We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
The Fall and Rise of China Lecture

The Fall and Rise of China

Regular Price:$52.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (1111 )
5 star
 (840)
4 star
 (204)
3 star
 (45)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (10)
Overall
4.7 (995 )
5 star
 (754)
4 star
 (181)
3 star
 (45)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (6)
Story
4.6 (998 )
5 star
 (723)
4 star
 (202)
3 star
 (53)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (9)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    laurie 12-02-15
    laurie 12-02-15

    I have edited 38 national best sellers and had a writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    190
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    98
    62
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    27
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wow! Did I learn a lot!"

    Professor Baum is a bit stiff at the beginning, but a few lectures in, he relaxes into the delivery and comes to life. He is certainly an eminently qualified presenter.

    This series is comprehensive and offers a thorough history of China. The English behave like thugs as usual, and I have to wonder how, in relatively few decades, they learned to "play nice" in the international arena. Foisting tons of opium onto the Chinese to balance the ledger on import/export financials was about as despicable as anything they did to any country . . . and that's saying something.

    We have warlords, court intrigue, crushing poverty, revolution ("It's not a dinner party," Mao said when someone objected to the violence), etc. Amazing to me is that this vast territory held together pretty much as a unit through the millennia.

    Dr. Baum's lecture allowed me to put the current political situation in China into historical perspective. The book is long--twenty-four hours--but with a good return on your investment of time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon 11-24-15
    Jon 11-24-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    77
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Comprehensive and Outstanding!"

    This is one of the top courses - of not the top - that I have listened to or watched. The first few chapters were a bit more difficult due to the many Chinese names that are very unfamiliar to me. Professor Baum even acknowledges the difficulty that many westerners have with Chinese names. But the background was very valuable in gaining a more historical understanding of China.

    Professor Baum's personal anecdotes add significantly to the course. At times I wondered if he was Forrest Gump since he had so many related personal experiences.

    I have a significant collection of Great Courses. This course stands out as one of the best I have listened to. I can't recommend this one enough.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George 10-25-15
    George 10-25-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Comprehensive but flawed"
    Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Richard Baum?

    This is a comprehensive account of China's history. For people interested in China's rise and its implications for the rest of the world, it offers valuable insights. Professor Baum's long relationship with the country and its people, plus his ability to weave vignettes of his many experiences in China make the lectures more vivid. He also delivers the messages in a compelling way which attracts the attention of listeners. But although he asks all the right questions about all the many atrocities committed by the Chinese Communist Party, and particularly under Mao's rule, his conclusions are way too optimistic and benign. Mao was responsible for the death of tens of millions of people but wasn't a bad guy. He wrote sweet poems to his wife, we are told. We have every reason to be concerned about China's aggressive diplomatic and military behavior and its suppression of opposition at home. But listening to Professor Baum's lectures, you wonder what all the fuss is about.


    1 of 1 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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruben 06-09-17
    Ruben 06-09-17 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing overview of China's recent history"

    This is an incredibly interesting and often moving story of a fascinating country and culture. Professor Baum doesn't shy away from giving his personal views and especially his personal experiences during some of the key moments make the history come alive even more. Where some other history courses tend to turn into a long drudgery of events and names, this one never becomes dull.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Boulder, CO, United States 05-30-17
    Laurie Boulder, CO, United States 05-30-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    113
    23
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Professor Baum"

    Richard Baum died in 2012 and I felt a personal loss after listening carefully to the entire 30+ hours. His study, experiences, and understanding gave me an education about a culture shrouded in propaganda -- by both US and China. We need him, particularly in this era where understanding other cultures and the world is in short supply and demeaned. What a gift to us that he recorded these lectures.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    natleo 05-29-17
    natleo 05-29-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic and Compelling Storytelling"

    I loved this course. Professor Baum is perhaps my favorite GC lecturer yet. His lectures feel very natural and are wonderful to listen to. He has a gift for storytelling. This course gave me tremendous insight into a subject which I was originally not very excited about. Who knew modern Chinese history and politics could be so fascinating. He corrected several long held misconceptions I had about China. I feel that I came to know Mao as a human being beyond the commonly cited atrocities and appreciate his revolutionary talent and appeal. I couldn't stop listening. His expert narration is not condescending and has a inviting warmth to it. I highly recommend this course if you have any interest in East Asia.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Salam ibn Yakub-Williams Anchorage, AK 04-28-17
    Salam ibn Yakub-Williams Anchorage, AK 04-28-17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    Loved it. So much great information on China. This lecture series has taught me more than I ever thought it would.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    victorluis 04-18-17
    victorluis 04-18-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fall and Rise of China-Dr.Richard Baum"

    I will say it very clearly: wonderful.
    I had this course in DVD. I studied it and enjoyed. I was very sorry learning that Mr.Baum passed away. He was a very good professor This course is extremelly well designed and tought. Therefore i went through it twice. In my next trip to Los Ángeles I will visit the place where he was a professor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chee-waa-waa 04-10-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Riveting!!!"

    I don't travel, have little experience with other countries and had no reason to listen to this other than the thought that I knew little about the history of the most populous country in the world.
    I admit I procrastinated listening to this. It just seemed like it was going to be drudgery. WRONG! Fascinating. These lectures explain much about our view of China, as well as why they developed how they did. At the end of each chapter I couldn't wait to start the next. Professor Baum delivers the material like a storyteller. He's captivating. The names are rough but I found myself repeating them out loud in the car as I enjoyed the lecture. It's almost like a friend is telling you about China. It clears up many misapprehensions we have about China. I was sad we
    when I finished.
    HIGHLY recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Madhan Raman
    10/30/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome China Story, Probably the best"

    Great listening, keeps you glued to your device untill you finish. Worth every minute. Now going to search for the authors updated lecture since his finishing of this work in 2008. Loved it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • 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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Ifiok Otung
    10/5/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A brilliant insight into a complex nation"

    I loved it. It's the first full historical account I've listened to on Audible.

    The best part for me was the lecture based structure which works very well for this kind of factual account.

    Another aspect that stands outl is the authors additional insights into certain historical accountsfor which he was a witness.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eliel Cohen
    4/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    Performance
    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

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.