BBC Reith Lectures 2008: Chinese Vistas
The 60th anniversary Reith Lectures take China as their subject, and are given by the eminent historian Professor Jonathan Spence, Sterling Professor of History at Yale University.
The title of the lectures is 'Chinese Vistas'. China's breathtaking economic growth over the last twenty-five years has transformed it into a great power. At the same time, for many people in the West its extraordinary past makes it an object of suspicion and mistrust. But there can be no doubt that it's a country which will have a significant influence over all of our lives in the years to come. In these lectures, we'll be exploring how it works and what makes it tick. Our guide is a man who knows China very well indeed. He's Sterling Professor of History at Yale University and is recognised as one of the foremost scholars of Chinese civilisation from the 16th century to the present day. "To understand China today", he says, "you have to understand its past."
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