Among the most enriching and valuable
This is an essential book that I wish I could have read decades ago. It would have changed the course of my life.
I bought this because I have sleep and memory problems, but I did not expect too much. It exceeded my expectations in that I found it to be quite effective in helping me to relax and sleep. The one thing I don't like is the music in the last of the three parts (which you don't have to use): I much prefer the music in Part 2. Pt.1 is OK, but because there are individual, piano type notes that stick out, making the music less effective in promoting relaxation than synthesizer type music. In general, the best music for this kind of thing does not have melodies (which even when they are not annoyingly trite get tiresome after a few listenings) or individual notes that stand out (such as piano).
A wonderful find
When Milo knocks down the two thugs.
Simon Vance is excellent; his reading adds to the listening experience.
What I look for in historical novels is a feeling for a past epoch that complements what I get from reading books on history. This one is well researched, and I feel it has added to my feeling for Rome during the last days of the republic. The story is also good; I could hardly put it down (listened to it in one day).
It made me understand, concretely, how the brain is in constant interaction with all parts of the body. Tthis interconnection is at the center of most health problems and must be taken into account in the search for well-being, and of course in all our remedial or preventive efforts. A malfunction anywhere often reflects a problem in the brain, and it in turn can cause further damage to the brain. Vaguely knowing that something might be bad for my health was not enough to me to act accordingly, especially in my youth, but knowing concretely how it would damage my brain sure would have been!
Datis Kharraziac's book on Thyroid, another must. David Perlemutter's Grain Brain. They are all books that probe the deeper workings of the human organism.
If I had read this book twenty, ten, or even five years ago, I would be in hugely better shape today. I have read many books on various aspects of health, and I have invested a lot in all sorts of ways to improve my functional health, but without a deep and detailed understanding of the brain, it never came together for me, and my various attempts as well as those of numerous health practitioners, many excellent in their own domain, never coalesced into the good health I sought.
Yes, though not as enthusiastically as some other Great Courses. There are some valuable insights and exercises that could make a great difference in one's life. Because these are very much part of our everyday life, it is easy to see them as obvious, but they are not. If I could have listened to these lectures when I was 20, my life might have been completely different! (I say "might have", not "would have").
I did not feel too happy with the delivery, yet I find it hard to say what the lecturer could have done better! Could it be that we at heart consider the subject unappealing and unconsciously tend to dismiss discussion as "self-evident"? I myself would probably not have bought these lectures had they not been discounted! The more interesting question in this particular instance seems to me: what accounts for my impression? rather than "what could the narrator do better?" Thinking about it made me change my initial appreciation of the 'performance' from 3 to 4 stars.
1. how much self-discipline depends on available energy 2. how one can improve self-discipline 3. how much self-discipline is related to many things, such as personal and marital relationships
Some of the negative reviews here seem to be based on or skewed by the impression of the first lectures as plodding and uninspiring. I agree that it is easy to feel impatient listening to them; I overcame the problem by listening at 3x speed and going back to just a couple of places.
For someone interested in World War I and the period before, it is very interesting to have a more detailed and vivid picture of these three sovereigns, two of whom played a very significant role in the course of events. Seeing them closer up makes that war all the more dismaying. Neither Nicholas nor Wilhelm were evil like the great dictators of the 20th century, but they were weak and incompetent rulers, yet their foibles and decisions (or non-decisions) were instrumental in creating hell for tens of millions of people. Many factors conspired toward war, but these two could have kept it from taking place.
Princess Victoria (Vicky) mother of Wilhelm II; her tragedy is losing her intelligent and liberal-minded husband Wilhelm I who died young, leaving the capricious Wilhelm II as emperor of Germany, to the infinite misfortune of Germany and the rest of the world.
Rosalyn Landor is exceptionally good.
The wealth of information on various aspects of life in the period preceding World War I
Dreyfus' rehabilitation. The assassination of Jean Jaurès.
I have listened to many, and she is an excellent reader. She apparently knows French and pronounces most names correctly, but unfortunately leaves out the "s" at the end of one of the main figures in the book, Jaurès. It is tricky to know when the final "s" in French names is silent or pronounced, and before the age of internet it is not so easy to look up, so she should not be taken to task; I mention this only so that other readers should not be led astray in their own pronunciation of this name. Readers today, however, have little excuse to mispronounce foreign names as the correct pronunciation is easily found on the internet.
Parts of it (for me, some of the details of English political life) can seem a bit long, but the book is well worth one's patience.
This book is of particular interest to those who are interested in history not only for facts and stories but for an understanding of how things came to pass, not only on the primary level of events but also on the levels of how these are interpreted, transformed and transmitted. It is a very rich work that gives insights into historiography as well as history. I came away feeling enriched in many ways.
The discussion of the Arabic occupation and how it has been seen at different times is alone worth the price of the book to me. I had a rosy vision of a tolerant and cultivated Islamic state that contrasted with the rough and bigoted Christians; this book not only sets the record straight but also explains where this idealized vision comes from.
Do not pass up this book because of negative reviews, though these are right in saying that it is not written for those who want a easy account of the personages and events of Spanish history. The reader is also good, and though he reads foreign words with a pronounced American accent, he does not MISpronounce Spanish words as some reviews suggest (the incomprehensible words they allude to are probably Latin or French). Spanish words are all comprehensible, though the rare French words are seriously mispronounced.
The book is quite dense and not a "easy listen". Negative reviewers are not wrong to bring this up, but I am extremely grateful for having listened to it. It gives a wonderful overview of Spanish history with invaluable insights, but it is not a "concise history of Spain" and needs to be complemented by other books if you know little about Spanish and European history.
The author's account of his academic career is both interesting and meaningful in the context of an important subject central to the book: historiography. I CAN understand how a casual listener might be put off by this book, and I would not recommend it to everyone. But to those with a somewhat deeper interest in history, it is a real find.
Not only are the case stories moving, but illuminating because Dr.Perry explains the underlying causes in the light of what we have only recently begun to understand about the brain. By doing this, he extends the meaning of his therapeutic work way beyond the individual cases, indeed to every one of us as well as to all of human society and history. In the final chapter, he makes some extremely insightful and pertinent comments on life and society today.
Each story is compelling, but in addition, there is a cumulative progression and a deepening sense of meaning.
He speaks clearly and warmly, with just the right tone.
Yes, though there is too much to absorb for one sitting.
The book's content and significance exceed what I had expected from the catchy title that made me think of 'The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat', which though also interesting is not nearly as moving and rich in significance as this one. I recommend this book to everyone without reservation; in fact, I urge you to listen to it, whoever you are. It is one of most stimulating, both intellectually and personally, that I have ever listened to or read. Truly a six-star book.I have read numerous books on psychology, psychiatry, and child development, and among my most rewarding life experiences are ten years of a composite therapy; yet this book has put all into a new perspective.
Perhaps, to refresh my memory.
John Tolland 'Rising Sun'; Max Hastings: 'Retribution'
This book provides valuable insight into the seemingly irrational way the Japanese behaved during World War II. For a non-Japanese, it is truly mind-boggling to learn how inefficient decision-making was in the Japanese government, and how this disastrous inefficiency was ingrained in Japanese culture and even language. It incidentally sheds much light on Japanese behavior today in various situations both political and personal.
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