This is an excellent course of 14 audio lectures about rhetoric as an art of convincing people, and not only due to all the interesting and well explained information it includes but especially because of the pleasure of listening to the professor Michael Drout. He is a brilliant lecturer and it is obvious he himself is having fun when he speaks to you about rhetoric.
This is the first time I'm disappointed with The Modern Scholar course.
First of all, the lecturer has an extremely annoying manner of speech: if there is a word in a sentence he feels strongly about, he pronounces it in a peculiar manner reminiscent of a
bad guy from an animation movie or a grown up telling a "Little Red Cape" tale to a bunch of little kids. "These provinces, these n-ooooooooooooooooooo-mes" etc.
Also sometimes it felt like the lecturer was reading from the written text for a long period of time.
Anyway, after the first 4 hours of listening I got used to his speech, to some extent.
But the main problem is that 8 hours and a half are simply not enough for a decent survey of Ancient Egyptian history. Either the course should have concentrated on a particular period or on researching a particular idea or concept. The title of the course indeed hints that there is some underlining concept it is going to highlight. But in reality the course ends up as a hurried survey of the 3500 years of the Ancient Egypt history. Some periods or ideas are described in great detail and some are rushed through, probably depending on the interest the lecturer has in them. One time ( the queen Hatshepsut rein) practically the same material is repeated twice. At the end the course leaves an impression of one big mess. I am glad it's not my first course on Ancient Egyptian history, otherwise I would be in a real trouble.
The other problem I had with this course, is that the author has his own interesting and controversial theories on many issues, but he usually either completely forgets to mention this theory is not the only one available, or says something like : it is obvious that this
(a short hint at the other opinions) is not the case; unfortunately most of the modern books state that ..., but in reality it is obvious that (here goes his theory). I understand that this may be related to a time shortage, but it is an additional reason the course is disappointing.
This book is certainly very politically incorrect but this is what makes it precious. French aristocrat and anthropologist
Contran de Poncin spends a year with Inuits in 1939, sometimes living with them at the very remote locations where almost no white man ventured before.
He tells about his experience and feelings frankly and excitingly and, as it often happens when different mentalities and cultures collide, his impressions range from disgust to admiration. And a transformation that gradually happens in him is not less interesting than his descriptions of the life of Inuits.
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