Jing Tsu, Kingdom of Characters: A Tale of Language, Obsession, and Genius in Modern China – Allen Lane, January 2022 [paperback January 2023 – UK; USA]
China today is one of the world’s most powerful nations, yet just a century ago it was a crumbling empire with literacy reserved for the elite few, left behind in the wake of Western technology. InKingdom of Characters, Jing Tsu shows that China’s most daunting challenge was a linguistic one: to make the formidable Chinese language – a 2,200-year-old writing system that was daunting to natives and foreigners alike – accessible to a globalized, digital world.
Kingdom of Charactersfollows the bold innovators who adapted the Chinese script – and the value-system it represents – to the technological advances that would shape the twentieth century and beyond, from the telegram to the typewriter to the smartphone. From the exiled reformer…
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