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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

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  •  
    Amazon Customer Huntsville, AL 03-20-14
    Amazon Customer Huntsville, AL 03-20-14 Member Since 2015
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    37
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    "A One-Stop-Shop for Modern China"

    As a longtime Sinophile, I am always interested in new perspectives on this country's vast and compelling history, especially its tumultuous experience in the past two centuries. Dr. Baum does an excellent job in his history of this time period, both in telling a compelling story that covers all of the essentials, and in framing it in such a way that those with no background information about China will still gain much from this course. As the title of this review suggests, if your objective is to understand China as it enters the 21st Century, you will be well served by this course. Main criticisms? More detail needs to be added concerning 19th century China; the impacts of the 20th Century upon China's traditional schools of though should be addressed; further information about the early days of the Communist party should be provided. Finally, I have to say, while Dr. Baum's delivery was fine, it was far too slow and stilted for me...I upped the play speed to 1.5x, and eventually to 2x....I would highly recommend using an app that allows you to increase the playback speed. That issue notwithstanding, Dr. Baum's course is an excellent intro to modern Chinese history, and should satisfy anyone who needs to understand where China is coming from as it enters the 21st Century.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cooper HOUSTON, TX, United States 02-11-14
    Cooper HOUSTON, TX, United States 02-11-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Great History"
    Where does The Fall and Rise of China rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    For a history of China this was a very informative set of lectures.


    Any additional comments?

    Richard Baum did an amazing job in the recordings.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Springfield, MO, United States 01-19-14
    William Springfield, MO, United States 01-19-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Outstanding Course on China"

    I enjoyed a marvelous three week trip to China two years ago with the Road Scholar Program and wish I'd of had the benefit of this course before hand. The course not only provides a greater understanding of the fasinating history of China, it also provides insight into the politics of the human condition. Professor Baum's many personal experiences in China over a number of years adds to the richness of the course.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald 11-26-13
    Ronald 11-26-13 Member Since 2012

    pastor, Christian, teacher, history, economics, sign language, retirement, prayer, novels, theology, religion, philosophy,

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    "Changed my opinion...."
    If you could sum up The Fall and Rise of China in three words, what would they be?

    Recent modern history from the time Western powers arrived in China.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Helps the reader understand why China is slow to change.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Good listen all the way through. A most for anyone to understand modern China.


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

    I am now more sympathetic to trade relations with China.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grant Oshawa, ON, Canada 12-13-13
    Grant Oshawa, ON, Canada 12-13-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Very Enjoyable"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    First one I read of these series hope they all are as good.


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    Somewhat


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    Yes


    Do you have any additional comments?

    If the subject interests you. You will like this book.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Naftaly Edison, NJ, United States 12-04-13
    Naftaly Edison, NJ, United States 12-04-13 Member Since 2014
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    "excellent set of lectures"
    Any additional comments?

    very interetsing and informative lectures, and very well delivered.
    (your demand to write at least 15 words is unreasonable----so I added just this to satisfy you)

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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