The Party

The Secret World of China's Communist Rulers
Narrated by: Matthew Waterson
Length: 11 hrs and 14 mins
Categories: History, World
4.5 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Party is Financial Times reporter Richard McGregor's eye-opening investigation into China's Communist Party, and the integral role it has played in the country's rise as a global superpower and rival to the United States. Many books have examined China's economic rise, human rights record, turbulent history, and relations with the US; none until now, however, have tackled the issue central to understanding all of these issues: how the ruling communist government works. The Party delves deeply into China's secretive political machine.

©2010 Richard McGregor (P)2020 Tantor

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Please Learn how to Pronounce Chinese

The content is great and the reading, in full-blown RP English, is fine, but couldn't they have found a voice actor who had even the slightest idea how to pronounce Chinese? I'm not asking for him to be fluent, but his guesses at Chinese names and places are not only very VERY far off the correct pronunciation, they're also inconsistent. Sometimes he calls Hu Juntao "who" and sometimes he calls him "Hugh" (the former is correct). Strangely, he pronounces the Russian names with great relish and confidence. I guess they just found the wrong person for the job.

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The content is good but the narrator is terrible

While some of the content is now a bit dated (the book is ten years old at this point), it is still helpful in providing an overview of Party workings. However, because the narrator cannot pronounce Chinese properly, it can be hard to follow the anecdotal stories that are described in the book. To be specific, the narrator is unable to differentiate pinyin initials z, zh, j, x, sh as well as the sounds represented in pinyin by the letters a, e, and i. This makes for a terribly difficult time following the stories and the names of the leaders that the book details. A section on Xi Jinping, Jiang Zemin, and Xinjiang basically sounded like “Zi Zanpang,” “Zang Ziman,” and “Zinzang.” Everything sounds like the same vague “z” sound. I have no idea why someone unskilled in Chinese would read an audiobook so full of Chinese words, places, and names. It really