Reading and studying history has always been on of my hobbies and I would say that the Frist World War is one of my favorite subjects of study. I usually read and listen to any books or courses on the subject that I can find and generally while I learn one or two new items of interest from each book or course, I generally have never found anything that gave me a new persepctive. This course changed that. I found it to be excellent. Although he made a couple of minor factual errors in a few of his lectures, I found both Professor Ramsden's course to be very well organized and presented as the course focused not just on the war and its causes (which is the traditional material) but also its legacy to this day. Most interesting to me were the lectures on the war's impact on art and literature (first time I ever took a course that focused on this area) and the impact of the war on the post Second World War world (all the way down to 1987). I would strongly recommend this course to anyone who is interested in the subject matter as well as to anyone who has never read or studied the First World War and has had an interest to learn something about it. This course is a great addition to the Audible library
Although I am an avid student and reader of history, I must admit that my knowledge of European history during the 19th century is somewhat sketchy- especially when it comes to the details leading up to the revolutions of 1848. This book was excellent at explaining those details. The authors start out with a detailed description of the catylist for the change in Europe during this time period- the industrial revolution- and they move forward covering critical events all the way up to the declaration of the German Empire at Versailles in 1871. Chapter 1 focuses in great detail on the industrial revolution and at times I found the description to be almost too tedious (I decided after a while to skip over this part)- but for those who are intently interested in the actual mechanics of the industrial revolution, it is quite good. The subsequent chapters focus on the changes between 1815 and 1870 on a country by country basis- starting with France, working through Austria, Prussia, the German Confedreation, Spain, Italy and finally Russia. The analysis is quite detailed and excellent. Great historical names of the past such as Metternich, Bismarck, Mazzini, Louis Napoleon, and Cavour together with their contributions are all woven into the fabric of the volume. The narrator does a very good job with his narration as well. I enjoyed the volume enough to purchase the second volume as well. In conclusion, I would recommend the volume to anyone who wishes to acquire better knowledge and understanding about Europe during the period
As has been discussed in prior reviews, this book focuses on the Great Depression and the events leading up to it beginning with the pre World War One period. While any of book of this sort will focus on economics, this one portrays the events through the biographies of the four central bankers of England (Montagu Norman), France (Emile Moreau), US (Benajmin Strong)and Germany (Hjalmar Schact) as well as other individuals who participated in the spectacle (John Maynard Keynes). The author does a great job in sketching portraits of each man. The book is extremely well written and read and merits the acclaim that it has received (Financial Times Award among others). What I found to be extremely interesting is the eiplogue in which the author takes the thesis of the book and tries to compare and contrast it to more recent events (such as the financial crisis in Mexico in the early 1990's followed by the Russian and Emerging Markets fiasco in the late 1990's and even the financial crisis in 2008) and how the modern era central bankers took affirmative action to avoid a replay of the Great Depression.