|Are you a panda-hugger, China hawk, dragon-slayer, or just curious? The United States and China are bound together in a love-hate relationship of mutual enrichment and trade wars, respect and contempt, cooperation and rivalry. These contradictions didn’t begin yesterday, and if you want to understand the history as well as the headlines, join us in reading and discussing The Beautiful Country and the Middle Kingdom: America and China, 1776 to the Present (Holt, 2016) by John Pomfret, prize-winning Washington Post Beijing correspondent. Participants need no background in the topic to enjoy a and deeply discuss Pomfret’s story. After the American Revolution, American traders and missionaries crossed the Pacific in search of profits and souls; Chinese crossed in search of work and education. After the 1900 Boxer Uprising, Americans hoped to uplift and protect China; many Chinese wanted to follow the American path to democracy and prosperity. Pearl Harbor made the countries allies; they became Cold War enemies when Mao Zedong took power in 1949. This fall semester, we will cover topics through Mao’s 1949 Revolution; the independent spring semester will continue from 1950 to today. We will supplement Pomfret’s book with videos, background chats, participant questions, and reports of breaking stories. We plan a Zoom session with the author.