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Ted Koppel , Ted Koppel , Robert Goldsborough  |  NR |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CAPITALISM DVD + China Rises: A Documentary in Four Parts + China: A Century of Revolution (Three Disc Set)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ted Koppel
  • Directors: Ted Koppel, Robert Goldsborough
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: ACORN MEDIA
  • DVD Release Date: June 2, 2009
  • Run Time: 176 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001O7R75Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,421 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Perhaps nothing crystallizes the theme of Ted Koppel’s excellent Discovery Channel series The People’s Republic of Capitalism like the production of Ethan Allen couches. Over four episodes, Koppel reveals increasing economic interdependence between the United States and China, and daily business for the American furniture maker is a case in point. While couch bases are made in Chinese factories using cheap labor, those bases are then sent to the U.S. to be assembled with other components. The finished couches are then sent to China to be sold to a growing middle class with money to spare. Such is the cycle of globalization, pushing the U.S. and China into a necessary partnership that has an upside for some and a profound downside for others.

In order to understand that complexity, Koppel tells us, it’s important to grasp rapid changes in China, which has forsaken socialism—the very idea of a classless society—for a fervent embrace of new values and the goal of becoming an economic superpower. Koppel shows viewers how China, on one hand, micro-manages people's lives in very real ways, such as the country's notorious "one child" policy for families, which is designed to lower the nation's enormous population in time. On the other hand, Chinese are enjoying the freedom to pursue aspirations toward economic success and the (sometimes illicit) fruits of hard work. But others don't manage quite as well: Chinese factory workers who battle fatigue to make the equivalent of $20 per week, and the American workers who lost their jobs to their overseas counterparts. This eye-opening series is truly helpful toward understanding our complicated new world. --Tom Keogh

View an excerpt from the booklet included with The People's Republic of Capitalism with Ted Koppel

The People's Republic of Capitalism with Ted Koppel

Product Description

Ted Koppel takes an in-depth look at the economic ties that bind the U.S. to China

"A major achievement … an utterly enchanting education" --The Washington Post

"Terrific … don’t miss it." --USA Today

In this in-depth four-part documentary, Ted Koppel examines China’s new status as an economic superpower and its complex relationship with the United States. He focuses on Chongqing--a city in Sichuan Province with a burgeoning population and big plans for the future. While peasants in outlying areas eke out a meager living, the rising middle class revels in new riches, challenging traditional ideas about religion, sexuality, and consumerism. All this reverberates here in America, where companies scramble for cheap labor, workers find jobs shipped overseas, and shoppers snap up Chinese-made goods at big box retailers.

A year in the making, The People’s Republic of Capitalism shows China’s extraordinary changes through the eyes of its industrialists, assembly line workers, coal miners, taxi drivers, and farmers. Along the way, it provides surprising perspectives on a country fast becoming America’s greatest economic rival and biggest business partner.


  • Exclusive interview with Ted Koppel
  • 20-page viewer’s guide includes highlights, questions to consider, avenues for further learning, a brief history of the Cultural Revolution, and more.
  • Exclusive web extras

    An inductee in the Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Ted Koppel has earned 42 Emmys, eight Peabodys, and numerous other awards in his decades of broadcast reporting. For 25 years, he served as anchor and managing editor of ABC’s Nightline, network television’s first late-night news program.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Way too biased January 26, 2012
Let me start with a question:
- Who, in this modern day doesn't know the fact that the US and China are linked to each other at the level of inter-dependency?
This is a fact.
I liked the documentary because it gives clear examples to this fact.

But when it comes to giving examples about the free-speech, better-business etc in China. It fails.
I lived in China about 3.5 years.
I've been to places that no foreigner went before.
No matter where I went, it is crystal clear that the people are really open-minded.

I think the main reason for this documentary being so biased is that Ted Koppel is an old man with a rigid China/Chinese format in his mind. He simply cannot deliver the whole picture. He focuses on certain things and he tries to find examples to those things. And, in a society of 1.3 billion, it is not difficult to find any example you want.
In a conversation, the photographer says "I don't love my government, I trust my government". Ted Koppel jumps into this statement. Let me tell you:
- That doesn't mean that the guy "hates" his government. He does not.
- It simply means, I don't need to love my government. Love has got nothing to do with what I expect from my government.

In the interview section (special features) Koppel goes even futher and says something like "people had no sense of humour, they didn't even have a favorite joke etc) in his early visits to China. I'd recommend him to read more about the history of humour in China, Peking Opera etc. Clearly he sees what he wants to see, and shows only that.

As I said, he shows a very strong perjudice against the Chinese government, bribery, corruption etc.

But in terms of economics, the context is very well presented. You should watch this if you need real-life examples for global, US, and Chinese economies.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
An excellent, informational 2-DVD set covering the Chinese people, business, politics, government, religion, and many other aspects that are all now revolving around commerce--world wide business. China is thickest with America. This program is educational but not only for schools. Business leaders considering, or involved with China on an economic level, need to view this in-depth series on "the PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC of CAPITALISM." States, cities, and any committee looking to encourage outside (China) investors, first watch this new Athena DVD, presenting Ted Koppel and his program seen early in 2009 on Discovery Channel.

Ted Koppel is perfect for presenting this topic as he spent so many years reporting on China when little was known. He was one of the first people allowed inside the country when it began to open it's doors. He has the first-hand knowledge, but also he went to Chongqing, a staggeringly fast-paced growing city based on industrialism and consumerism. The facts, the interviews of the people, and the growth-at-any-cost attitude will enlighten you, PERHAPS ADD A BIT OF FEAR.

Impact of Wal-Mart, Ethan Allen, Buick, Briggs & Stratton, Apple, and others is highlighted.

The current economic world crisis is another factor that makes this program so relevant. Major US business is going bankrupt, Americans are loosing good jobs, US economic growth is balancing between crash and recovery, while China is winning the commerce exchange by 4 or 5 times. Why is China/USA trade so lopsided? Can it be equaled? Can it be stopped? Who is really controlling economic trade so important to the American economy? The answers may surprise you. May scare you. Or, they could suggest that you jump into the frenzy with your own company.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Superficial documentary July 26, 2009
By P. Geng
I rarely write reviews, but after watching all four episodes of this series, and reading the glowing review below, I feel the urge to say something. The 4-hour program was produced in 2008, sometime after the Sichuan earthquake and before the August Olympics. It claims to provide objective insight into China-US economic relationship. However, I felt the coverage and interviews were sentimental, even cliched. For example, much of the program dwells on the plight of an employed older American woman, whose factory job was outsourced to China. It dwells on the grievances of poor families who live in "nail houses," who refuse to vacate their homes despite a governmental payout. It dwells on the listlessness of young, uneducated, Chinese women who drift from one low-paying job to another, without a seeming way out of the cycle of poverty. Let me be clear. These tragedies are real. But I found myself reacting negatively to the way that the stories are told by Mr. Kopple, the host: his descriptions are almost Victorian in their emphasis on the hardworking, good nature of the workers, and the greed of the masters. Kopple also quotes briefly from the Bible early in the program. Was that necessary? How do such rhetorical flourishes enhance the viewer's understanding of the issues?

The central argument of the program is that China and US are "joined at the hip" (a direct quotation from the series). But most people understand this already. Thus, for those viewers who already have a sense of the inter-dependency between the two countries, the arguments will seem commonplace, even quaint. Had the program aired ten, or fifteen years ago, it might have been arresting.

Two years ago, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation produced a 4 part series called "China Rises." I recommend that documentary over this one. The investigative scope is larger and the human stories are presented in a more original (not to mention entertaining) way.
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