The book discusses the Author's thoughts on why he believes what he does, and brings up some points worth thinking about regarding each persons own position.
But the good points of the book are brought down by the reading of the book. The reader has frequent breaks in the middle of sentences, and comes off as very stiff and stuff. Additionally, I kept finding places where the reader repeated words, phrases and sentences. The book needed some basic quality control checking before being released.
The author was deeply involved in Japanese Naval Aviation in WW 2. He describes not only the Battle of Midway, but also the strategy, and even more interesting the reasons for the strategy, in their Naval doctrine and tactics.
He also tells, and shows through the examples in this case, the saying that I have seen in many places, that war is a catalog of blunders (Winston Churchill.)
This is an excellent survey of the works of Plato and Aristotle. While it did go into some of the specific works in depth, what I find more useful is that, to my mind, the author was giving me a foundation to explore the works in more depth by myself. To give one example out of many possible, through this series I first started to understand the theory of forms as a template for concepts rather than the vague assertions that I had gotten in other discussions of Plato's work. Now I can proceed into more detailed thinking about all of his works.
This is by no means an easy set of lectures to get through, not because the presentation is poor, but because the concepts are both important and subtle.
I listen to the lectures while walking daily, so I could not follow the notes (supplied in PDF format) but they are worth reviewing. Because I was distracted from listening while walking, I listened to some of the lectures several times to help fix the points in my mind.
I intend to listen to the works by Plato and Aristotle again, then listen to this series again. I am studying the foundations of Western Civilization for my own pleasure, not for any other goal. This is one of the few recorded lecture series I have purchased that I judge worth a detailed second listening as opposed to going on to a different subject.
Lectures are in reasonable length segments so I can think about one lecture before going onto another.
This is an introduction to the subject, so it covers a lot of material. The series of lectures starts by giving the necessary background. The necessary technical terminology is introduced throughout the book
When people start interpreting the Hebrew Bible they generally have a point of view, ranging from the extremes of Biblical Minimalism and Biblical Literalism. The lecturer does have a point of view, as I would expect any competent scholar to have, but he takes the time to fairly discuss the other points of view throughout the course of the lectures, and states what is his opinion and why.
The fact that he has a specific point of view does not automatically imply that the others are either more or less correct.
It consisted of a selection of reading, with minimal commentary. Probably a ratio of 15 minutes of reading to 1 minute of commentary. The discussion was primarily a list that here were things in historical order.
Probably a review of history.
Not a very good introduction. Better to listen to some of the other authors.
As a retired Physicist who taught at a University, and worked for the Government, I am skeptical about miracles. This book does not directly attempt to assert that miracles happened, but rather examines the rational basis for examining the evidence for and against them. C.S. Lewis had philosophical training as part of his background, as well as a deep understanding of logic. He applies the techniques of each to the question of whether miracles can exist, and how to approach the problem. If you read this book without preconceptions, either for or against the central thesis, you come out with a lot of material to think about. If you are skeptical about miracles, this is a good book to read to at least open up your mind. If you already believe in miracles, then this would be worth reading to introduce some skeptical thoughts into your mind to cause you to think, and perhaps reinforce your beliefs after the thought process.
I first read this many decades ago as a teenager. Loved it then, love it now. It was one of the first "space operas", so some of the speech patterns seem quaint now, but they were fresh back then. You can get past that easily enough.
But the area that really recommends the series, is the overall plot. This series has a sweep of vision. There are some stories that cover a dramatic series of events, that in the end are only of consequence to those immediately involved. Not to say that these stories can not be well written and interesting. Then there are stories that cover events that change the scope of history, while still having a gripping plot. This falls in the later category. Summary: this series has dramatic scope, and it is a good yarn as well.
P.S. as a side note, after you read this series find the parody "Backstage Lensman" by Randall Garrett. If you don't laugh at that one, you need a funny bone implant.
This is my first detailed "reading" of any work by St. Augustine, and while the language is somewhat archaic, it is relatively easy to follow. After the first few minutes, the style issue faded into the background for me and I felt myself getting into the flow of the arguments. Worth listening to and thinking about. However, you must be able to allow yourself to accept, if only for the sake of argument, the authors Christian basis for the book. If you reject that basis, and are not willing to at least try to follow his line of reasoning, then I could see how you would get little out of it. The tone, style and pronunciation of the reader (Simon Vance) definitely adds a positive aspect to the audio book. I will have to listen to the entire work several times to extract the full value of this book.
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