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The Fall and Rise of China | [The Great Courses]

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.

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (424 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Saud 04-25-14
    Saud 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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ilia 04-18-15
    Ilia 04-18-15 Member Since 2014
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    3
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    "Great introduction to the history of modern China"
    Would you listen to The Fall and Rise of China again? Why?

    This series of lectures covers the history of China mainly in 20th century. This history was full with dramatic events, so it appears there wasn't a single dull moment in the whole 100 years. I'm sure I missed some of it and would love to listen to these lectures again to better grasp all of these events.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Malick Tchakpedeou GARNER, NC, United States 04-11-15
    Malick Tchakpedeou GARNER, NC, United States 04-11-15 Member Since 2011

    Jesus, Sankara, Mandela, Lumumba, Lincoln, Gandhi, Luther King, MalcolmX, Bob Marley.

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    "Captivating! Enlightening!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Fall and Rise of China to be better than the print version?

    I don't have the print version, but as I always do with my best audiobooks, I will buy the print version, just for the sake of contemplation. But there is no way the print version can be better because 80% of he power of this lecture reside in its delivery. Richard Baum is the kind of teacher I'd love to have with me 24/7.


    What did you like best about this story?

    What I loved most about this story was the chronological-event-based approach; very analytical, yet unbias.


    What does Professor Richard Baum bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Professor Richard Baum is a 5-star teacher. He knows the subject inside-out, he is passionate about it. He makes History sound like a thriller movie. excellent communicator.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The whole story moved me. After the first few chapters, I was moved by the early life of "the last emperor" Puyi. I took a pause, found the movie/documentary about him and watched it.
    Very poignant. I was also impressed by the life of Mao. Richard Baum took a whole chapter to talk about the upbringing of Mao. This is where you realize that great leaders are made very early in their childhood.
    And last but not least, I was moved by the overall death toll of the whole Chinees history. These people have sacrificed a lot in order to be where they are today. They deserve their new position as a World economic powerhouse.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Henry 04-10-15
    Henry 04-10-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Insightful on the self interest of Great powers."
    What made the experience of listening to The Fall and Rise of China the most enjoyable?

    The presentation of the stories, timelines, and characters are made interesting and hold your attention.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It helps you to see the Big Picture in a concise manner.


    What about Professor Richard Baum’s performance did you like?

    Entertaining delivery.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It was a stark reminder of the human condition as it relates to greed, power, and self-centered existence.


    Any additional comments?

    A reminder, it's important to form your conclusions about political and social history with the "understanding that all foreign policy is about self interest and self interest alone." The strong and united will survive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron E. Kimpton 04-10-15 Member Since 2015

    Shiggles and Gits

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    "This probably the best great courses so far."

    It is an engaging look at recent Chinese history and the influences that have driven it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tori Lannetti 03-28-15
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    "Excellent Lecture Series"
    What did you like best about this story?

    Professor Baum provides an excellent guide to the development of modern China. His personal stories are always relative and provide additional insight to the lecture topics. This is a great series for people who already have some familiarity with modern Chinese history.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Spanish teacher 03-18-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Wow!"

    I had read the reviews on how wonderful these lectures were and didn't quite believe them at first. The further the lectures went, especially into the Maoist years I had become absolutely hooked. Incredibly fascinating! I especially loved the speaker, he had so much personal experience and I loved his little side stories. I will probably be listening to this again very soon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia 03-11-15
    Patricia 03-11-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Good Lectures"
    What did you love best about The Fall and Rise of China?

    The history is comprehensive.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Lectures . . . do not lend themselves to "characters."


    What does Professor Richard Baum bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I'd skip over his "personal experiences." He seems a bit of a "Grand Stander." The self promotion that Baum injects into the lectures cheapens the presentation. He's just not as important as he thinks he is.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The lectures were all really good.


    Any additional comments?

    In this series, Baum thinks himself more important than he should. Too much self promotion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alifa Jerusalem, Israel 02-20-15
    Alifa Jerusalem, Israel 02-20-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Fall and Rise of China"

    Wonderful overview of Chinese history from the 19th, 20th, and early 21st centuries. I would recommend this course highly for history buffs, news junkies, and for anyone involved in policy-making or international business.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruby Dickson 02-12-15 Member Since 2015
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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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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