Drake University Calendar

Ambassador's Book Club

Drake University’s Ambassador-in-Residence, Terry Branstad, will host the Ambassador’s Book Club on Thursday, November 17th in coordination with the U.S.-China Symposium. The Ambassador has chosen The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom by John Pomfret as the book to be discussed. All Drake students, faculty, staff and alumni are welcome to participate. To register, please email ambassador@drake.edu.

Books will be provided at no cost to the first 10 students who register!

About the Book

A remarkable history of the two-centuries-old relationship between the United States and China, from the Revolutionary War to the present day

From the clipper ships that ventured to Canton hauling cargos of American ginseng to swap Chinese tea, to the US warships facing off against China's growing navy in the South China Sea, from the Yankee missionaries who brought Christianity and education to China, to the Chinese who built the American West, the United States and China have always been dramatically intertwined. For more than two centuries, American and Chinese statesmen, merchants, missionaries, and adventurers, men and women, have profoundly influenced the fate of these nations. While we tend to think of America's ties with China as starting in 1972 with the visit of President Richard Nixon to China, the patterns―rapturous enchantment followed by angry disillusionment―were set in motion hundreds of years earlier.

Drawing on personal letters, diaries, memoirs, government documents, and contemporary news reports, John Pomfret reconstructs the surprising, tragic, and marvelous ways Americans and Chinese have engaged with one another through the centuries. A fascinating and thrilling account, The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom is also an indispensable book for understanding the most important―and often the most perplexing―relationship between any two countries in the world.


Thursday, November 17, 2022 at 11:30am to 12:30pm

Olmsted, Pomerantz Conference Room