The Modern Scholar: The People's Dynasty

  • by Robert J. Shepherd
  • Narrated by Robert J. Shepherd
  • 7 hrs and 12 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

The state-directed opening of the Chinese economy in 1979 led to a number of radical transformations within Chinese society, but Western understanding of these changes is often limited by erroneous assumptions. Offering a clear picture of the vast economic and social forces of modern-day China, Professor Robert J. Shepherd addresses U.S. investment in China, China's startling economic growth, state vs. society issues in the vast republic, and the effect of social and cultural change on the Chinese people.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

From China's Perspective

This is an excellent modern scholar audiobook because it successfully tries to do something unusual: explain to a Western audience why many mainland Chinese are content with the continued rule of the Chinese Communist Party, and do not necessarily see their continued authoritarian rule as a bad thing. It emphasizes the practical needs and desires of most of the Chinese population, carefully explaining their perspective to a western audience. From the western perspective, this is crucial to explaining the elephant in the room when talking about China: why, two decades after Tianamen, the Chinese people (and especially their youth) do not appear to be much interested in democracy or political rights. Shepherd serves as a rare example of a strong effort to grapple with this question.

Nor does Shepherd avoid criticism. He highlights many of the social divisions and inequities that are a product of modern China (legal distinctions of citizens based on geography, growing economic disparity, practical problems caused by a lack of intellectual property rights, the CCP's powerlessness to prevent many negative phenomenon). These provide insight into the practical concerns that animate the CCP and policy types within China itself.

Shepherd's lecture style is a bit more laid back than, for instance, the indomitable Drout, but the audiobook is still very well put together overall.
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- Craig

Good Overall Information

This is trully a lecture. The reader isn't a professional speaker, he sounds like a teacher. That said, once you realize that this is a lecture, it's pretty interesting.

Compared to most of the popular books on China that focus merely on it becoming a world power, or focus merely on it's economic or political interest, this one focuses on getting to know China from many different angles. I think that the professor really tries to present the information in a unbiased way. Also, after many of the depressing books that I have read about China, this one is for sure more uplifting because it's not focused on the bad but an overall view so you understand China in many different aspects.
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- Katie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-22-2010
  • Publisher: Recorded Books