The central role of the intellectual in Chinese history, and the centrality of A history to the Chinese intellectual—this is the most persistent theme in the provocative writings of Ku Chieh-kang (b. 1893), iconoclast editor of the Kushih pien and historical revisionist par excellence. During the nineteen-twenties and thirties Ku Chieh-kang was a pre-eminent exponent of that non-Marxist scholarship which set for its goal a purge and reconstruction of China's major intellectual traditions. In this essay, as we examine his efforts to “reorganize the nation's past,” we will want to keep in mind that his interests in China's past and China's present meet in his concern with the place of intellectuals and scholarship in the larger society.

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