How can we account for China’s momentous - and almost wholly unanticipated - global rise? And what does it mean, for us in the West and for humanity’s future?
Speaking to these vital and fascinating questions, these 48 penetrating lectures by Professor Baum bring to vivid life the human struggles, the titanic political upheavals, and the spectacular speed of China’s modern rebirth. Offering multilevel insight into one of the most astounding real-life dramas of modern history, the lectures weave together the richly diverse developments and sociopolitical currents that created the China you now read about in the headlines.
You’ll get a detailed understanding of all the core events in China’s century of stunning change, including the collapse of the Qing dynasty, the Republican era and civil wars, the "Great Leap Forward", the Cultural Revolution, and the post-Mao economic "miracle". Throughout, Professor Baum reveals highly unusual details that enrich the cinematic sweep of the story. For example, you’ll learn about the Christian warlord who baptized his troops with a fire hose, the strange kidnapping of Chiang K’ai-shek, and Professor Baum’s own smuggling of top-secret documents out of Taiwan.
A core strength of these lectures is that they make sense of the dramatic events of the story by getting deeply at what underlay them, culturally, socially, and historically - leaving you with a nuanced knowledge of the forces moving China’s modern emergence. Bringing alive the passionate reinvention of China with deep discernment and humanity, they portray the confounding, majestic, heart-rending, and visionary story of a modern giant.
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.
©2010 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2010 The Great Courses
Objective perspective of the events and captured the essense of leader's characteristics.
The tone used to describe the events and his personal encounters which would not be conveyed through text alone.
As a Taiwan-borne Chinese, it was interesting to contrast the objective narrative of the last 100 years or so history with what I had learnt in Taiwan during childhood. Great to learn aspect of China that was foreign to me before taking this course. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of understanding of not just the historical events, but the Chinese psyche during those times. Highly recommend it! (I've already recommended this to friends and family)
This review is actually by Kirk's wife
This audio version of The Fall and Rise of China is very interesting and Professor Baum is so excited about his subject matter, he makes it entertaining! His passion transfers to the listener! I will probably listen to it a second time!
I am around a lot of Chinese people so I wanted to learn about their country so I downloaded this course and I was so surprised at how interesting China's History is and the professor is fabulous! Highly recommended! It was so interesting how he got his material for his Ph.D. dissertation. Amazing story! Listen to find out!
Some of the situations that occurred while he was in China were my favorite. He was able to witness history in the making.
This was just great story telling by a true enthusiast and expert.
I was sad when it ended.
This course offers a fairly in depth history lesson for the last century in China. It starts out with a summation of the previous events, ideas and principles that led up to the collapse of the dynastic system. The author provides analysis of the events by referring to other historical references. During the more modern era the author is able to add in his own experiences to give the listener a more personal look at the daily realities of the Chinese today. Though there was less of an analysis on the financial history then I would have hoped for, particularly the financial practices of several groups in modern day China. I will admit this is simply my own preference and likely not a notable deficit for most listeners.
an amazing gift! this series really opened my eyes to the culture and I couldn't have been more happy!
a text book, however, the narrator does a fantastic job and is very engaging
I've always enjoyed history. This is my second book of "The Great Courses".
My first one was "The Other Side of History".
The Professor in both cases are contagiously passionate. They are authorities of thier respective fields yet demonstrate natural humility. World class speakers giving exciting lectures meant for anyone interested in history. Not just scholars.
Extremely refreshing audiobooks after listening to so many bestsellers.
I hope Audible continues to expand The Great Courses library.
Very high. I am a scholar on the subject and even I find some of the minutia of Chinese Communist history tedious. Yet Richard Baum makes it so compelling that I think even the non-expert will find it enjoying-- all 16 hours of it.
His personal anecdote about his own role in discovering the split between Mao Zedong and his top lieutenants (Deng Xiaoping and Liu Xiaoqi) was excellent. Also, thank god you have someone who can pronounce Chinese!
Professor Baum's encyclopedic knowledge of the subject and his personal love for the culture and the people.
The embalmed remains of Chairman Mao looking green from too much formaldehyde. It was an insight 'behind the curtain,' so to speak, that one would never read in a serious work about China but that revealed the humor behind the god-man's image.
This is his only audiobook that I know of and he died in 2012 from cancer that he thought was gone when he recorded these lectures.
It is far too long and complicated to listen to it in one sitting, but I wanted to get back into the car where I keep my player and sometimes went on extended drives to avoid turning off a lecture in the middle.
The world has lost a great scholar and a generous human. I can only hope that his lectures in this Great Courses audiobook will inspire a new generation of people to learn more about China as the 'Sleeping Giant' takes a leading role on the world stage in this century.
Professor Baum does a wonderful job of showing both sides of the conflict and interjects great personal antidotes.
I enjoyed a marvelous three week trip to China two years ago with the Road Scholar Program and wish I'd of had the benefit of this course before hand. The course not only provides a greater understanding of the fasinating history of China, it also provides insight into the politics of the human condition. Professor Baum's many personal experiences in China over a number of years adds to the richness of the course.
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