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Extended Audio Sample Nixon and Mao: The Week That Changed the World Audiobook, by Margaret MacMillan Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (351 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Margaret MacMillan Narrator: Barbara Caruso Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2015 ISBN: 9781436102360
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Before 1972, no American president had visited communist China. So history was made, and both nations profoundly altered, when Nixon and Mao met in Beijing <#150> economically, politically, and culturally. Hear about this vital, transformative conference Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Richard Nixon’s 1972 visit to Beijing to open relations with Communist China was both a Cold War milestone and compelling political theater. Diplomatic historian MacMillan…gives a lively account of the pomp and protocol surrounding the trip…The author fills in the background with colorful, incisive biographical sketches and a lucid history of Sino-American relations…she turns a potentially dry diplomatic story into a fascinating study in high-wire diplomacy, full of intrigue and drama.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel Kukwa | 2/19/2014

    " It isn't quite on the level of "Paris 1919", for one reason: Nixon doesn't usually warrant writing of this calibre, and there's something ironic about a Canadian historian writing the definitive work on a key moment of Cold War detente. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison | 2/16/2014

    " This was a great in-depth into the history, people and thinking that went into Nixon's famous trip into China during 1972. Most certainly, the week Nixon spent in China changed the course of world history. One could argue whether it was inevitable or not that China would eventually emerge on the world stage, but it's hard to imagine someone like Gerald Ford or Jimmy Carter making the first forays. After reading Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power this past summer, I had a lot of the background knowledge into the Nixon Administration's foreign policy decisions, but Macmillan's equal focus on Mao was quite interesting. A great read for anyone looking to better understand the history of the US/China relationship. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tian Chen | 2/9/2014

    " Engaging. Informative. Author has a lively style, a knack for describing the various players that seems real, and human. Drawing on extensive sources, this is a must-read for anybody interested in one of the most significant events that utterly changed the geo-political balance of the cold war. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 2/1/2014

    " I know more than I did before, but the chronological jumping (which only starts after about a third of the book being linear in time) was annoying. Far worse, though, was the repeated references to The China Lobby without any explanation of what it was (Taiwanese ex-pats? hard-core Republicans? both? organized?). Not even one sentence about it, and yet it's thrown about as one of the intense domestic pressures Nixon faced at home. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ian | 1/28/2014

    " I didn't get very far into this book. I started it, was intrigued, then put it down for long periods of time before picking it up again. The way MacMillan writes is very confusing. She inserts tangents in very random places and follows it with other tangents. She took an interesting topic and overwhelmed it with back stories. I did learn things I didn't know about such figures like Mao, Henry Kissinger and Chiang Kai-Shek, but it took away from the main points of her book. She was supposed to write about the week Nixon visited China and instead cluttered it up with historical information about everything that led up to that visit, whether it was vital to the story or not. I'm sure if I had kept reading I would have been more engrossed. She had to have gotten to the point eventually. But I had wasted enough time being stuck on this book, and decided to move on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mk100 | 1/21/2014

    " A terrific primer on a crucial episode. This would not be able to be kept secret today. Really well-written and interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jr | 1/20/2014

    " Excellent account of how the Vietnam War ended and how America finally recognized the People's Republic of China. Also shows how paranoid Nixon was! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margaret Sankey | 1/10/2014

    " MacMillan traces the paradigm-changing meeting of Nixon and Mao from the Kissinger arranged secret diplomacy through all the public touristy meetings with pandas and the Great Wall and all the ceremonial drinking to the one-on-one conversations, reconstructed from the participants, translators and bystanders. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 1/2/2014

    " I really like the format of one pivotal moment surrounded by chapters of context. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom | 12/29/2013

    " The behind-the-scenes Cold War statecraft makes for compelling reading, here. It is plain to me we need to remember the full arc of Nixon's accomplishment and impact is not merely as a criminal conspirator. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nathan | 12/13/2013

