CHINESE PHILOSOPHER, ESSAYIST AND DIPLOMAT HUSHIH BOXWOOD WOODEN STATUE PROVENANCE: Mr. Smith, Washington DC. Biography Hu Shih (17 December 1891_24 February 1962), was a Chinese philosopher, essayist and diplomat. Hu is widely recognized today as a key contributor to Chinese liberalism and language reform in his advocacy for the use of written vernacular Chinese. He was influential in the May Fourth Movement, one of the leaders of China's New Culture Movement, was a president of Peking University, and in 1939 was nominated for a Nobel Prize in literature.He had a wide range of interests such as literature, history, textual criticism, and pedagogy. He was also an influential redology scholar and held the famous Jiaxu manuscript for many years until his death. Hu was born in Shanghai to Hu Chuan His ancestors were from Jixi, Anhui. In January 1904, his family established an arranged marriage for Hu with Chiang Tung-hsiu, an illiterate girl with bound feet who was one year older than he was. The marriage took place in December 1917. Hu received his fundamental education in Jixi and Shanghai. Hu became a "national scholar" through funds appropriated from the Boxer Indemnity Scholarship Program. On 16 August 1910, he was sent to study agriculture at Cornell University in the United States. In 1912 he changed his major to philosophy and literature. After receiving his undergraduate degree, he went to Columbia University to study philosophy. At Columbia he was greatly influenced by his professor, John Dewey, and Hu became Dewey's translator and a lifelong advocate of pragmatic evolutionary change, helping Dewey in his 1919-1921 lectures series in China. He returned to lecture in Peking University. During his tenure there, he received support from Chen Duxiu, editor of the influential journal New Youth, quickly gaining much attention and influence. Hu soon became one of the leading and influential intellectuals during the May Fourth Movement and later the New Culture Movement. He quit New Youth in the 1920s and published several political newspapers and journals with his friends. His most important contribution was the promotion of vernacular Chinese in literature to replace Classical Chinese, which ideally made it easier for the ordinary person to read. The significance of this for Chinese culture was greatÂ¡Âªas John Fairbank put it, "the tyranny of the classics had been broken". Hu devoted a great deal of energy, however, to rooting his linguistic reforms in China's traditional culture rather than relying on imports from the west. As his biographer Jerome Grieder put it, Hu's approach to China's "distinctive civilization" was "thoroughly critical but by no means contemptuous." For instance, he made a major contribution to the textual study of the Chinese classical novel, especially the 18th century novel Dream of the Red Chamber, as a way of establishing the vocabulary for a modern standardized language. Hu Shih's tombstone in the park named after him, near Academia Sinica in Taiwan Hu was the Republic of China's ambassador to the United States of America between 1938 and 1942. He was recalled in September 1942 and was replaced by Wei Tao-ming. Hu then served as chancellor of Peking University between 1946 and 1948, and later (1957) president of the Academia Sinica in Taipei, where he remained until his death. He was also chief executive of the Free China Journal, which was eventually shut down for criticizing Chiang Kai-shek. He died of a heart attack in Nankang, Taipei at the age of 70, and is buried in a tomb in Hu Shih Park, by the Academia Sinica campus. Hu Shih's work fell into disrepute in mainland China until a 1986 article, written by Ji Xianlin, "A Few Words for Hu Shi", advocated acknowledging not only Hu Shih's mistakes, but also his contributions to modern Chinese literature. His article was sufficiently convincing to many scholars that it caused a re-evaluation of the development of modern Chinese literature and the role of Hu Shih. China, Good condition, minor age cracks as expected, overall wear due to age. Measure: Height 10.13 ", diameter of max 3.13 ". Domestic shipping (48 states) : $39.95.