"This is a work of extraordinary maturity-a well-considered, incisive, careful, yet bold and highly original summation of insights gained over many decades of research.... Keightley here presents in compelling and ... understandable form some insights of general historical and intellectual interest that are derived from this rare body of original materials, and he integrates them with a dazzling array of data from other fields of scholarship including metereology, botany, zoology, astronomy, sociology, and archaeology. The resulting lively and multifaceted picture of Shang realities is extremely impressive.
... The brilliant synthesis of the Shang social configuration of the cosmos that is presented here is unprecedented in its scope and startling in its clarity. It greatly exceeds all previous piecemeal work on the issue by Chinese, Japanese, and Western experts. Specialists as well as general readers will ... feel deeply moved and inspired by this work.... This is historical writing at its best."
Lothar von Falkenhausen
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