Encuentra tu próximo/a audiolibro favorito/a

Conviértete en miembro hoy y escucha gratis durante 30 días
China: A History

China: A History

Escrito por John Keay

Narrado por Anne Flosnik


China: A History

Escrito por John Keay

Narrado por Anne Flosnik

valoraciones:
4.5/5 (9 valoraciones)
Longitud:
25 horas
Editorial:
Publicado:
Jun 7, 2016
ISBN:
9781515975649
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descripción

Many nations define themselves in terms of territory or people; China defines itself in terms of history. Taking into account the country's unrivaled, voluminous tradition of history writing, John Keay has composed a vital and illuminating overview of the nation's complex and vivid past. Keay's authoritative history examines 5,000 years in China, from the time of the Three Dynasties through Chairman Mao and the current economic transformation of the country. Crisp, judicious, and engaging, China is the classic single-volume history for anyone seeking to understand the present and future of this immensely powerful nation.
Editorial:
Publicado:
Jun 7, 2016
ISBN:
9781515975649
Formato:
Audiolibro

Sobre el autor

JOHN KEAY has been a professional writer, scholar, broadcaster and traveller for more than 40 years. He has written and presented over 100 documentaries for BBC Radios 3 and 4 and is the author of some two dozen books mainly on Asia and exploration. His narrative histories India: A History, China: A History and on the East India Company are widely regarded as standard works. A Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund, his prose has been described as 'exquisite' (The Observer) and his historical analysis as 'forensic' (The Guardian). He has also edited The Royal Geographical Society's History of World Exploration and encyclopaedias of both Scotland and London. For his literary contribution to Asian studies, he was awarded the Royal Society for Asian Affairs' Sir Percy Sykes Memorial Medal in 2009. His home is in Argyll, where he cooks indifferently and tries to grow things.


Relacionado con China

Audiolibros relacionados


Reseñas

Lo que piensa la gente sobre China

4.4
9 valoraciones / 5 Reseñas
¿Qué te pareció?
Calificación: 0 de 5 estrellas

Reseñas de lectores

  • (5/5)
    John Keay's China does a careful, judicious job of picking apart loads of misconceptions about China. He also takes frequent opportunities to place China in the wider world of the time, often showing how much more China was advanced/civilized/populous. I highly recommend it.
  • (4/5)
    After reading Jonathan Fenby's History of Modern China, I felt the need to go further back into time and learn about The Middle Kingdom before the 1800s. As a single volume history of China covering thousands of years of history up to roughly 1949, John Keay's China: A History generally fits the bill.Naturally, as with any single volume history, the level of detail is very cursory in parts. Keay quickly moves over the numerous emperors and dynasties of China and highlights some of the court intrigues and machinations that caused major convulsions in the land. Further mention is also given to the various minorities in Chinese history. What results is a continuous cycle of rise and fall that exchanged one dynasty for the next. Subsequently, we see that China was never some monolithic empire than stretched back, unbroken, for 5,000 years. Rather, it was a series of competing factions and kingdoms where occasionally one managed to conquer and hold large swathes of territory for some period of time. That is,until the next court disaster, rebellion, conqueror, or nomadic horde swept in.My biggest problem with this book is that it's in need of more editing. Keay's writing is frequently wordy and often goes off on tangents. It's difficult to see where the overall narrative comes together because Keay jumps from topic to topic. It doesn't help that he's covering centuries (sometimes millennia) of history in a handful of pages. After a while, it seems like one rebellion, invasion, or backroom court intrigue is the same as the last. The final chapter of the book is an incredibly short glossing over of China from 1900-1949. Basically, WWII happened and the Communists beat the Nationalists. China has been Communist ever since, Mao was a walking disaster, and its economy is currently growing. It's almost like Keay planned to write another volume covering post-1900s China, but instead decided to give it lip service and cram in all in 50 pages. From my understanding, Keay is more of an expert on the history of India and his book on that country is better.Overall, I'd say that the book will be a chore if you're not prepared for the wordiness of it. The writing and historiography is ok, but it seems more journalistic than scholarly. Not the greatest history I've read, but not the worst either. It just seems a bit mediocre.
  • (5/5)

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona

    Just what I wanted - an accessible and well written history of the middle kingdom covering the social, political and dynastic history right up to the ascent of Mao. It's got it all; territorial expansion, dynastic struggles, the interplay between Daoism, Buddhism and Confucian values, the Mongols, evolution of technology and literature, opium wars, the Generalisimo etc, What I found particularly interesting were the recurrent themes of the `mandate of heaven', the importance attributed to history in Chinese society and the repeated inability of `new' empires to consolidate gains. However, with so much to cover, no one area is dealt with in great depth and those seeking more detail, about recent history in particular, might wish to look elsewhere.I've read a couple of other titles by Keay and found his writing style hard work. Happily I cannot say the same for this book, which I've enjoyed reading immensely and learned a great deal in the process. The maps and photos within are clear and informative too. I find it hard to imagine that there are any significantly better single-volume histories of China available.

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona

  • (4/5)

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona

    Keays notes in his introduction that while most educated westerners would have little difficulty in naming half a dozen Roman emperors, very few could name a single Chinese emperor. This is partly due to the difficulty westerners have in remembering Chinese names but also reflects a more general ignorance of Chinese history. I've certainly felt that deficiency myself for quite some time, but was unable to fine a book to rectify it. I was delighted to see positive reviews of Keays' one volume (535 pages) history and grabbed it soon after it came out in paperback. It does exactly what it says on the cover. It's naturally only an overview of China's long history from the mythical five emperors to workshop of the world. We see dynasties rise and fall and periods of terrible chaos and fragmentation in between. But there are patterns here and insights that hold true for nearly the whole of China's history (the Mao period being possibly the only exception). Legitimacy for Chinese rulers comes from history hence the confusing tendency for new dynasties to name themselves after old ones. Continuity is stressed over innovation and change, putting China at a terrible disadvantage when it comes to dealing with western powers and Japan in the C19th. Linked to this is the Confucian requirement that respect is always due to elders and ancestors and to an extent much greater than in other civilisations. Keays prose is decent on the whole, although he does have a tendency to use rather long-winded sentences at times. On the whole the narrative is as readable as it could be given the rather bewildering succession of similarly named emperors. The book does its job in giving the reader a basic overview of 3,000+ of Chinese history which can be used as a springboard to explore periods or themes in more detail. My only real quibble is that rather too much of the story is devoted to changes in the ruling elites. Keays feels he has to at least mention every emperor whether noteworthy or not. When he digresses to economic or social history its much more engrossing. Overall though, very solid.

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona

  • (4/5)

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona

    On the whole, I would say that this is a very good book. I have read a bit about Chinese history when I was living there, and was very confused by certain epochs in ancient Chinese History, like the period of the Warring States. John Keay does a very good job in writing about this, and his use of maps makes this very clear. The reasons for the fall of the various dynasties is also detailed very well, and considerable space is given to the Qing. I would have personally wished for a little more detail on the Yuan, as well as some more detail on the period of China post 1946. This period has been extremely tumultuous, and the country has been transformed. Perhaps, a future edition will dwell more on this. All in all, a very good introduction to the history of China in one volume.

    Esto le resultó útil a 1 persona