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.
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Indispensable for understanding the US China relationship
- D. Keith
Informative, disquieting, captivating
among the best
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
Pronunciation of Chinese words that is almost but not quite right
The chapters about US behavior toward China during WWII were a revelation and painful to listen to for an American
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