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History is on Our Side

Nature volume 158, pages 684685 (16 November 1946) | Download Citation



UNDER title “History is on Our Side”, Dr. Joshep Needham has brought together twelve essas addresses written or delivered between 1931 and 1942, some of which were revised during his stay in China. Most of them display the omnivorous character of Dr. Needham's reading, and some of them have the charm and persuasiveness that marked his earlier book, “Time: the Refreshing River”. But in spite of a certain spiritual quality, they are rarely so convincing as his earlier book. They lack unity, and the book as a whole is a rather confused mixture of science, politics, religion and philosophy in which the enthusiasm of a convert has warped the judgment and critical faculty that one would expect of a scientific man of Dr. Needham's standing. Dogmatism and a tendency to ex cathedra judgments rob the book of any pretensions to form a serious contribution to either political or religious thought: one is left no wiser at the end as to what ‘political religion’ may be, or ‘scientific faith’.

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