Learning more about China - where do I start?
October 15, 2012 12:16 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend me podcasts, books, TV documentaries, articles or journals (in English) where I could learn more about China, such as Chinese politics, history, culture and other important things?
posted by EatMyHat to Education (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
On a day to day basis - The Sinocism China Newsletter is the best way to keep up with chinese news and politics.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 12:33 AM on October 15, 2012

Depends what you consider important, but I found Wild China an incredible insight into the wildlife and habitats of the country - highly recommended.
posted by tzb at 1:35 AM on October 15, 2012

The answers to this AskMe has links to some Teaching Company lectures. They are pretty expensive to buy, but a lot of libraries have them, so you can get them via interlibrary loan without too much problem.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:26 AM on October 15, 2012

Before traveling to China a number of years ago, I read, "Red Star Over China" by Edgar Snow. I thought it was fascinating given his perspective on Mao and what we know about how that whole chapter in their history turned out. The Chinese people I spoke with were surprised and appreciative of how much I knew of their history. It was embarassing and humbling for me to realize when I got there how much more they knew of my history and culture than I knew of theirs so I applaud your plans.
posted by eleslie at 6:25 AM on October 15, 2012

I listen to The Chinese History Podcast through iTunes. Pretty great history show. Also, there's a pretty badass documentary on Chinese cuisine here.
posted by seansbrain at 9:49 AM on October 15, 2012

I think you might take a look at "scar literature". and Mao: The Unknown Story, and Snow's later work, The Other Side of the River. There's a fair amount of controversy about Snow and Mao.
posted by Ideefixe at 10:16 AM on October 15, 2012

From BBC radio 4: China: As History is My Witness
"Carrie Gracie presents a series exploring what ten great lives from Chinese history reveal about China today." The episodes are only 15 minutes long but I've found them pretty interesting.
posted by Erberus at 11:36 AM on October 15, 2012

Is Chinese food at all interesting? I found Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper, by Fuchsia Dunlop, absolutely fascinating; she's an Englishwoman who trained as a chef in China, and the book's a view of China and its cuisines through that lens.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 2:28 PM on October 15, 2012

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