In the "Must Read" List
The West And The RestHow The English Speaking Poeples Invented FreedomGuns Germs and Steel
Yes, and pretty much did.
All sorts of things I should have known, and some things I suspected. For instance, I have always been curious how ancient Rome fed all those legions and construction workers. And the population of Rome dropped about 90% in a very short period of time at the end. Now I might know why. Specifically, the state apparatus that confiscated all that needed food was enfebled and the residents had to go out and grow their own food. Or something. Anyway, at least in Gaul, the country people became better fed.
A LOT better fed. Skeletal autopsies and isotopic studies show this. Apparently the country people got bigger and several inches taller. The glory of rome was built on near starvation rations left over for those who provided the food. So now we might more appreciate the various rebellions.What we lost during 'the dark ages' was a vast aristocracy with leasure time to contemplate Plato and write histories of Roman Glory.
Even the first half was not all THAT bad ;). And since my math is wanting it might have only been the first third.
Although it does not ciome across as scholarly it had a sense of first hand observation that I liked. And certanly no sugar coating.
This is one history book suitable for all levels of interest. For instance, I have never read better summaries of world religions, philosophies and ideologies in such short, concise, clever and often humorous paragraphs. Here is a three word title on scientific revolution chapter: "The Discovery Of Ignorance."
The author is way to soft regarding cruelty on chickens and cows. Tells us these and other domestic animals are prevented from exercising their evolutionary natures. What? They are DOMESTICATED. As a kid I took care of the cow and chickens. The cow clearly was Buddhist and did not give a damn about anything and living peefect nirvana. The chickens? All they wanted was a roost, a place to lay eggs and defecate.
Any cruelty in the coupe was me breathing in all the dried chicken crap dust they kicked up In hurricanes. And don't get me started on cow defecation while filling the milk bucket.
The cave paintings are stunning so where are the "apprentice" student sketches? The talent in these many many works seem to have been done by masters who left no developmental works. This is the first plausible explanation.
I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the ME affairs.
The author is almost 100 years old and first visited ME prior to WWII. Accordingly, the material accumulated in this book spans an unbroken body of work of a duration one seldom sees.
The casual reader, however, needs to know many of the topic chapters (and there are a lot of them) might be a bit tedious if you do not know much about the subject. However, if you are the kind of person who knows the phrase Four Rightly Guided Caliphs you may be up to speed well enough. The matterial is not very difficult, however, and the reader kept my attention.
I plan to listen to much of it again and might even buy the Kindle version. This is because not all of the readings include the original date and they span well over 50 years. A tablet PC would be good as well in order to look up some maps, photos of places and the like.
Finally, I recommend YouTube University! I made that term up, but Richard Bulliet has some of the best lectures on the subject I have heard. These are full length lectures, often more then an hour long. I listened to them prior to listening to this book and it was fun to have a heads up!
No. It seemed obtuse to me, jumpy in terms of visualizing scenes and following the time line. In addition, narrative is stylized and from another era that may not have translated well into the spoken word.
I did not like the over wrought style. That style may be appropriate to the stylized written narrative but I did not like that style either.
This is almost non-fiction. Conrad spent time in Congo and this representation apparently includes real people and a real boat (see King Leopolds Ghost - but read my review first) and is actually understated.
This needs either an executive summary or "hatchet" edit. Pun intended.
The author's relentless fury.
There are no good scenes to be favorable with. The book itself demonstrates first hand, up close and personal "Heart of Darkness".
I really tried, with time-outs. Just could not do it. Eventually started large scale skipping at the end.
Comprehensive beyond title. Crafted by classical rehtoric and better heard spoken then read.
A World Undone (WW1) is similar in quality.
Perfect to hear the authors clearly rhetorical style read outloud.
Yes. And have listened much of it over again. Pausing for instance to google one thing or another. Lots of bookmarks. Start with 'model ancient rome'. Its endless.
Just buy it and set up your browser with a Rome category. I recommed both opera mini and opera beta.
The second most important human development since agriculture ten thousand years ago.
Will Durant Story of Civilization 3 Ceasar to Christ. Big story and well presented in all ways.
Personal British Background.
One of the most important periods in all human history and includes American symbiosis.
Thirty six chapters and could do with 36 more. I even searched for orher presentations by Allison but found none.
The captivity narratives.
Even discovered a free audio book "Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson" at librivox which was a treat. Done by volunteers. Not professional reading but well worth the time.
All told quite a value.
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