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The Fall and Rise of China Lecture

The Fall and Rise of China

For most of its 5,000-year existence, China has been the largest, most populous, wealthiest, and mightiest nation on Earth. And for us as Westerners, it is essential to understand where China has been in order to anticipate its future. These 36 eye-opening lectures deliver a comprehensive political and historical overview of one of the most fascinating and complex countries in world history.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2010 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2010 The Great Courses

What Members Say

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  •  
    Ruby Dickson 02-12-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exactly what I was looking for!"

    This book was a great and engaging way to learn modern Chinese history, in prep for moving there. The professor is a bit self centered, and a lot of the anecdotes from the last 30 years are from him-- but he is certainly engaged in the topic!

    This is a great way to learn this sort of thing. It gives you a very good understanding of the nature of this story, without the stress of actually studying.


    Thanks audible for another great listen!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deep Reader 04-25-14
    Deep Reader 04-25-14

    Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Modern Chinese History Comes Alive"

    One of my biggest complaints on a lot of courses and books is that halfway through, they start to drag on about some topics or ideas I just don't find as interesting as some other topics or ideas the author/lecturer could have chosen.

    This stays strong all through the course. There is no lecture that made me fall into passive listening. In fact, the second half is orders of magnitude above and beyond anything I have heard in a long while, because the professor has been to China and followed key events of modern history closely. In other words, it gains that vivid image and personal touch only a person who has witnessed the events can communicate.

    If you get a single course, this is where you should start, hands down.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jessica LAYTON, UTAH, United States 03-04-14
    jessica LAYTON, UTAH, United States 03-04-14 Member Since 2013
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    "awesome"
    What does Professor Richard Baum bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Professor Baum does a wonderful job of showing both sides of the conflict and interjects great personal antidotes.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B Sweeney 05-24-16
    B Sweeney 05-24-16 Member Since 2009
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    "Professor was a great speaker he kept my attention"

    a great speaker he kept my attention throughout what he is a very long course well worth the time invest in

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon Doran 05-23-16
    Jon Doran 05-23-16
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    "Informative... but long"

    This series of lectures paints a balanced and multifaceted portrait of the evolution of modern China that certainly gave me a solid foundation of knowledge about this emerging superpower. At times - especially during the early chapters - maintaining interest was a challenge as the names, dates and political machinations blurred together. This is more a result of the ambitious scope of the subject matter than the efforts of the lecturer, who speaks with authority and weaves in occasional personal anecdotes to avoid tedium. I found that alternating between listening to this course and Age of Ambition by Evan Osnos - which takes a more journalistic, deductive approach understanding contemporary China - made for a richer (and more enjoyable) experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miriam Sydney, Australia 05-09-16
    Miriam Sydney, Australia 05-09-16 Member Since 2008
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    "Can't fault it excellent reader and knowledge made the story live for the reader"

    Excellent reader and knowledge richard makes the story of China live and real one off the best I have listened too

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shane Japan 04-30-16
    Shane Japan 04-30-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Amazing. A wealth of knowledge!"

    A quite thorough and relevant take on China. If you consider yourself a citizen, or at least a student, of the world, you should listen and learn.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bad Astronaut 04-25-16
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    "The best Great Course I've taken (out of 28)"

    Professor Richard Baum is one of the leading American experts on modern China, and it really shines through his lectures. His thorough explanation of the history of China from the beginnings of Western Imperialism, the fall of the Empire, the rise of Mao, all the way through the 2008 Beijing Olympics left me shocked, surprised, elated, angry, and hopeful. There were a few lectures (particularly around the cultural revolution of the 1960's) that caused me to pause and reflect on everything I just learned for several moments after finishing them. Professor Baum's lectures aren't clinical names and dates like many history classes, but also the stories and controversies involved in every event. You'll get to learn the lives and struggles of the Republican revolutionaries, Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, and many more, as well as Professor Baum's personal anecdotes about his time as a professional "China watcher" throughout the 20th century. If you have even a passing interest in learning about what makes modern China tick, I can't recommend this series enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mithriv Midlothian, Virginia 03-19-16
    mithriv Midlothian, Virginia 03-19-16
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    "A great course and a great additional informations"

    A great and comprehensive course with reach additional pdf included. A nice to listen voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Smith 03-04-16
    Mike Smith 03-04-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellent."

    I wish I had him for a real life professor. Rest in peace Dr. Baum.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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