provides an introduction to the collection titled “Between Science and Politics,” and...

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