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Download The Search for Modern China Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Search for Modern China (Unabridged), by Jonathan D. Spence
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (789 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jonathan D. Spence Narrator: Frederick Davidso Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The history of China is as rich and strange as that of any country on earth. Yet for many, China's history remains unknown, or known only through the stylized images that generations in the West have cherished or reviled as truth.

With his command of character and event - the product of 30 years of research and reflection in the field - Spence dispels those myths in a powerful narrative. Over four centuries of Chinese history, from the waning days of the once-glorious Ming Dynasty to Deng Xiaoping's bloody suppression of the pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square, Spence fashions the astonishing story of the effort to achieve a modern China. Through the ideas and emotions of its reformist Confucian scholars, its poets, novelists, artists, and visionary students, we see one of the world's oldest cultures struggling to define itself as Chinese and modern.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “To understand…China’s past there is no better place to start than Jonathan D. Spence’s excellent new book.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Monumental…History that is always lively, always concrete, always comprehensible.”

    New York Times

  • “Rich and dramatic…A pleasure to read, as well as being immensely informative.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “A remarkable achievement…vivid…fluent, graceful…A publishing event.”

    Boston Globe

  • “History at its best…All in the vivid, accessible style for which the author is well known.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “A splendid achievement, this sweeping 1088-page epic chronicle compresses four centuries of political and social change into a sharply observant narrative.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The difficulty of finding a complete, one-volume history of China is no longer a problem with publication of this work…The text is written in an informative manner that will appeal to students…High-school teachers will bless you for buying this well-researched volume.”

    School Library Journal

  • A 1990 New York Times Book Review Book of the Year
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice for 1990

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Erica | 2/10/2014

    " It may be used as a textbook, but the book nonetheless has a compelling narrative flow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Frosh | 2/6/2014

    " No other survey on the subject touches this, and if you're enrolled in a class pertaining to modern China, you'll no doubt encounter it. For the more casual reader, Spence's "biographies" are the place to go (Mao, Kangxi, Return to Dragon Mountain, Hong Xiuquan). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Patty Chang | 1/23/2014

    " Seems like a good comprehensive review of Chinese history, I was particularly interested in the last chapters that deal with the beginnings of the communist rise to power and the battles with the Kuomintang. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by James | 1/1/2014

    " A scholarly and detailed history of the twentieth century in China. Well-written and well-researched, it has been a useful tool for personal study and academic work. "

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About the Author
Author Jonathan D. Spence

Jonathan D. Spence is Sterling Professor of History at Yale University. He is the author of a distinguished body of work on the history of modern China. Among his most recent books are God’s Chinese Son: The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom of Hong Xiuquan and The Chan’s Great Continent: China in Western Minds.