I went into this audiobook with barely more than a rudimentary knowledge of Roman history. I had a basic grasp of certain emperors, various conflicts, and the like, but certainly nothing on a remotely academic scale.
This recording is excellent. It's beginnings are rather dry- lots of names, rivers, mountain ranges, tribes, and the like- but once everything is in place, it picks up dramatically. The telling of the Punic Wars will honestly keep you on the edge of your seat. Thanks to these tapes, I have a new interest in the General Hannibal. The tales of politics and intrigue is sure to fascinate any student of history.
The narration is eloquent and well-done. The chapters are organized in good fashion, though you will most likely need to rewind at certain places to get all the names and events in order.
All in all, excellent work. Ten hours of engaging history- and definetly relevant to current events. Check it out.
One of the greatest histories ever written, the conflict of the Peloponnesian war is illustrated here in painstaking detail with a suprising degree of impartiality- one can certainly draw strong parellels between this conflict and other pre-emptive wars of late. It's incredibly long, and requires some effort on the part of the listener to follow the many different characters and events, especially when Thucydidies gets into long descriptions involving lists of place names. The reading is admirable- anyone who's read or flipped through the written text can attest to its difficulty.
Don't let the length scare you away- any fan of ancient history will find this work indispensible in understanding the ancient and modern arts of war. Great stuff.
A great companion to any Western Philosophy study. Gottleib has a very wry sense of humor, and adds a human element to what have often been deemed unapproachable minds. He excells at bridging the gaps between prominent schools of thought, tying the philiospher with their theory and their successors (and detractors). For example, he gives an especially lucid portrait of Aristotle, and follows it up with a timeline of influence, from his slavishly devoted followers to men like Franics Bacon that wished to see him purged from thought. Best listened to when total focus is an option- the reading is slightly dry, and he can go on and on at great lengths from time to time. Other than that, it's very enjoyable and extremely informative.
The system they've got for stamping the words on your brain is effective- I learned more than a couple five dollar words that I'm sure I'll never forget. The banter between the hosts is funny, albeit sometimes a bit tiring. One glaring problem, I think, is that they never spell the words they're imparting. On some of the words, it's unclear exactly what the words looks like- "be" or "de", for example- and just a quick spelling would have been extremely helpful. Overall, though, a fun way to learn a thing or two.
The story is inherently interesting- the rise and fall of one of the most successful, vicious criminals in world history. Bowden's a decent reader, though I would have liked to have gotten this story unabridged. Overall, a brisk, satisfying tale, though one you could get just as well through CNN or the History Channels adaptations.
Absolutely hilarious. An arsenal of facts spearhead an assault on the hypocritical, hysterical rantings the right wing. From the 2000 election to Fox News, Franken's book is bitingly mordant and funny as hell. He's a great reader, and the time flies by. Any liberal worth his or her salt would do well to pick this up.
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