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The Great Courses: History

 
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  • The Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Rise of Nations

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Andrew C. Fix
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (88)

    Between 1348 and 1715, western Europe was fraught with turmoil, beset by the Black Plague, numerous and bitter religious wars, and frequent political revolutions and upheavals. Yet the Europe that emerged from this was vastly different from the Europe that entered it. By the start of the 18th century, Europe had been revitalized and reborn in a radical break with the past that would have untold ramifications for human civilization.

    Carlos Perry says: "Excellent! (...but the ending could be improved)"
  • The Greek and Persian Wars

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, John R. Hale
    • Narrated By Professor John R. Hale
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    Spanning more than two centuries, the Greek and Persian wars forged a new world order, sparking developments in battle strategy, naval technology, world exploration, and art and culture that impact the world even today. These 24 lectures are your opportunity to survey this globe-spanning conflict and see the human experience behind some of the most remarkable episodes in ancient history.

    DefendMeNow says: "Outstanding"
  • Conquest of the Americas

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Marshall C. Eakin
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Was Christopher Columbus's voyage to the Americas in 1492 the most important event in the history of the world? Professor Eakin's provocative answer is a resounding "Yes" - as he presents his case in an intriguing series of 24 lectures. These thoughtful lectures will remind you that when Columbus completed his voyage, he found a people unlike any he had ever known, living in a land unmentioned in any of the great touchstones of Western knowledge. You'll learn how the European world, animated by the great dynamic forces of the day, Christianity and commercial capitalism, reacted to Columbus's discovery.

  • The Age of Pericles

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Jeremy McInerney
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    The career of Pericles, the leading Athenian politician and general from c. 450 to 429 B.C., is a prism through which to view the "Golden Age" of Greece, a brief but remarkable era when Athens experienced a cultural flowering of extraordinary power and importance for Western culture. These 24 stimulating lectures present a well-rounded portrait of almost every aspect of Athenian life during the Golden Age.

    Sean says: "Unflinching look at the Golden Age of Athens"
  • Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Suzanne M. Desan
    Overall
    (178)
    Performance
    (159)
    Story
    (158)

    The 25 years between the onset of the French Revolution in 1789 and the Bourbon Restoration after Napoleon in 1814 is an astonishing period in world history. This era shook the foundations of the old world and marked a permanent shift for politics, religion, and society - not just for France, but for all of Europe. An account of the events alone reads like something out of a thrilling novel.

    Monte Johnston says: "Such a great balance of the big picture and detail"
  • The Development of European Civilization

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Kenneth R. Bartlett
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (26)

    In almost every way that matters, historical Europe was the laboratory in which the world you now live in was conceived and tested. And you'll be living with the consequences for the rest of your life. These 48 lectures lead you through the doors of that laboratory and guide you through the development of Europe from the late Middle Ages through the eve of World War II.

    William Powers says: "Amazing"
  • The Rise and Fall of Soviet Communism: A History of 20th-Century Russia

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Gary Hamburg
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (29)

    From the Oval Office to the streets of Moscow, world leaders and ordinary citizens alike share interest and concerns about Russia. Can democracy survive there? What does the future hold for the once expansive and still powerful Russian nation? Is Soviet Communism truly dead? These are the kinds of questions diplomats struggle with every day.

    Lance says: "Great introduction but leaves lots of questions"
  • Great Battles of the Ancient World

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Garrett G. Fagan
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    Forget Hollywood's portrayal of violence and mayhem in ancient warfare and find out what the ancient battles were really like. What were the weapons, tactics, armor, training, and logistics? What were the crucial factors that could turn the tide of battle, giving one side victory and the other defeat?In 24 exciting lectures, Professor Fagan introduces you to the many fateful battles that became crucibles of history: the fearsome clash between the Athenians and the invading Persian army at the Marathon, Alexander the Great's crushing hammer-and-anvil tactics against the Persians at Gaugemela, and the Roman mastery of siege warfare at the Jewish fortress of Masada.

    Clavius says: "A Series of Violent Episodes Create a Whole"
  • Alexander the Great and the Macedonian Empire

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Kenneth W. Harl
    Overall
    (57)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (54)

    Alexander the Great-one of the most renowned figures in antiquity-has inspired everything from medieval romances to blockbuster movies, and military leaders from Julius Caesar to Napoleon to the U.S. general Norman Schwarzkopf. But who was this great king of Macedon? And why is he so legendary? These 36 spellbinding lectures take you deep inside the world of Alexander to witness the astonishing feats of military genius that made his name renowned for millennia after his death.

