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James

San Antonio, TX, United States | Member Since 2012

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 ratings
  • 235 titles in library
  • 27 purchased in 2014
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  • The History of Ancient Egypt

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Bob Brier
    Overall
    (151)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (140)

    Ancient Egyptian civilization is so grand our minds sometimes have difficulty adjusting to it. It lasted 3,000 years, longer than any other on the planet. Its Great Pyramid of Cheops was the tallest building in the world until well into the 19th century and remains the only Ancient Wonder still standing. And it was the most technologically advanced of the ancient civilizations, with the medical knowledge that made Egyptian physicians the most famous in the world.

    Nassir says: "Incomprehensibly complete"
    "Thousands of Years of History. Not a Dull Moment!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The History of Ancient Egypt to be better than the print version?

    This does not apply since this is a lecture.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This does not apply since this is a lecture.


    What does Professor Bob Brier bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The Professor lectures well. His interest, passion, and expertise shine through.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    This does not apply since this is a lecture. Although there are several points of the historical timeline that the Professor is particularly adept at bringing to life. The multiple connections that are made connecting the legacy of Egypt to modern times almost given as small asides at times, are quite effective.


    Any additional comments?

    The Professor's ability to cover such a long period of time and still connect the listener/student to the past on personal level is top notch. All history should be delivered with such passion, understanding, respect, and appreciation. Well done. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Brian M. Fagan
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (32)

    Where do we come from? How did our ancestors settle this planet? How did the great historic civilizations of the world develop? How does a past so shadowy that it has to be painstakingly reconstructed from fragmentary, largely unwritten records nonetheless make us who and what we are?

    These 36 lectures bring you the answers that the latest scientific and archaeological research and theorizing suggest about human origins, how populations developed, and the ways in which civilizations spread throughout the globe.

    James says: "Great Conceptually But Becoming Dated"
    "Great Conceptually But Becoming Dated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Although this is a course rather than a book, I would recommend it with reservation.


    Would you recommend Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations to your friends? Why or why not?

    On the upside, it paints human history in broad strokes and provides significant food for thought regarding what impacted early human development. On the flip side recent data is making some very significant points obsolete. The professor asserts that humans and Neanderthals did not interbreed, that Neanderthals did not produce art or have higher reasoning on par with homo sapiens sapiens. In 2003 when this course was first given this might have been the prevailing belief. Modern DNA research now shows that most of humanity outside of Africa is likely to have some Neanderthal DNA in our genetic make-up. Additionally, Neanderthals have been shown to make clothes, and use pigments at least for application on their body if not to create art on cave walls. Although there is still much to decipher and the final verdict is still out on how similar these two branches of humanity's tree were, the professors absolute statements regarding Neanderthals ring a bit hollow now with the passage of time coupled with recent developments. Still a good course overall.


    What about Professor Brian M. Fagan’s performance did you like?

    Concise. Despite reservations noted above, he still seems quite knowledgeable and has a great deal to offer.


    Did Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations inspire you to do anything?

    Yes. I went out and read more on the subject. Very interesting.


    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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