24 hours of lecture blew by as Professor Garland, with his lovely English accent and consistent enthusiasm, takes us through the daily lives of the ancients. There is nothing stuffy or stilted about the content for the thousands of years of travel we do (actually millions). He describes every day objects, clothing, hairstyles, family life and then places them into a larger sociopolitical context. He does this equally well across Egyptian, Greek, and Roman cultures. I didn't think I'd have the attention span to finish, but I might just listen to it all again because it was so rich with interesting information. It's a great partner on long runs, commuting, or doing household tasks.
My "a-hah" moment was his discussion of how the Dark Ages came about. If you are at that point in your life where you want to make sense of the long view of time, you will love this book. It dovetails nicely with Zealot by Rasa Aslan- lots of overlapping information about early Jewish and Roman culture. Thanks for a wonderful course, Dr. Garland.
Really enjoyed hearing the history of civilization as witnessed by the ordinary person of each period. The subject matter is fascinating, the lectures are well-written and impeccably researched and the delivery is fine - if not perfect. I would have listened around the clock if I hadn't had the inconvenient interruptions of life and work.
This is recommended reading/listening for any dedicated history buff! I've already suggested 'The Other Side' to many friends...
Say something about yourself!
A different reader. I have two issues with Robert Garland's presentation. First, he has a fairly noticeable lisp. I don't think this would bother me if it didn't somehow compound his far bigger shortcoming. He reads one. word. at. a. time. With great emphasis on each word in a way that if I was just learning the language I would love. He doesn't do it in the part that you can hear in the sample and on other occasions he is clearly speaking off the cuff and sounds perfectly fine. The other 90% are very difficult to listen to. If the subject were just slightly less interesting, I could easily delete the whole thing.
Not even a little.
This audio provides a unique holistic perspective of the everyday life of "normal' folks (including the what life was like for such outsiders as women, the poor, immigrants and the disabled) in ancient and middle ages. It is a perspective that makes history come alive. And it helps put the great events of history in context of an entire society, including groups we don't tend to hear enough about.
Little slow at times, but overall it's very informative and presented in a interesting way. Gives a huge amount of information, and Garland is enthusiastic and engaging. For being purely factual the course is entertaining, as though you were taking a course with a really good history professor.
Most of us read because we enjoy it. "Readlistening", I believe, should be even more of a pleasurable experience. The narrator should transport you. He should make you a part of the story. This course, this narrator, does all that. I believe that a lot more people would take up reading, or at least readlistening, if the presentations were as interesting and mesmerizing as Professor Garland's. There is nothing more relaxing than smoking a bong and sitting in the pool while listening to the life and times of Xerxes, Alexander the Great, and of the lives of civilizations long forgotten by the world. I own the three-available "Living History" lectures by Professor Garland. They all kick ass.
Among the best. Haven't yet finished. I'm enjoying it so much that I'm doling it out slowly. Lecture is clear and concise. No rambling. Interesting antidotes. Lovely voice. Learned a great deal.
His intonations and very personal approach. Love his voice and accent.
This covers so much history without getting bogged down in jargon. Keeps flowing with information about everyday life as well as an overview of each civilization. Wish there were more lectures by Prof. Garland available.
I really enjoyed all 48 of these lectures. I even laughed out loud at times when the professor made some funny comment on a certain subject. Never boring! Loved his use of Latin phrases with an explanation as to how that word morphed into our language and use of the word or phrase currently.
This is my second group of Great Courses audiobooks and I highly recommend them to all ages. This speaker has a "minor lisp" in his speech, but I didn't find it distracting due to the excellent way he integrated the history and storyline in such down to earth terms and phrases for all levels of learners.
By all means, listen to this "Other Side" of history, I feel certain you will enjoy it and learn something new at the same time.