    Carlos Avalos says: "Excellent!!!"
  • The Great Debate: Advocates and Opponents of the American Constitution

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Thomas L. Pangle
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in and interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Its authority and stature are routinely invoked by voices from every point on the political spectrum, with frequent references to the Founding Fathers and their true "intent." What really was their true intent? As these 12 surprising lectures show, many of those Founding Fathers-including Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry-were highly critical of the new Constitution and staunchly opposed it when it was first put forth for ratification by the states as a replacement for the Articles of Confederation.

    Wojciech says: "Great comparison of federalist and anti-federalist"
  • World War I: The Great War

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (87)

    Touched off by a terrorist act in Bosnia and spreading all too quickly beyond the expectations of those who were involved, World War I was an unprecedented catastrophe with a ghastly cost. After this first "total war"-the first conflict involving entire societies mobilized to wage unrestrained war, devoting all their wealth, industries, institutions, and the lives of their citizens to win victory at any price - the world itself would never be the same.

    Saud says: "Lack of Chronology"
  • The Other 1492: Ferdinand, Isabella, and the Making of an Empire

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Teofilo F. Ruiz
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Ask anyone about the significance of the year 1492, and you're almost certain to hear something about Christopher Columbus and the discovery of the New World. But there is also a perspective on 1492 far different than the one most of us know-one that is more complete and complex. A 1492 when there was no country called Spain and no language called Spanish.

    Marc says: "hard to follow."
  • The Terror of History: Mystics, Heretics, and Witches in the Western Tradition

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Teofilo F. Ruiz
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (38)

    Western civilization is closely associated with reason and science, and with exceptional accomplishments in art, architecture, music, and literature.Yet it has also been characterized by widespread belief in the supernatural and the irrational - with mystics who have visions of the divine and entire movements of people who wait in fervent anticipation of the apocalypse.

    Pamela says: "Great Courses Are wonderful"
  • The Era of the Crusades

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Kenneth W. Harl
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (48)
    Story
    (48)

    What were the forces that led to one of history's most protracted and legendary periods of conflict? How did they affect the three great civilizations that participated in them? And, ultimately, why did they end and what did they accomplish? In these 36 lectures, you'll look at the "big picture" of the Crusades as an ongoing period of conflict involving Western Christendom (we would now call it Western Europe), the Byzantine Empire, and the Muslim world.

    Tad Davis says: "Fascinating background"
  • Famous Romans

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor J. Rufus Fears
    Overall
    (49)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (46)

    These 24 lectures retell the lives of the remarkable individuals - the statesmen, thinkers, warriors, and writers -who shaped the history of the Roman Empire and, by extension, our own history and culture. Professor Fears divides his presentation into three "turning point" epochs in Roman history: Rome's war with Hannibal (the Second Punic War); Caesar and the end of the Roman Republic; and the imperial era between Augustus and Marcus Aurelius.

    Abdur Abdul-Malik says: "Captivating Biography"
  • Must History Repeat the Great Conflicts of This Century?

    • ORIGINAL (5 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Joseph S. Nye Jr.
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Twice in the first half of the last century, the great powers engaged in wars that killed nearly 70 million people, with the aftermath of each shaking the international political system, changing the maps of the world, and setting the scene for the next great conflict. And for most of the past 50 years, the Cold War dominated international politics. Is this the history we are condemned to repeat? This series of eight lectures about international politics will hone your ability to approach that question with knowledge and insight.

  • Victorian Britain

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Patrick N. Allitt
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (49)

    This series of 36 fascinating lectures is a chronological journey into the story of Victorian Britain, from the unexpected ascension to the throne of teenaged Princess Victoria in 1837 to her death in 1901 as the Boer War neared its end.Presented with all of Victoria's strengths and foibles left intact by an award-winning teacher and author, the lectures invite you to reflect on both the positive and negative aspects of her reign.

    Dulce says: "Very good introductory course"
  • Origins and Ideologies of the American Revolution

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Peter C. Mancall
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    The years between 1760 and 1800 rocked the Western world. These were the years when colonists on the eastern fringes of a continent converted the ideals of Enlightenment thought first into action, then into an actual form of government.Now you can learn why this happened and how the colonists did it-in a series of 48 insightful lectures from an award-winning teacher and author.

    Steven says: "Not a good speaker"
  • Making History: How Great Historians Interpret the Past

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Allen C. Guelzo
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    How do historians create their histories? What role do the historian's viewpoint and method play in what we accept as truth? Answer these questions and more as you go inside the minds of our greatest historians and explore the idea of written history as it has shaped humanity's story over 2,000 years

    Nelson Alexander says: "More Histrionics than History"
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