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The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom Audiobook

The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom: America and China, 1776 to the Present

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Publisher's Summary

Our relationship with China remains one of the most complex and rapidly evolving and is perhaps one of the most important to our nation's future. Here, John Pomfret, the author of the best-selling Chinese Lessons, takes us deep into these two countries' shared history and illuminates in vibrant, stunning detail every major event, relationship, and ongoing development that has affected diplomacy between these two booming, influential nations. We meet early American missionaries and chart their influence in China and follow a group of young Chinese students who enroll in American universities, eager to soak up Western traditions. We witness firsthand major and devastating events like the Boxer Rebellion and the rise of Mao. We examine both nations' involvement in world events such as World War I and II. Pomfret takes the myriad historical milestones of two of the world's most powerful nations and turns them into one fluid, fascinating story, leaving us with a nuanced understanding of where these two nations stand in relation to one another and the rest of the world.

©2016 John Pomfret (P)2016 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (53 )
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  •  
    D. Keith Dixfield, ME USA 03-12-17
    D. Keith Dixfield, ME USA 03-12-17 Member Since 2003

    Semi-retired history teacher living part time in Maine and Pennsylvania.

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    "Indispensable for understanding the US China relationship"

    I grew up with the subject of this book as my family history and have pursued my interest in this as a teacher of history. My mother spent significant intervals of her childhood in China between 1912 and 1927. My grandfather began as a medical missionary in Canton in 1900 and, shortly after arriving there, had the task of conveying to his future wife's family that his fiancee's older sister and her husband had been killed in the Boxer Rebellion. By 1922 he was no longer a missionary but was an employee of the Rockefeller Foundation's Peking Union Medical College in Peking.

    Having taught history in a number of independent schools where I taught some Chinese history, I can claim academic familiarity in this subject, without being any kind of authority. What I can say is that this book enlarged by understanding of this history significantly and is well worth reading for anyone who would like to have a better understanding of this complicated relationship.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ysolde 04-08-17
    Ysolde 04-08-17
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    "Informative, disquieting, captivating"
    Where does The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    among the best


    What other book might you compare The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom to and why?

    Thomas Rid, Rise of the Machines: subtle, balanced, engaging history of a subject that is consistently misrepresented in popular culture
    Evan Osnos, Age of Ambition: new ways to think about China


    What does Tom Perkins bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Pronunciation of Chinese words that is almost but not quite right


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

    The chapters about US behavior toward China during WWII were a revelation and painful to listen to for an American


    Any additional comments?

    I first visited China in 1984 and have returned regularly ever since. I'm in China now listening to this on the campus of a Chinese university that was built by Christian missionaries 100 years ago. Pomfret's analysis of US China relations is a breath of fresh air. By foregrounding the immense cultural baggage that Americans usually bring to their relationship with China, Pomfret is giving Americans some tools they can use if they want to try to have a more authentic experience of China

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H. Huang 03-07-17
    H. Huang 03-07-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Highly recommended"

    This is one of the best books about China, it is balanced view from an American spends years in China. I highly recommend it, Thank you

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret S. Johns Richland, WA 06-22-17
    Margaret S. Johns Richland, WA 06-22-17 Member Since 2016

    mscj

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    "Am in depth history of the US/China relationship from the 1700's to the present"

    An amazing in depth history of the US - China relationship from the 1700's to the present day. Who would know that it has been that long and that complicated with never ending twists and turns. Since China had no formal relationship with the US for so many decades. It gives much needed perspective and understanding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl Jaramillo Raleigh, NC United States 02-12-17
    Carl Jaramillo Raleigh, NC United States 02-12-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Fascistic deep dive in the bilateral relationship"

    Fascistic deep dive in the bilateral relationship. Fascistic deep dive in the bilateral relationship. great

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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