The fifth volume of Dr Needham's immense undertaking, like the fourth, is subdivided into parts for ease of assimilation and presentation, each part bound and published separately. The volume as a whole covers the subjects of alchemy, early chemistry, and chemical technology (which includes military invention, especially gunpowder and rockets; paper and printing; textiles; mining and metallurgy; the salt industry; and ceramics).
"[An] astonishing and enduring study...[Needham brings] depth of emotion and technical finesse to his task."
Jonathan Spence, New York Review of Books
"Perhaps the greatest single act of historical synthesis and intercultural communication ever attempted by one man."
Laurence Picken, Cambridge University
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