China

Zheng He and the Treasure Ships

Zheng He led expeditionary voyages from China in the 15th century. While there are many tall tales about his accomplishments, his actual life was pretty spectacular without them.

China and Japan After the Doolittle Raid

After the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, the punishment that Japanese forces doled out in China for their part in helping the U.S. was brutal and devastating. From terror occupations to biological warfare, many of China's towns were systematically destroyed.

China's Cultural Revolution: Rewriting a Nation

In 1969, the tone and direction of the Cultural Revolution shifted dramatically. For the next seven years, until Mao Zedong's death, he tried to remake the government, and the country, after his own vision. Read the show notes here.

China's Cultural Revolution: Red Guard and Purges

Mao's plan to once again put China on the path to modernization was the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. The first phase was a very aggressive, radical series of purges and arrests that went from 1966 to 1968. Read the show notes here.

The Great Famine

In the wake of the Great Leap Forward, issues with supply and demand, variables of weather and labor and a series of poor decisions resulted in a devastating famine. For three years, China struggled, far removed from the utopia Mao had envisioned. Read the show notes here.

The Great Leap Forward

In the mid-20th century, Chairman Mao Zedong launched an ambitious plan to revolutionize Chinese agriculture and industry, build up the economy and turn China into a communist utopia. Read the show notes here.

Ruth Harkness and the First Panda in the U.S.

In the 1930s a New York socialite had a dream. She wanted to be the first person to capture a panda from Asia and return to the western world with it. Her quest had a significant impact on the way the Western world viewed wild animals. Read the show notes here.

China's Foot Binding Tradition

Foot binding was practiced in China for more than 1,000 years -- far longer than can be attributed to a mere cultural or fashion fad. Why did such an extreme type of body modification become such an ingrained part of the culture for so long? Read the show notes here.

Did Genghis Khan really kill 1,748,000 people in one hour?

Genghis Khan has more death attributed to him than any other person in history. Learn about Genghis Kahn and the siege Genghis Khan conducted on Nishapur.