Comments on The Taiping Rebellion

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Taiping Rebellion.

Programme information and audio


    • 1. At 09:56am on 24 Feb 2011, David wrote:

      I know that countless listeners join me in strongly disliking your experts' post-modern mixing of present and past tenses in their descriptions and explanbations.
      A simple rule:Keep to the past or present tense when describing past events .Use the present tense for what is happening now. Surely listeners of "Our Time"
      do not need to be treated as little children needing to feel that they are actually present at an event of historical importance.
      David Biermann

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    • 2. At 3:29pm on 25 Feb 2011, Alan wrote:

      This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

    • 3. At 10:25pm on 25 Feb 2011, AshIslander wrote:

      I'm sure this question has been asked before, but as I'm a newcomer please indulge me.
      Why is the morning broadcast 45 minutes long, whilst the evening repeat is only 29 minutes long?
      Is the latter edited so that 30% of the content is missing (in which case I think this emasculates the programme) or is the evening recording speeded up to fit the allotted time span?
      It's not really feasible to listen to the former on iPlayer and the latter on the radio to compare the two.

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    • 4. At 08:59am on 26 Feb 2011, David Biermann wrote:

      May I please amend my original comment as I accidentally wrote "Keep to the past or present tense when describing past events". I meant ,of course,to write
      "Keep to the past tense when describing past events.
      Use the present tense for what is happening now".
      My apologies.

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    • 5. At 10:43am on 02 Mar 2011, John Thompson wrote:

      Taiping Christianity placed little emphasis on New Testament ideas of kindness, forgiveness, and redemption. Rather it emphasized the wrathful Old Testament God who demanded worship and obedience. Prostitution, foot-binding, and slavery were prohibited, as well as opium smoking, adultery, gambling, and use of tobacco and alcohol. Organization of the army was elaborate, with strict rules governing soldiers in camp and on the march. For those who followed these rules, an ultimate reward was promised. Zeng Guofan was astonished when, after the capture of Nanjing, almost 100,000 of the Taiping followers preferred death to capture.

      Under the Taipings, the Chinese language was simplified, and equality between men and women was decreed. All property was to be held in common, and equal distribution of the land according to a primitive form of communism was planned. Some Western-educated Taiping leaders even proposed the development of industry and the building of a Taiping democracy. The Qing dynasty was so weakened by the rebellion that it never again was able to establish an effective hold over the country. Both the Chinese communists and the Chinese Nationalists trace their origin to the Taipings.


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