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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

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  •  
    Gretchen Lafaso New Hampshire, USA 10-12-15
    Gretchen Lafaso New Hampshire, USA 10-12-15 Member Since 2013

    Gretchen

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    "All voters should listen"

    To be an informed voter in this country (USA) one should listen to this course

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    414Gryphon 10-07-15
    414Gryphon 10-07-15
    ratings
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    1
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    "Outstanding series"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judas Mallory Main Street, USA 08-06-15
    Judas Mallory Main Street, USA 08-06-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great & Thorough"
    What made the experience of listening to The Fall and Rise of China the most enjoyable?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This question makes zero sense.


    Which character – as performed by Professor Richard Baum – was your favorite?

    Once again.


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

    The part on the Cultural Revolution I found to be most interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    If you have an interest in the subject, give it a listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lattetown Seattle, WA 07-07-15
    lattetown Seattle, WA 07-07-15

    I like book when they are read... To me with different voices for all the characters... By a talented author. ~Haiku

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    "Probably the best course I've listened to"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aleksander 06-09-15
    Aleksander 06-09-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Fabulous story with great delivery"

    Very interesting, fascinating book. Deep analysis of the history of China. The professor reads it very artistically!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul-Douglas Rivers Georgia, USA 06-05-15
    Paul-Douglas Rivers Georgia, USA 06-05-15 Member Since 2015
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    "MUST. HEAR."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Vermette New Orleans, LA 05-13-15
    G. Vermette New Orleans, LA 05-13-15 Member Since 2015

    Anniehow

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    "So interesting"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ilia 04-18-15
    Ilia 04-18-15
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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
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  • Chris
    10/3/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Eliel Cohen
    4/23/16
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    "epic"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pango
    2/26/16
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    "Brilliant"
    Would you listen to The Fall and Rise of China again? Why?

    Yes, there is so much information here it would be worth listening several times.


    Any additional comments?

    Brilliant professor who made this course accessible and interesting. It was a pleasure to listen and to learn.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fabrice Saenger
    1/25/16
    Overall
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    Story
    "Brilliant Course"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dr Ibrahim Nasr
    1/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Definitely excellent"
    Where does The Fall and Rise of China rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Second


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


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

    It was excellent


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Variety of emotions, such as frustration with the fall, pain with the defeat, sadness with the oppression, pride with the rise.


    Any additional comments?

    As a bonus there is a pdf printed summary of the book, to help when I got confused with names, places or events.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jacob Tref
    2/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    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!

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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