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On China Audiobook
On China
Written by: 
Henry Kissinger
Narrated by: 
Nicholas Hormann
 >   > 
On China Audiobook

On China

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Publisher's Summary

The eminent historian and strategist reflects on how China's past illuminates its 21st-century trajectory, drawing on 40 years of intimate acquaintance with the country and its leaders.

In On China, Henry Kissinger turns for the first time at book length to the country he has known intimately for decades and whose modern relations with the West he helped shape. Drawing on historical records as well as on his conversations with Chinese leaders over the past 40 years, Kissinger examines how China has approached diplomacy, strategy, and negotiation throughout its history and reflects on the consequences for the 21st-century world.

As Kissinger underscores, the unique conditions under which China developed continue to shape its policies and attitudes toward the outside world. For centuries, China rarely encountered other societies of comparable size and sophistication. China was the "Middle Kingdom", treating the peoples on its periphery as vassal states. At the same time, Chinese statesmen - facing threats of invasion from without and the contests of competing factions within - developed a canon of strategic thought that prized the virtues of subtlety, patience, and indirection over feats of martial prowess.

On China examines key episodes in Chinese foreign policy, from the earliest days through the 20th century, with a particular emphasis on the modern era. Kissinger illuminates the inner workings of Chinese diplomacy during such events as the initial encounters between China and modern European powers, the formation and breakdown of the Sino-Soviet alliance, the Korean War, the opening of relations with the United States, the Tiananmen Square crackdown, and China's accession to the World Trade Organization.

With a final chapter on China's 21st-century world role, On China provides a sweeping historical perspective on Chinese foreign policy from one of the premier statesmen of the 20th century.

©2011 Henry Kissinger (P)2011 Penguin

What the Critics Say

"From the eminent elder statesman, an astute appraisal on Chinese diplomacy from ancient times to the fraught present 'strategic trust' with the United States. Former Secretary of State Kissinger brings his considerable scholarly knowledge and professional expertise to this chronicle of the complicated evolution and precarious future of Chinese diplomacy with the West.... Sage words and critical perspective lent by a significant participant in historical events." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Ann 03-28-16
    Ann 03-28-16 Member Since 2015
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    "good overview of china"

    Long and dry, but still a vital view of China. so much information I will definitely listen again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ryan 01-28-16
    ryan 01-28-16
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    "great"

    this was very knowledgeable and i look forward to listening to more books on this app. i was able to retain more than i predicted.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    米樂老人 10-19-15

    Reformed Lawyer in the People's Republic of California

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    "Buckle up!"

    I have been an amateur student of Chinese/Taiwan history (especially political history) for years. I've read about a dozen first class expositions on Chinese history and political history. When I read (heard) Dr Kissinger's "On China,", I was almost literally stunned. I cannot believe that I did not discover Dr Kissinger's work before. The book was a paradigm shift for me. I had this particular book on my Wish List for a long while, but passed it because, I am ashamed to admit, I was prejudiced by what I wrongly believed was an anticipated bias of Dr Kissinger, admittedly in complete ignorance, given what I perceived the part he played in recent American history. I simply ignored Dr Kissinger's rôle in geopolitical history because I did not have, for any apparent reason, the patience to listen to him -- even though I grew up during his tenure in international diplomacy. BIG mistake. So, bottom, line: Regardless of your political bent, you must read this to appreciate the perspective of what I believe is one of the most influential people in modern American history, someone who also has a firm grasp on political history in general. Unless you spend time pondering Dr Kissinger's work, you are cheating yourself of some valuable insight and truncating your worldview dramatically. PS: I was not pleased by Dr Kissinger's APPARENT appreciation for Mao, Tse-Tung's diplomatic skill, but after a great deal of reflection since reading Dr Kissinger's book, I am thankful for the experience and knowledge imparted and my worldview has been appreciably augmented for the better as a result. The narrator was superb and the book was easy to follow. This is one I will re-read regularly because there is so much there to appreciate.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J R Plummer 08-28-15
    J R Plummer 08-28-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Interesting and worthwhile"
    What made the experience of listening to On China the most enjoyable?

    The first half of the book regarding the how Kissinger feels China's history has created Chinese culture as we see it today was interesting. The last third of the book regarding his negotiations was less interesting and I do not agree with several of his interpretations, but that is also what makes this book valuable, to hear other experts' interpretations of China.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The reader's pronunciation of Mandarin words made me cringe.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    b 07-08-15
    b 07-08-15
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    "enlightening and thought provoking"

    i am visiting china and this was required reading prior to my visit. despite my initial misgivings, Kissinger has changed my opinions and ignorance into appreciatio, and hopefully mutual respect. I am now handing out copies of the book and proselytizing its importance to my contemporaries.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sam 06-02-15
    sam 06-02-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Things you would surely get by listening"

    1.Have a comprehensive view on how Chinese and American culture differ from the Qing dynasty to modern days.

    2. Understand how each of the Chinese leaders builds on another and together transformed from a poor nation bounded by ancient culture to an economic powerhouse with much liberal thoughts. Only Kissinger can have such personal and yet rational observation on each leader's different global politics approach.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roy Schmidt Olympia, WA, USA 05-08-15
    Roy Schmidt Olympia, WA, USA 05-08-15 Listener Since 2005
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    "Enjoyable Listening"

    I haven't enjoyed a book as much as this one in a long time. I listen to a lot of books and read books constantly. I only wished he would have described one of those State Banquets and the types of food they served him-in a chapter in the back of the back of the book. Roy Schmidt, PhD

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Camilo Denver, CO 04-14-15
    Camilo Denver, CO 04-14-15
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    "Great book."

    Although not the most thrilling of books I found it a truly fascinating dissection of a country that still remains a large conundrum for Americans.

    I found the book to be very informative, well-written and wise.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shih-jin Rockville, Moldova, Republic of 01-30-13
    shih-jin Rockville, Moldova, Republic of 01-30-13 Listener Since 2010
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    "Views from someone who really knows about China"
    Any additional comments?

    Listen to Kissinger's view on China from the historical side is much more interesting than a lot of Chinese experts who make their comments and conclusions from went to China for few weeks.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-07-13 Member Since 2011

    JimBobBillyJoeJackJasonTom

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I just want to give a star rating. If you force me"
    Would you consider the audio edition of On China to be better than the print version?

    I just want to give a star rating. If you force me to say more, I will give you this tripe.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I just want to give a star rating. If you force me to say more, I will give you this tripe.


    What does Nicholas Hormann bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I just want to give a star rating. If you force me to say more, I will give you this tripe.


    If you could give On China a new subtitle, what would it be?

    I just want to give a star rating. If you force me to say more, I will give you this tripe.


    Any additional comments?

    I just want to give a star rating. If you force me to say more, I will give you this tripe.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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