    " I made it through about 3/4 of this book before I finally had to put it down. It was well written, but it read more like a history textbook and I couldn't take it anymore. Some parts of the book were very interesting, but the author couldn't sustain that momentum throughout. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom | 11/18/2013

    " The behind-the-scenes Cold War statecraft makes for compelling reading, here. It is plain to me we need to remember the full arc of Nixon's accomplishment and impact is not merely as a criminal conspirator. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Simon | 11/15/2013

    " really fantastic. It doesn't limit itself to the events of that week, but gives an excellent summary of Sino-American relations up to that point and brief but informative biographies of all the major participants "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aiden Wylie | 11/10/2013

    " There are some atrocious errors in this otherwise interesting book. To name but one; the author claims Ed Muskie was the democratic candidate in 1972. This is an important book, but basic inaccuracies are off-putting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fred | 8/6/2013

    " Fans and detractors of Nixon will enjoy this book as the subject is bigger than just the US President. The writing style is amenable to the casual reader regardless of his position on the political-history buff continuum. Well done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rylan McQuade | 9/13/2012

    " Really, really good. The author does a great job of drawing you into the drama and getting inside of all the characters' heads without growing artificially dramatic on the one hand or boring you on the other. MacMillan is a superb author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christina | 5/1/2012

    " Much detail about the Mao/Nixon meeting in 1972 and the Kissinger/En-Lai meetings that led up to it. The book gave a bit more information than I needed, but it was readable enough that I was able to persevere through to the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna | 3/12/2012

    " Not nearly as good as Paris 1919, but I think that's the subject, rather than the author's skill. This was a readable, interesting book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Halldór Thorgeirsson | 3/3/2012

    " This books gives much deeper understanding of Nixon and what motivated him in office. The image provided of Mao makes him appear like a monster. Chou En-lai emerges as a key figure. The relationship (or lack there of) between the White House and the State Department puts envents in a new light. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Patrick Grady | 3/2/2011

    " learned some but slow, somewhat dull read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel | 1/3/2011

    " It isn't quite on the level of "Paris 1919", for one reason: Nixon doesn't usually warrant writing of this calibre. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Halldór | 8/24/2010

    " This books gives much deeper understanding of Nixon and what motivated him in office. The image provided of Mao makes him appear like a monster. Chou En-lai emerges as a key figure. The relationship (or lack there of) between the White House and the State Department puts envents in a new light. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mk100 | 1/4/2010

    " A terrific primer on a crucial episode. This would not be able to be kept secret today. Really well-written and interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jr | 9/24/2009

    " Excellent account of how the Vietnam War ended and how America finally recognized the People's Republic of China. Also shows how paranoid Nixon was! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rod | 6/28/2009

    " Excellent history. Your knowledge of the late 60's and early 70's will certainly be enhanced "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frédérique | 4/7/2009

    " I'm not sure why it says Nixon and Mao on the cover of this book. It was published under the title "Nixon in China" in Canada. I guess maybe that title was taken in the US. Nixon was kind of awesome despite the evil corruption stuff. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anna | 11/26/2008

    " Too many important details left out. Like the whole thing was arranged by Nixon's CFR handler Kissinger.

    I'm not thinking the whole transfer our wealth to the Chinese has worked out too well. "

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About the Author

Margaret MacMillan is a historian and professor at the University of Oxford, where she is Warden of St Antony’s College. She is former provost of Trinity College and professor of history at the University of Toronto and previously at Ryerson University. A leading expert on history and international relations, she is a frequent commentator in the media.

About the Narrator

Barbara Caruso is an accomplished actress and critically acclaimed audiobook narrator. A graduate of London’s prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, she was a featured player in the Royal Shakespeare Company. She has played starring roles on Broadway and in theaters across the country. She won the Alexander Scourby Reader of the Year Award for her performances of young adult fiction, and has more than one hundred audiobook narrations to her credit. She has won twenty-two AudioFile Earphones Awards.