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
This is one of the top courses - of not the top - that I have listened to or watched. The first few chapters were a bit more difficult due to the many Chinese names that are very unfamiliar to me. Professor Baum even acknowledges the difficulty that many westerners have with Chinese names. But the background was very valuable in gaining a more historical understanding of China.
Professor Baum's personal anecdotes add significantly to the course. At times I wondered if he was Forrest Gump since he had so many related personal experiences.
I have a significant collection of Great Courses. This course stands out as one of the best I have listened to. I can't recommend this one enough.
Good, curated information about the fall and rise of China, presented clearly and in a well-connected manner. Useful to me as a first-time learner on the subject. However, depth of discourse is not consistently high to the level that the initial chapters raise one's expectations to. Superimposition of personal opinion adds value but goes beyond into emotional territory sometimes. Students of business and economics would have liked more depth in the "rise" part
This is a comprehensive account of China's history. For people interested in China's rise and its implications for the rest of the world, it offers valuable insights. Professor Baum's long relationship with the country and its people, plus his ability to weave vignettes of his many experiences in China make the lectures more vivid. He also delivers the messages in a compelling way which attracts the attention of listeners. But although he asks all the right questions about all the many atrocities committed by the Chinese Communist Party, and particularly under Mao's rule, his conclusions are way too optimistic and benign. Mao was responsible for the death of tens of millions of people but wasn't a bad guy. He wrote sweet poems to his wife, we are told. We have every reason to be concerned about China's aggressive diplomatic and military behavior and its suppression of opposition at home. But listening to Professor Baum's lectures, you wonder what all the fuss is about.
One of the best lecture series I have heard. Prof Baum is a captivating teacher who holds your attention. Entertaining, intriguing, and enlightening, I would recommend this series to anyone interested in the Chinese and their society.
For myself, this was about the perfect length for the subject, handled by a true professional. The details were not too tedious nor sparse. I felt that the amount of information was dead on for someone wanting an understanding of this subject. The lecturer was full of passion and knowledge. This is the third lecture I have listened to in this series and it was definitely the best of the bunch.
This question makes zero sense.
The part on the Cultural Revolution I found to be most interesting.
If you have an interest in the subject, give it a listen.
I like book when they are read... To me with different voices for all the characters... By a talented author. ~Haiku
It's heart breaking to go through the history of China's suffering, but this course is probably the best I've listened to on Audible.
Certainly the future of China should be of interest to everyone... the sleeping giant has woken and whatever the future holds for it, we are tied to it's path.
The most enlightening and at the same time entertaining thing I've ever heard. The insight Richard Baum provides is an invaluable asset to fully understanding the modern world. I've listened to several other of The Great Courses Modern History Series, but this one is by leaps and bounds the best in all aspects.
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