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Publisher's Summary

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.
©2009 John Keay (P)2016 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By John on 10-16-16

Needs new narrator

While the book itself seems great, a well researched and compact history with lively prose, the narrator clearly knows no Chinese and her frequent mispronunciation of names and places makes for difficult listening. E.g. 中国 as jong gwa, 夏 as "shee-yah", 秋 as "chew" These and many more become rather grating and make it hard to take the content itself seriously. Would gladly buy the book again with a new narration

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13 of 14 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jacob Schroeder on 06-20-17

Exactly what I was looking for in a Chinese history book

This is an excellent narration of a marathon in book format. It is difficult to speed up the narration due to the complexity of its content and I listened at 1.5 speed. China has thousands of years and millions of pages and scrolls of history compiled here in a short but furious 600 pages. With sweeping narratives, cheeky sarcasm and timely repetition of key ideas, I highly recommend this book and narration both, since the book contains graphs and important spelling of names and the narration provides pronunciation of said names. Give yourself one month to work your way through this behemoth at the pace of about one chapter per day prior to visiting China or for a better personal understanding of China's trajectory.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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