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Forgotten Traditions of Ancient Chinese Medicine
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In his extensive prologue Unschuld includes a detailed analysis of Hsu's work. We learn that Chinese medicine does differ from Western medicine, offering a holistic view of disease and the human who suffers. However, we also learn that Hsu and his European contemporaries would not have regarded one another as strangers. Hsu's 100 essays are broad and fascinating. The scope of these essays gives us a view of Chinese medicine that is whole and inclusive. His discussions of illness, pathoconditions, formulas, and substances are often more lucid than the explanations offered by modern texts. Some are of particular interest to historians, philologists, and philosophers; others are of direct interest to clinicians. By speaking his opinions clearly and reporting on an art with which he was deeply intimate, Hsu has bequeathed us a richly detailed vision of Chinese medicine at its height. The essays read well and demonstrate that rigorous scholarship can draw back the curtains of time, language, and preconceived notion to reveal the mind and thought of an exceptional individual. By carefully selecting terms that are suitable for the variety of circumstances in which a Chinese character is used, Unschuld helps us to refine our understanding of important Chinese concepts.