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THE MEMORY PALACE OF MATTEO RICCI
JONATHAN D. SPENCE

THE MEMORY PALACE OF MATTEO RICCI by Jonathan D. Spence
21 reviews (1984) (368p)
New York TimesĀ® Best Nonfiction Books

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Amazon.com Review
Matteo Ricci (1552-1616), an Italian Jesuit, entered China in 1583 to spread Catholicism in the largely Confucian country. In order to make a persuasive argument for the educated Chinese to abandon their traditional faith for the new one he was carrying, Ricci realized that he would have to prove the general superiority of Western culture. He did so by teaching young Confucian scholars tricks to increase their memory skills--an important advantage in a nation with countless laws and rituals that had to be learned by heart. Ricci attracted numerous students with this method; more important, Ricci came to have a sympathetic understanding for China that he communicated to Rome, and thence to the European nations at large. Spence's portrait of Ricci is a gem of historical writing. --Gregory MacNamee


Other Award Winning Books by Jonathan D. Spence
THE SEARCH FOR MODERN CHINA by Jonathan D. Spence
53 reviews (1990) (728p) (NYTimes Non)
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THE GATE OF HEAVENLY PEACE by Jonathan D. Spence
10 reviews (1981) (560p) (NYTimes Non)
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Jonathan D. Spence Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 0  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 0  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 0  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 0  
National Book Award Wins 0  
National Book Award Nominations 0  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 0  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

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