China's last empire, the Qing, lasted from 1644 to 1912. It began in violence and war as the Manchus swept down from the north, but invaders became emperors, with three generations of one family ruling the country. Among them, Michael Wood argues, was China's greatest emperor - Kangxi. Under the Qing, China doubled in size to include Xinjiang in the far west, as well as Mongolia and Tibet, creating the essential shape of China today. The new dynasty tolerated a diversity of cultures and religions, including Islam. In Kaifeng, Michael visits a women's mosque with a female imam, a delightful scene that ends with laughter and selfies! The Qing also undertook huge cultural enterprises.
(born 1961, Brooklyn, New York, United States), is an American former Olympic-qualifying athlete and later a soul musician. He reached the peak of his success as a recording artist in the 1980s. His most famous songs include and
Of all the great modern saxophonists, Michael Brecker is perhaps the last guy you expect to deliver an album of ballads, particularly featuring James Taylor. But that's exactly what Nearness of You is, and given possibly the greatest band line-up available, it's a real success. Check the supporting cast: Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Charlie Haden, and Jack DeJohnette. Each a great virtuoso, composer, and bandleader in their own right. But it's Brecker's show. Where sometimes his powerful technique and considerable verve can overwhelm tunes, bands and listeners, here he's a master of restraint, playing beautifully, economically, delicately.