China and the Chinese

Read by David Barnes

(4.5 stars; 29 reviews)

Herbert Allen Giles (1845-1935) spent several years as a diplomat in China and in 1897 was appointed Cambridge University’s second professor of Chinese. His published works cover Chinese language and literature, history and philosophy.

This series of lectures, published as “China and the Chinese”, was given at Columbia University in 1902, to mark the establishment of a Chinese professorship there. The lectures were not intended for the specialist, more to urge a wider and more systematic study of China and its culture, and to encourage new students into the field.

While many of the observations are just as relevant today, others will remind us how much China has changed since the period of the Manchu Qing dynasty in which he wrote.(summary by David Barnes)

(4 hr 29 min)


Preface - Lecture 1 - The Chinese Language 45:27 Read by David Barnes
Lecture 2 - A Chinese Library 46:14 Read by David Barnes
Lecture 3 - Democratic China 43:56 Read by David Barnes
Lecture 4 - China and Ancient Greece 42:22 Read by David Barnes
Lecture 5 - Taoism 43:15 Read by David Barnes
Lecture 6 - Some Chinese Manners and Customs 47:55 Read by David Barnes


(5 stars)

Very interesting subject and a very good reader. This is a revision of my own review earlier in the day (four stars). It just dawned on me that, in order to give all the different intonations to the words in the Chinese language, the reader must be, either knowledgeable on the language or put a serious effort following the author's indications as to their pronunciation. Either way his efforts certainly command my respect. Many many thanks.


(5 stars)

I have gained much perspective and respect from listening to this amazing book. I had no idea of the tremendous amount of literature coming from China at such an early period before Christianity. This book has inspired me to research further some of the amazing Sages from those times. Great reader.

The very best LibriVox has to offer.

(5 stars)

I've listened to it 7 or 8 times. David's narration is perfect. Giles himself is a master rhetorician.

interesting book

(5 stars)

An interesting book - I initially worried it would be racist, imperialist garbage, but pleasantly surprised by the writer's respectful and sincere efforts to understand and share insight into a very different culture. The reader is great, too.