The Reviewer

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  • From Yao to Mao: 5000 Years of Chinese History

  • By: Kenneth J. Hammond, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Kenneth J. Hammond
  • Length: 18 hrs and 14 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 886
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 772
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 764

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.You'll learn about the powerful dynasties that ruled China for centuries; the philosophical and religious foundations-particularly Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism-that have influenced every iteration of Chinese thought, and the larger-than-life personalities, from both inside and outside its borders, of those who have shaped China's history. As you listen to these lectures, you'll see how China's politics, economics, and art reflect the forces of its past.From the "Mandate of Heaven," a theory of social contract in place by 1500 B.C.E., 3,000 years before Western philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, to the development of agriculture and writing independent of outside influence to the technologically-advanced Han Dynasty during the time of the Roman Empire, this course takes you on a journey across ground that has been largely unexplored in the history courses most of us in the West have taken.In guiding you through the five millennia of China's history, Professor Hammond tells a fascinating story with an immense scope, a welcome reminder that China is no stranger to that stage and, indeed, has more often than not been the most extraordinary player on it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • "Only powerful people have liberty." Sun Yat-sen

  • By Kristi R. on 07-25-15

great for real beginners (like me!)

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-12-16

What did you love best about From Yao to Mao: 5000 Years of Chinese History?

This lecture series was exactly as advertised it covered the real basics of Chinese history for those who know nothing of the topic. The course assumes no previous background knowledge, and presents eye-catching facts to help a first-time listener remember specific, interesting details. It was very enjoyable and felt like a quick listen, with a level of detail that was digestible, even if one listened to several lectures in one sitting.

  • Isabel Allende

  • By: Tim McNeese
  • Narrated by: Roxanne Hernandez
  • Length: 2 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4

Isabel Allende is an informative introduction to the distinguished author. Isabel Allende, one of the world's most widely read Latin American writers, is a Chilean novelest who, like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, was strongly influenced by her grandparents. Her vivid fiction, such as The House of the Spirits, blends realism with magical elements and spotlights political and often feminist concerns.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Mush

  • By The Reviewer on 05-03-16


1 out of 5 stars
2 out of 5 stars
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-03-16

Would you try another book from Tim McNeese and/or Roxanne Hernandez?

absolutely not

Has Isabel Allende turned you off from other books in this genre?

Silly question

How could the performance have been better?

The reader didn't have a lot to work with, to be fair.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It was short

Any additional comments?

I accidentally bought this book trying to purchase House of the Spirits (now why isn't that available on audible?). It's absolute drivel. It sounds like the author skimmed a Wikipedia page, then fabricated some emotions onto Allende and called it done.