Lin Yutang’s “My Country and My People”

If you haven’t spent time in China, your opinions about that country are probably wrong. I’ve traveled there often, and I’m married to a woman who was born and lived in China during Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

That’s why I found it interesting to read “The Non-Existence Of A Chinese World View” at Two Fish’s Blog, where Lin YuTang was quoted.


While writing “My Splendid Concubine and the sequel, “Our Hart”, about Robert Hart in China, I read “My Country and My People“. Hart is mentioned on page eleven of the 1938 edition. Pearl S. Buck, who wrote the introduction to Lin’s book, felt that someone who knows the Chinese should write a book about the people and culture. She urged Lin YuTang to be that author. Even though YuTang’s book was published years before the Communist Revolution, this book is still relevant in all things Chinese.

YuTang’s style is a mixture of history, philosophy, psychology, sociology with wit and wisdom.

Lin Yu Tang

I smiled when he pointed out contradictions about the Chinese way of thinking and helped me discover what motivates many Chinese to act the way they do—even the Chinese in a government often blamed for what they do because they are Communists when in fact, they act that way because they are Chinese.

To learn more of China, discover Tom Carter’s “China: Portrait of a People”


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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2 Responses to Lin Yutang’s “My Country and My People”

  1. My favorite Lin Yutang’s book so far is “The Gay Genius, The Life and Times of Su TungPo”.

    Unlike some of his other books, this book has not been reprinted. The one I bought is from an used book store in San Diego.

    • Wow, the prices on Amazon for “The Gay Genius: The Life and Times of SuTungpo” by Lin Yutang, range from $252.52 for a new copy to $19.99 used.

      I also found this 5-star review on Goodreads:

      This is a biography of a great Chinese judge from the 11th century. Su tungpo, besides being an immensely wise and compassionate judge, was a great poet, artist, architect… just one of those damn people that was good at everything they did. The biography is a good read, sort of a river journey down this man’s life.

      I read an older edition. I’m glad to see this in print.

      Link to review:

      On Alibris, you can buy a used copy for $5.98 (when I checked).

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