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Chinese history

A Brief History of Harmonicas

 A Brief History of Harmonicas

The deceptively simple harmonica has roots as far back as ancient China, though it really came into its own in Europe in the 1800s. See more »

The Great Famine

 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. See more »

The Great Leap Forward

 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. See more »

China's Foot Binding Tradition

 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? See more »

Boxer Rebellion

 Boxer Rebellion

"It was a culture clash of epic proportions. The Boxer Rebellion, also called the Boxer Uprising, was a gruesome, violent slaughter of Chinese Christians and foreigners – followed by a gruesome, violent slaughter of the Boxers. " See more »

 China's Empress Dowager Cixi

After becoming a concubine for Emperor Xianfeng at the age of 16, Cixi rose to power when he died and her young son inherited the throne. She governed China from behind a screen for more than 45 years, and eventually sealed the fate of the Qing Dynasty. See more »

 A Sampling of Historic Spirits, Part 1

Ancient alcohol can tell us a lot about a society. In this episode, Sarah and Deblina cover millennia-old residues left behind in Chinese pottery, Egyptian jars and more. They also explore the science behind identifying the ingredients of these brews. See more »

 Don't Cross the Dragon Lady, Cheng I Sao

When people think of pirates, they usually picture male, western scoundrels flouting the law throughout the Caribbean. However, piracy is not a solely western pursuit. Listen in as Deblina and Sarah recount the exploits of pirates in the South China Sea. See more »

 Did Empress Wu's reign change China?

During the Tong Dynasty, Chinese women were often treated as second-class citizens. This made the rise of Empress Wu even more extraordinary. But did her work have a lasting effect? Learn more about how -- or if -- Empress Wu permanently changed China. See more »

 The Trung Sisters vs China

The Trung sisters were daughters of a Vietnamese lord in the first century, when Vietnam was occupied by the Han Dynasty. Listen in and learn how these remarkable leaders fought to free their kingdom and why they remain highly revered in Vietnam today. See more »