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
Data analyst, history student, baseball player
that's such an amazing, informative, and Well Done lecture series that I looked up the lecturer in order to pursue dialogue with him. Unfortunately comma I'm a few years too late. the lecture was that good. He doesn't waste time on tedious topics.
The one portion of the lectures that I thought was tedious ended up being the biggest surprise of the entire lecture.
The professor narrating this could not have been a better choice. Professor Baum was a professional China Watcher, by which I mean he worked like the likes of the White House as a liaison with China both to observe going-ons, anticipate future moves, and advise on how to deal with them. This puts him in an exceptional position to speak on the history of modern China from the fall of the last imperial dynasty to the present day. His interest in the history itself is downright obsessive for obvious reasons, so I felt like I was missing nothing. His personal stories and adventures were a real treat.
The incredible depth of discussion. I am usually listening to courses about ancient and classical history, which can get a little difficult due to the lack of primary sources and general detachment from the time period. It was somewhat refreshing to be able to hear darn near everything there was to know.
I admire Professor Baum's ability to speak on things like Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward and provide details and opinions without any apparent bias. The course was a brilliant work on history and little but, with the occasional personal anecdote and the such only serving to immerse the listener in the history.
I hugely suggest listening to this, whether it be out of an interest for history itself or wanting to better understand China. Both are worthy reasons and this course will deliver.
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.
Excellent reader and knowledge richard makes the story of China live and real one off the best I have listened too
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.
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.
A great and comprehensive course with reach additional pdf included. A nice to listen voice.
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