About this podcast In 2009, I wrote in Library Journal that the role of an encyclopedia creator together is to build circles of knowledge. I said that our job is to create a haven of calm within a wild world of information, and misinformation. A haven where readers
Kerry Brown, a leading China scholar based in London, discusses the challenges of 2020 and the growing need to understand China and its history. Berkshire first published This Is China: The First 5,000 Years in 2010. Professor Brown has now updated the book in a second edition with a new chapter on recent developments.
I’ve felt low this week and I’m not sure why. Of course I know why. The world’s in a mess, and my own country is amongst the worst of it. But I’m not sure why it struck me so hard this week. The feelings come in waves: I feel tense, angry, overwhelmed. I just want to
W E B Du Bois, a great US intellectual & civil rights activist, grew up right here in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. I can think of no more appropriate way to affirm that Black Lives Matter than to quote some passages by Du Bois today. I’ve been browsing his writings, and am astonished at their range.
I started the Encyclopedia of Chinese Cuisines both as an excuse to eat and as what I thought would be a pleasant escape from the political drama of publishing about China. That led to our publishing books like The Way of Eating and Asian Cuisines, and to my work on gastrodiplomacy. Now, during the COVID-19 crisis, we’re planning a major project on
“Both hands!” cried John, the laird of the castle. I had missed again, and as I whirled on I breathlessly sympathized with him. How hard could it be, he must wonder, to get that second hand in place? I tried again, hooking arms with the next man, spinning, spinning again, and - damn - my second
While the coronavirus continues to change our lives, it does feel as if we’re lifting our heads from the crash position. It's still scary, but less out of control and panicky. I hope this is true for you. For me, the new normal is watching people use Zoom for the first time (”How do I
Last month I wrote about third places ("What is a “third place,” and do you have one?"). Along with some great stories about your favorite third places, I received a few emails blasting me for not mentioning libraries. That was a shock, since Berkshire Publishing has close ties to libraries: we’ve written and published about libraries
When I meet someone Chinese, in Beijing or New York or London, they often exclaim over our name. Publishers tell me how exactly right its meaning - “treasure mountain library” - is, especially for a press known for encyclopedias on global topics. I explain that 宝库山 was carefully crafted by a group of friends who understood
Messenger of Sympathy and Love Servant of Parted Friends Consoler of the Lonely Bond of the Scattered Family Enlarger of the Common Life Carrier of News and Knowledge Instrument of Trade and Industry Promoter of Mutual Acquaintance Of Peace and of Goodwill Among Men and Nations. A business consultant once passed around copies of the poem