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
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.
I bought this before a trip to China. I learned so much, I looked forward to listening to it every day and would race to it on my time off.
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.
Jesus, Sankara, Mandela, Lumumba, Lincoln, Gandhi, Luther King, MalcolmX, Bob Marley.
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 I loved most about this story was the chronological-event-based approach; very analytical, yet unbias.
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.
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.
The presentation of the stories, timelines, and characters are made interesting and hold your attention.
It helps you to see the Big Picture in a concise manner.
It was a stark reminder of the human condition as it relates to greed, power, and self-centered existence.
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.
"Fascinating but speedy look at a century of China"
Starting in the middle of the 19th Century and finishing in about 2009, this course covers a great deal of history in a relatively short number of hours.
The first third or so of the course deals with the decline and collapse of imperial China, and the civil wars that followed - the founding of the People's Republic and the Republic and the battle for control of mainland China.
Then the story picks up Mao, his rise to power and his eventual domination of the Communist Party in China. The course goes into great detail about Mao's policies and the heartbreaking and horrific effects they sometimes had. The second third of the course centres on Mao and on important events like the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution which is absolutely fascinating.
The last piece of the course covers Deng Xiaoping reforms and how China has radically changed since Mao's death. This is the most relevant to understanding modern China and I learnt a great deal from it.
The lecturer is clearly one of the most knowledgable people on the subject in the world, and googling his name confirms this. His lecture style is rather more like telling a story than explaining history, and this does tend towards slight oversimplifications that are not necessarily obvious to a lay audience (like me). However, I believe this course examines the topics in an unbiased and informed way and deserves praise for it.
The one downside to this course is that the lecturer is clearly more interested in the communist history than the imperial history, and so the first third feels extremely rushed. I think the course would've worked better split into two, and giving the fall of imperial China the time it deserves.
Otherwise, this is a fantastic course, and well worth listening to for anyone who isn't already an expert on modern Chinese history.
So dramatic and fascinating. It is difficult as the narrator admits himself to keep track of the names of all the actors especially earlier on. But I has absolutely made me want to read more especially about the earlier history of China.
Yes, there is so much information here it would be worth listening several times.
Brilliant professor who made this course accessible and interesting. It was a pleasure to listen and to learn.
This is an excellent story on China. Richard Baum is passionate and very knowledgeable about the subject. He adds tons of interesting anecdotes in his story which make very entertaining as well as informative.
The main focus is on the more contemporary events.
I learned a lot about China listening to this course.
The fascinating details that make you live with the people of China in each stage and with the main figures who suffered to raise China back after the initial fall.
It was excellent
Variety of emotions, such as frustration with the fall, pain with the defeat, sadness with the oppression, pride with the rise.
As a bonus there is a pdf printed summary of the book, to help when I got confused with names, places or events.
Fantastic lecturer; evenhanded treatment of a contentious period of history; consistently gripping and informative; perfect blend of historical narrative with occasional personal anecdotes. Loved it!
Report Inappropriate Content