I don't know if this is already well-known in communist circles or people don't care at all and have never heard of this podcast lol, but here is my advice: if you want to learn the history of china, don't waste your time with this podcast.
Basically Chris Stewart, the host, is an anti-communist American living in China. He teaches at an American school in China. That is already sus.
In episode 38, he called the marxist analysis of class conflict ahistorical (class conflict that is) without elaborating. Talking about the battle of Guandu during the 3 Kingdoms period, he said the nationalist (Chiang Kai Shek's) analysis was through the personalities of the commanders (as was customary) whereas Mao's analysis was on the stratagems used that led to victory. He then went on to rant that to "Maoists" (I doubt he even knows what that means), this battle was part of the class struggle "even though both were warlords", and that it was a "very ideological analysis". What I think he meant to say was that Mao made this analysis in a specific context and made a marxist analysis of the battle. Not that "maoists" (I think he meant marxists in general) uphold Cao Cao as some great champion of the people lol. Or in other words, what Mao thought of Cao Cao was his business only and Chris would not even have ranted about it if China was not the PRC today.
(Also, remind me who won the civil war Chris?)
I thought it would be a cool series to learn about the lengthy and sometimes complicated history of China, and it works on that regard, but just think: if he can drop stuff like that without substantiating, where else did he mislead us? Where is he going to mislead us?
But above all I want to say, who cares what the KMT and CPC thought of this battle that happened 2000 years earlier. Cross that bridge when you get there on episode 600 or whenever.
I saw a later episode, completely out of topic but released to commemorate the Tian An Men colour revolution, was titled "UK cable on Tiananmen square massacre". You know, the cable from an overlord diplomat in colonial Hong Kong, who heard what happened in Beijing and relayed that in a cable (without naming his sources). Despite nobody else who was in Tiananmen relaying the claims in that cable lmao. And yes, Chris reads the whole cable and then has the gall to claim he is doing a history podcast 😂
His podcast is currently at the Ming dynasty, which was followed by the Qing dynasty and then the Republic of China, so he is slowly moving towards contemporary history and, inevitably, Mao and the PRC. What is he going to say about it?
I don't want to character-assassinate this guy I barely know but wow, finding his pasty white face online shattered any illusions I had about this podcast finally finding some sense and stop with the anti-communist slant. I thought he was at least ethnically Chinese but no, he's just an "expat" in China using a VPN to sell us his Patreon and Audible lol. Dude you can probably just ask the chinese gov to subsidize your show, I'm sure they would love teaching the world about the history of their own country.
On the history side of things, I find the podcast very bourgeois and oriented towards the dynasties. It's all about court intrigues so it's not entirely groundbreaking either. It's the kind of history lessons you got in high school. It is not a marxist analysis of China, nor is it about cultures, technology, mores, or civilisation. It's kinda hard to follow too, as we don't have maps over the audio format and he rarely reminds of the dates -- though I find it got better after the timeline switched to CE.
Yes Chris, there is such a thing as ideological readings, no matter what you think about it. And your ideological reading is the one of the noble dynasties close to the emperor that wrote this history down.
Is there anything better than this drivel to learn the history of China?