The Professor's enthusiasm for the subject and his convincing explanation of why most of Western Civilization owes more than we realize to Ancient Egypt (we tend to think everything "Western" comes from Greece, but a lot of Greek learning came from Egypt).
I have listened to a lot of "Great Courses" on history now (over 12) during different periods. This is more interesting than "Great Battles" and "Vikings" but less interesting that "Charlemagne" or "Barbarians of the Steppes" in terms of interesting content.
Professor has great passion for the topic and this comes through in the lecture. But, the lectures are little to repetitive and filled with "cute" comments about Egyptian customs. THE PROFESSOR DOES NOT GIVE US ENOUGH DATES when he discusses development. This means it is very hard to put Egyptian history in context with other Civilizations.
This is a very long lecture series. Impossible to listen to in one sitting! But good for 2-3 weeks of 2 hour commuting/day.
You can listen to this at 1.25x.
I might listen to this lecture again selectively, but I probably would buy a hard copy book (with more actual quotations from the Masterpieces) next time.
How (and where) the "Argonautica" fits in the timeline of Greek Literature (it is Hellenistic, not Classic, greek).
I very much appreciated the Professor's selection of quotations and his occasional quotes from the original Greek. This helped me appreciate his depth of understanding of the topic and also why the original is never really reachable in translation (as is true of Chinese and Japanese). He also has great passion for the topic and this makes what is normally taught as boring old stories come alive.
No. It is better taken in 2-3 lecture sequences at a time.
Really appreciated the chronological presentation (now I have a framework) and how Professor relates later Masterpieces to earlier traditions.
NOTE: This book can be listened to at 1.25x without loss of content but may be appreciated better at 1.0x.
This is in the top third of Great Course lectures I have listened to on Audible.
Great insight into how people ignore the world around them and, in particular, facts in making decisions.
I thought the narration was good, but there was some repetition and emphasis in areas with perhaps less depth than I would have liked.
Understanding why people are "Dummies" For Dummies
This course is less dependent than other courses on external (paper) reference material although I wish Audible would at least provide a bibliography with these (of course you cannot be too choosy as the audible version can cost as little as 20% of the subscription version from the Great Courses website).
NOTE: This course can be listened to at 1.25x without loss of understanding.
Amazingly engaging book about 10 miraculous substances we see or use ever day and why they are the way they are. From steel to chocolate. Absolutely fascinating every minute of the read. A must read title.
This book has its moments but was not what I expected from an author of this reputation. It is often repetitive using almost the same wording over and over when describing certain historical events and characters.
I enjoyed the character development and use of actual quotes from participants.
Best listened to at 1.25 good reader.
A great way to access an essential classic without the pain. The historical notes are excellent for context and the reader reads the elegant translation beret well. Must read for the serious history buff.
This is a great course if you are interested in Roman history. The course really is a history of the Roman empire from inception to its decline and fall told against the background of barbarian invasions and interactions.
Professor Harl's discussion of economic and social factors influencing Roman history was wonderful. He is very careful to disclose sensitive issues in historiography and to let the listener know which side of a controversy he is on. Very, very professional.
The unbelievable breadth of his knowledge and detailed observations concerning cause and effect in Rome's interaction (and integration) with barbarians. I came feel that I could see the panorama of Roman history and the factors (and internal inconsistencies) that led to its fall. There is a lot here for politicians to learn from.
Not that type of book. But I really enjoyed Professor Harl's presentation. Even in 40 hours of Roman history there was never a dull moment (in fact, I was constantly going back to listen again to the details in certain passages).
Easy to listen to a 1.25x rather than 1.0.
This is a fabulous course. The course covers over 3 thousands years of Central Asian and Near Eastern history and is a wonderful introduction to the Empires that have flourished there over this period. You come to appreciate the mounted archer and the savagry of the great warriors of the plains as well as their military sophistication.
The discussion of Ghenghis Kahns, his sons and the history of their empires is fascinating. This is the best structured overview of this topic that I have ever hear (or seen). Really a wonderful course and presentation.
To say that Professors Harl has an encyclopedic knowledge of Central Asian, Near Eastern and European history is an incredible understatement. You will be constantly dazzled by the facts, figures and analysis that rolls of Professor Harl's tongue seemingly without end.
Ninja's of the dessert--3,000 years of the horse archer.
I might listen to a few segments, especially if I were to consider a visit there.
This is a very entertaining (and easy) read. You learn about how deadly so many animals can be in Australia and what a unique place it is. Reading this book really moves you to Google Map Austraila's great Outback. You realize how right Bill is--there is just nothing there for tens of thousands of square miles.
Bill Bryson is a very gifted reader of his own matial giving every humorous observation exactly the right tone and cadance to make you laugh out loud (very disconcerting to other passangers on the Shanghai subway where I commute).
I like Bill's books a lot as they are among the few that can make me laugh out loud. He is a very entertaining writer even on topics you that you expect to be pretty serious.
This is a top level read and it is one of Ken Follett's most enduring and timeless novels. Great character development over a very long book (almost 1,000 pages in printed form).
Follett has several great passages in this novel. He is extremely adept at placing sympathetic figures in dangerous circumstances and creating very dramatic tension. He also uses a wide canvas of geography (from York to Jerusalem) and history (period from "White Ship" to death of Thomas Becket) to tell a great story of ordinary people facing great challenges and themselves creating enduring beauty.
I think his performance of Prior Phillip was best with Jack second. Female characters were also handled well. My only complaint on the performance was that it got pretty worn out in over 40 hours of listening ;)
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