People's Peking Man Popular Science and Human Identity in Twentieth-Century China
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In the 1920s an international team of scientists and miners unearthed the richest evidence of human evolution the world had ever seen: Peking Man. After the communist revolution of 1949, Peking Man became a prominent figure in the movement to bring science to the people. In a new state with twin goals of crushing 0;superstition1; and establishing a socialist society, the story of human evolution was the first lesson in Marxist philosophy offered to the masses. At the same time, even Mao7;s populist commitment to mass participation in science failed to account for the power of popular culture-represented most strikingly in legends about the Bigfoot-like Wild Man-to reshape ideas about human nature. The People7;s Peking Manis a skilled social history of twentieth-century Chinese paleoanthropology and a compelling cultural-and at times comparative-history of assumptions and debates about what it means to be human. By focusing on issues that push against the boundaries of science and politics,The People7;s Peking Manoffers an innovative approach to modern Chinese history and the history of science.
List price: $32.00
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 12/1/2008
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Acknowledgments Conventions Introduction 1 "From 'Dragon Bones' to Scientific Research": Peking Man and Popular Paleoanthropology in Pre-1949 China Celestial Clouds and Zip Wires A Willingness to Change Nationalism and Internationalism Tradition, Superstition, Science First Contacts Who Discovered Peking Man? Presenting Peking Man Conclusion 2 "A United Front against Superstition": Science Dissemination, 19401971 A Role for Scientists in Revolution Ghosts into People, Apes into Humans The Who and How of Science Dissemination Darwin "Strikes A Blow" for Materialism Scientists Feel the Heat The Pursuit of Monsters Conclusion 3 "The Content of Human": In Search of Human Identity, 19401971 The Question of a Universal Human Nature Labor as the Core of Human Identity Primitive Communism Peking Man as a National Ancestor All the World Is One Human Family Conclusion 4 "Labor Created Science": The Class Politics of Scientific Knowledge, 19401971 Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approaches to Popularizing Science Science Dissemination for Whom, by Whom? Ivory Towers and Cow Sheds Mass Science Paleoanthropology and Popular Culture Conclusion 5 "Presumptuous Guests Usurp the Hosts": Dissemination and Participation, 19711978 Cultural Revo