This was a marvelous course. Professor Desan has clearly mastered her subject and so her organization and presentation of the material was nothing short of brilliant. She provides an overview of the forces at work during this historical period and illustrates them with wonderful particulars - songs, quotes, diary entries, letters, etc. She gives you a sense of what it felt like to be alive during each of the stages of the Revolution.
I recommend this with no reservations.
It was clear to me from the description that author had a distinct point of view and possibly even a political bias, all of which I was fine with, in my curiosity about this history of this fine beverage. However, I was quite disappointed that the author cherry-picked facts to fit his view of the world.
He used many pages to root beer consumption in religion, yet he seems not to have gone to much effort to understand the various religions and so distorts them, and thus the role of beer within them. For instance, he claims that because Jesus used wine (which he really suspects to have been beer, despite the complete lack of similarity with blood) at the Last Supper, that he was claiming that beer was somehow sacred or holy -- a claim that no major Christian tradition claims. Moreover, he reports that the disciples were drunk at Pentecost, when the point of the story is exactly opposite.
The book is filled with so many misrepresentations and errors, I finally had to abandon it.
Absolutely. I had thought the Smith had anticipated much of our current understanding of the way markets function. Instead, he had all of the fundamentals figured out. I was fearing that it would be quite obscure in topic and language, but found it pleasantly accessible, if perhaps a bit long.
As as reading the classics, I would definitely recommend this.
It fit the material.
The Way Your World Works
The author started out well by explaining the possibilities of new technology, knocking down misconceptions, but then she fails to grapple with the challenges of the new technological situation. It's like it was all sweetness and light. This is never the case with new technologies.
The barrage of buzz words like connectivity and collaboration, which ended up obscuring rather than revealing emerging realities.
The narration was just fine.
What was most disappointing about the story is that there was no story. At different points in the book it seems a story of Von Neumann, the Institute of Advanced Study, the development of computer technology, a hundred other scientists and engineers, etc. It ends up being none of them. It seems more like a collection of notebooks that contained the potential to form a good book or story.
I was even hoping to learn a bit more of the technology of computers, but all explanations were given in the language of engineers. The book on the Eniac available on audible is much better.
The performance was fine.
Couldn't have been much more disappointed.
Save your credits.
This book was one steady stream of buzzwords, over-generalizations, and repetition. Do not waste a credit on this. If you want you can get the best ideas in this book from Seth Godin's Tribes, which is a much better, more engaging book.
Listening to lectures can be hit or miss. Some are good and some are bad. But Professor Drout present this information with such passion and competence that you forget they are lectures. You come to appreciate the materials so much more because of his infectious love and interest in the time period. I can't wait to listen to his other courses and I can't recommend this one highly enough.
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