Easily the best book I’ve ever read about Mandarin, and quite possibly one of the best books I’ve ever read about China in general."
David Moser is the author. He has a PhD in Chinese Studies from U. Michigan with a focus on linguistics and philosophy, was a visiting scholar at Beijing University, a professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University teaching courses in Translation Theory and psycholinguistics, and on and on. Now he’s the director at CET studies at Beijing Capital Normal University. He’s anything but an intellectual lightweight, and from that you might incorrectly assume that his book would be too dense for a layperson to enjoy. It’s the exact opposite in that he is so gifted that he can clearly discuss the important waypoints in the development of Chinese without getting bogged down in minutia.
It’s a remarkable book that can be read in a couple of sittings but will provide endless food for thought.
Whether you are a sinophile, a student of Mandarin, a linguist, or simply someone who enjoys a remarkably good read, this is a wonderful book. It is exceedingly well written, and without being at all pedantic, every paragraph could be expanded to a book-length dissertation.
It’s available in print or Kindle. I hope you will check it out.