Hasting Chen has decided to translate my introductory textbook, Lessons for the Young Economist, into Chinese. He shared with me a memo he sent to his team, which I reproduce with permission:
Although this project falls largely on my shoulder, as a piece of encouragement, though, I would like to disclose my thoughts of the project. Therefore, let us say, my dear friends, what we engage today for this book is one of the greatest undertakings in publication history, perhaps the single greatest as we know it. That is because we try to achieve two things. FIrst, we are trying to revolutionize the whole scene of unsound economic thinking, authoritarian policymaking philosophy, and as a result, the focus of today’s febrile mainstream media. Second, we attempt to achieve this aim by using a language that anyone who have eyes to read may understand. To achieve either would be an enormous challenge in itself; to achieve both would certainly be one enterprise of historic proportions. As a result, I want to stress again that it is my distinctive honor to find some of the brightest minds in our intellectual horizons for this task. As a result, do not feel frustrated by some of the difficulties you probably encounter for the task (and perhaps for my stern attitude towards your work as well), because it is exactly with these difficulties we recognize the importance for this task. And we will surmount these difficulties with our care. It is exactly such painstaking (or even fanatical) care “to do it right” that achieves great things in human civilizations. I have my full confidence in you, my ladies and gentlemen, that if we do our duty we will achieve something of similar magnitude.
Finally, to sum up all this and to show my earnest thanks for you, let me conclude this email with a poem for you, which I came up with some days ago
In this darkest hour,
This book, like an arrow blazing through the sky,
Shall carry my resolve through
bland hubbub and wild confusion,
Illuminating the people by its wake
For prosperity and posterity.
Yet for their admiration,
It is you, my mighty archers,
Who powered its flight.