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Biography as the Way, a Window into Chinese History

Kerry BrownKerry Brown talks about the massive and overwhelmingly ambitious Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography – the first work of its kind in over a century. Brown explains his lifelong interest in biography and presents Chinese biography as a uniquely useful way to get a handle on historical events over long periods of time. He and publisher Karen Christensen talk about why creating the Dictionary of Chinese Biography took so much longer than they thought it would, and how its expert-written essays on hundreds of individuals can help us understand China and our world. Length: 22 minutes.

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Kerry Brown
is professor of Chinese Studies and director of the Lau China Institute, Kings College in London. Previously, he was professor and director of the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. Brown is the author of CEO, China: The Rise of Xi Jinping (2016), What’s wrong with Diplomacy: The Case of the UK and China (2015), and China and the EU in Context (2014). He is also the editor-in-chief of the Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography and the forthcoming Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, 2nd Edition (2018).

Karen ChristensenKaren Christensen is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Berkshire Publishing Group and a writer specializing in sustainability and community with a focus on China. One of her current projects is with George R. Goethals and Crystal L. Hoyt of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond. They are coediting Women and Leadership: History, Concepts, and Case Studies (A Berkshire Essential), and Christensen has ensured that there coverage of China and other parts of the world, including articles on Wu Zetian and Cixi drawn from the Berkshire Dictionary of Chinese Biography.


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