Great State by Timothy Brook audiobook

Great State: China and the World

By Timothy Brook
Read by Timothy Brook

HarperAudio, HarperCollins 9780062950987
18.28 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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The world-renowned scholar and author of Vermeer’s Hat does for China what Mary Beard did for Rome in SPQR: Timothy Brook analyzes the last eight centuries of China’s relationship with the world in this magnificent history that brings together accounts from civil servants, horse traders, spiritual leaders, explorers, pirates, emperors, migrant workers, invaders, visionaries, and traitors—creating a multifaceted portrait of this highly misunderstood nation. China is one of the oldest states in the world. It achieved its approximate current borders with the Ascendancy of the Yuan dynasty in the thirteenth century, and despite the passing of one Imperial dynasty to the next, has maintained them for the eight centuries since. China remained China through the Ming, the Qing, the Republic, the Occupation, and Communism. But despite the desires of some of the most powerful people in the Great State through the ages, China has never been alone in the world. It has had to contend with invaders as well as foreign traders and imperialists. Its rulers for the majority of the last eight centuries have not been Chinese. China became a mega-state not by conquering others, Timothy Brook contends, but rather by being conquered by others and then claiming right of succession to the empires of those Great States. What the Mongols and Manchu ruling families wrought, the Chinese ruling families of the Ming, the Republic, and the People’s Republic, have perpetuated. Yet a contemporary Chinese idea of a ‘fatherland’ that is, and always has been, completely and naturally Chinese persists. Brook argues that China, like everywhere, is the outcome of history, and like every state, rests on its capacities to conquer and suppress. In The Great State, Brook examines China’s relationship with the world at large for the first time, from the Yuan through to the present, by following the stories of ordinary and extraordinary people navigating the spaces where China met, and continues to meet, the world.

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Summary

Summary

The world-renowned scholar and author of Vermeer’s Hat does for China what Mary Beard did for Rome in SPQR: Timothy Brook analyzes the last eight centuries of China’s relationship with the world in this magnificent history that brings together accounts from civil servants, horse traders, spiritual leaders, explorers, pirates, emperors, migrant workers, invaders, visionaries, and traitors—creating a multifaceted portrait of this highly misunderstood nation. China is one of the oldest states in the world. It achieved its approximate current borders with the Ascendancy of the Yuan dynasty in the thirteenth century, and despite the passing of one Imperial dynasty to the next, has maintained them for the eight centuries since. China remained China through the Ming, the Qing, the Republic, the Occupation, and Communism. But despite the desires of some of the most powerful people in the Great State through the ages, China has never been alone in the world. It has had to contend with invaders as well as foreign traders and imperialists. Its rulers for the majority of the last eight centuries have not been Chinese.

China became a mega-state not by conquering others, Timothy Brook contends, but rather by being conquered by others and then claiming right of succession to the empires of those Great States. What the Mongols and Manchu ruling families wrought, the Chinese ruling families of the Ming, the Republic, and the People’s Republic, have perpetuated. Yet a contemporary Chinese idea of a ‘fatherland’ that is, and always has been, completely and naturally Chinese persists. Brook argues that China, like everywhere, is the outcome of history, and like every state, rests on its capacities to conquer and suppress.

In The Great State, Brook examines China’s relationship with the world at large for the first time, from the Yuan through to the present, by following the stories of ordinary and extraordinary people navigating the spaces where China met, and continues to meet, the world.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A dizzying and exhilarating journey…Understanding how China sees itself and how it justifies its actions is critical to understanding today’s world. Great State offers some compelling lessons for today and for all our futures.” New Statesman
“Offers a fresh look at China’s engagement with the outside world over centuries in the form of thirteen illustrative stories…This is an ingenious look at an often misunderstood country.” Kirkus Reviews
“Brook convincingly argues that the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) was a critical moment in Chinese history…[and] introduced the concept of the Great State, which the author defines as ‘the right to extend authority…out across the entire world’…These stories of Chinese explorers, Portuguese merchants, Japanese occupiers, and more challenge the myth that China was historically a closed country…[An] enjoyable read.” Library Journal

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Timothy Brook

Author Bio: Timothy Brook

Timothy Brook is the author of several books, including Vermeer’s Hat, Confusions of Pleasure, and Great State. He is a professor and writer on Chinese and world history at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada. A native of Toronto and graduate of the University of Toronto, he moved from Toronto in 2004 to become principal of St. John’s College at UBC, where he was named to the Republic of China Chair. He previously held positions at the University of Alberta, Stanford University, and the University of Oxford, where he was Shaw Professor of Chinese from 2007 to 2009.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 18.28
Audience: Adult
Language: English