The Reith Lectures 2008


20080603Chinese Vistas

Jonathan Spence lectures about China.

1/4. Confucian Ways

Recorded at the British Library in London, Spence reflects on China's most enduring thinker, Confucius. Who was this man, what did he believe in, and what contemporary relevance does his message have, nearly 2,500 years after his death?

The Confucian message has survived countless attacks and is being recycled by the Chinese Communist leadership today.

20080610Chinese Vistas

Jonathan Spence lectures about China.

2/4. English Lessons

Spence examines China's relations with the United Kingdom through three centuries of trade, warfare, unequal treaties and missionary endeavours that shaped their mutual perceptions.

20080617Chinese Vistas

Jonathan Spence lectures about China.

3/4. American Dreams

Recorded at The Asian Society in New York.

Spence explores the two centuries in which the United States gradually moved from its position as a dominant beacon of freedom and democracy for China, to becoming a more demanding global rival during and since World War II. Is America right to be wary of the emerging superpower or can the two economic and military giants co-exist happily?

20080621Chinese Vistas: Jonathan Spence lectures about China. 3/4: American Dreams. Spence explores the relationship between China and the US over two centuries.
20080624Chinese Vistas

Jonathan Spence lectures about China.

4/4. The Body Beautiful

Recorded at Lord's cricket ground.

Spence discusses how Chinese ideas of sport and athleticism have slowly evolved over the centuries, from languorous courtship and formalised martial arts to the demanding arenas of team sports and the ultimate Olympic challenges that China will controversially host in August.