Teaser Tuesday–The Way of the Panda: The Curious History of China’s Political Animal by Henry Nichols
September 6, 2011 by Amy
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly book meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, just do the following:
– Grab your current read & open to a random page
– Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page (be careful not to include spoilers!)
– Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their To-Read lists if they like your teasers
…How is that an animal this rare and elusive has become so familiar? This last conundrum is particularly surprising when you consider that the giant panda was not known outside China (and probably hardly known within China) until 1869. So this species has come from complete obscurity to achieve total global zoological domination in less than 150 years (ix).
A second taste:
I have structured The Way of the Panda in three parts. The first covers eighty years from 1869-1949 and is dominated by an almost exclusively Western obsession with pandas…The book pivots around the second, central part, which takes us from 1949 to 1972. Here, we will hear about one particular panda –Chi-Chi–whose extraordinary story captures musth about this confused period…[this is the time when] the People’s Republic of China begins to assert its ownership of the giant panda, using the specias and its image to strengthen its sense of national identity both at home and abroad…In the third part, which takes us from 1972 to the present, science begins to direct the path of the giant panda…we see China taking control of the future of the giant panda (xii-xiii).