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Download The Search for Modern China Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Search for Modern China (Unabridged) Audiobook, 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 Davidson Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2012 ISBN:
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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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ede | 12/25/2013

    " An excellent and easily readable overview of the past 300 years of Chinese history. One could always complain that it's too American(/Western)-biased but it's probably the best you can get. It's about time for the 3rd edition or a follow-up. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John Hilton | 12/23/2013

    " Outstanding history of modern China. Highly recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 12/22/2013

    " 728 pages of Ming dynasty through present day Chinese politics. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebecca Radnor | 12/17/2013

    " REALLY well written book. We were assigned it in a course on the history of Modern China. More history books should be this well written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 R. August | 10/22/2013

    " It was written by Spence. That should be enough. Engaging writing style, fluid transitions from topic to topic, thorough and well documented. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 R. | 10/10/2013

    " text-booky, but thorough - a good place to start for a scholarly intro to Chinese history "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jake | 9/20/2013

    " Simply the best book for the modern history of China. Spence is a very good writer of history. This is easy to read and fascinating to study. If your interested in China, this is the place to start. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 NRoe | 9/13/2013

    " My experience with China and studying China and writing papers about China would be nothing like what it is without the aid of Jonathan Spence and the many many times I've used this index/perused this book. Thank god for Jon... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 8/20/2013

    " i haven't even finished this yet but it's amazing so far. A+++++ spence is also a phenomenal lecturer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Britt | 8/16/2013

    " The essential reference book on modern Chinese history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie Prather | 7/13/2013

    " Really long but shockingly easy to digest. More of a story history book than a reference history book, but fatter. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 6/20/2013

    " Immense and impressive, the likes of it will never be seen in this land again! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick | 4/23/2013

    " A good author for what can be a very hard to follow history for Americans. Spence's other books make for more interesting reading, at least to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Sieger | 3/30/2013

    " A great history book for anyone who wants to know why China is the way it is today. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Larry | 1/5/2013

    " I read this book while doing multiple courses at Harvard University on China. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ryan | 12/26/2012

    " wonderful, well-researched account of chinese history. let's face it, the china-force is an interesting phenomenon. this book is a great guide for anyone interested in investigating it. "

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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.

About the Narrator

Frederick Davidson (1932–2005), also known as David Case, was one of the most prolific readers in the audiobook industry, recording more than eight hundred audiobooks in his lifetime, including over two hundred for Blackstone Audio. Born in London, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and performed for many years in radio plays for the British Broadcasting Company before coming to America in 1976. He received AudioFile’s Golden Voice Award and numerous Earphones Awards and was nominated for a Grammy for his readings.