I gave 1421 three stars more for his imaginative narrative and style than the historical contents. This book lost even that. Although, it provides good catalog and listing for both Chinese and European Scientific achievement, the list is comprehensive.
The problem with his view was he discounts any possibility of indigenous invention, like Printing Press etc, one needs more solid evidence to prove that those Renaissance invention were imported from China, furthermore even if one concedes those invention were from China (which few would), it did NOT show it was done during Zheng He's 7th voyage. This book is fundamentally flawed in its argument, and logic, again this is how NOT to write history.
I like the narrative for the emotional framing rather than historical accuracy, emotional narrative makes a history very entertaining, so I'd suggest one to read this as a well researched historical novel than serious history, the book captured the spirit and inherent contradiction of British imperialism incredibly well. Loved it.
This is a classic, unadulterated economics for high school students and freshman and sophomore year undergraduates, it ceased to be convincing once it is read by anyone with advanced degree. It ignores the question of power, culture and technological advantages and differences some countries have over others and how those can be exploited for gain, still it is worth reading and thought provoking book.
The professor knows what he's talking about, this presentation is lucid and very objective, although I wish he could work on his Chinese Pronunciation, since this is a lecture, I can't blame the narrator, but still it is interesting.
Although I expected a boring narrative about the plague, this is a far better than expected execution to a fairly straight forward topic, instead of a narrowed down analysis to the plague of 540 ad, the book gave us the whole contextual narrative, the after effects, the long term impact and microorganic history. I am pleased with the execution; The author has managed to make the book interesting.
This book has a very balanced treatment to middle age by presenting political history of Western Europe, Americas, India, China, Japan, Byzantine, Islam and Turks, and because the focus is on political history, it's infinitely readable and interesting. We however get no social history, no great thinkers, no technology, no class analysis only time they were mentioned was if they have tangent with political narrative.
Also the decision to end the book at First Crusade, (1096-1099) seem entirely arbitrary.
I have to admit, Tuchman is one of my favourite historians and thus this book from her comes as a disappointment. The title suggested, a comprehensive history of folly committed by governments everywhere and of all times, but what we got is thematically divided episodes with superficial analysis on each theme. The theme was unequally distributed, one would think Renaissance papacy (a few hundred years in scope) would deserve more space than Vietnam War (20 years from French phase) but Vietnam War comprised one and half of the book, making Spanish conquest, War of Independent and Papal Monarchy de facto salad dressing.
This is revisionist history at its best and will certainly enhance one's critical thinking, Americans are not necessarily more stupid than others, but when it comes to the world politics, one cannot but help shaking head, this book will hopefully be a wake up call to some people. If that's how history has been taught, no wonder they don't know anything! However the book will do well without the moralising tones of the last few chapters.
This book took a disinterested look at two thousand conflict between east and west and contains vast amount of interesting information. But because the scope is quite big, so some details might be skipped, but overall, a good book.
This is a fairly interesting book, and I have learned much about feminine psychology, but I find this book a little repetitive, one wonders if the book cannot be make shorter.
Professor Drout is as entertaining in this course as ever, though I had wished to catch up on my middle english. However, the course was not about middle English, I am nonetheless happy about purchase.
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