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The Great Courses: History


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  • London: A Short History of the Greatest City in the Western World

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Bucholz
    Overall
    (678)
    Performance
    (596)
    Story
    (600)

    No city has had as powerful and as enduring an impact on Western civilization as London. But what made the city the perfect environment for so many great developments? How did London endure the sweeping historical revolutions and disasters without crumbling? Find the answers to these questions and more in these 24 fascinating lectures.

    Amy says: "Good Starting Place or Refresher"
  • The United States and the Middle East: 1914 to 9/11

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Salim Yaqub
    Overall
    (325)
    Performance
    (295)
    Story
    (293)

    At the dawn of World War I, the United States was only a rising power. Our reputation was relatively benign among Middle Easterners, who saw no imperial ambitions in our presence and were grateful for the educational and philanthropic services Americans provided. Yet by September 11, 2001, everything had changed. The United States had now become the unquestioned target of those bent on attacking the West for its perceived offenses against Islam. How and why did this transformation come about?

    David Larson says: "Hulk Smash! Hulk sorry :("
  • The Italians before Italy: Conflict and Competition in the Mediterranean

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Kenneth R. Bartlett
    Overall
    (153)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (137)

    Take a riveting tour of the Italian peninsula, from the glittering canals of Venice to the lavish papal apartments and ancient ruins of Rome. In these 24 lectures, Professor Bartlett traces the development of the Italian city-states of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, showing how the modern nation of Italy was forged out of the rivalries, allegiances, and traditions of a vibrant and diverse people.

    Quaker says: "European political history taken to the next level"
  • Peoples and Cultures of the World

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Edward Fischer
    Overall
    (123)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (104)

    As the "science of humanity," anthropology can help us understand virtually anything about ourselves, from our political and economic systems, to why we get married, to how we decide to buy a particular bottle of wine. This 24-lecture course reveals the extraordinary power of anthropology - and its subspecialty, cultural anthropology - as a tool to understand the world's varied human societies, including our own.

    Pedro M says: "The world is not only made of tribes"
  • Rome and the Barbarians

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Kenneth W. Harl
    Overall
    (267)
    Performance
    (233)
    Story
    (234)

    The history of the Romans as they advanced the frontiers of Classical civilization is often told as a story of warfare and conquest-the mighty legions encountering the "barbarians." But this only tells one side of the story.Who were the Celts, Goths, Huns, and Persians met by the Romans as they marched north and east? What were the political, military, and social institutions that made Rome so stable, allowing its power to be wielded against these different cultures for nearly three centuries?

    M. Brian Burchette says: "The Best Course I've heard yet."
  • Europe and Western Civilization in the Modern Age

    • ORIGINAL (23 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Thomas Childers
    Overall
    (152)
    Performance
    (130)
    Story
    (128)

    Only three lifetimes ago, Europe was a farming society ruled by families of monarchs. But with two seismic tremors - capitalism and democracy - Europe's economic and royal foundations were shattered forever and modern European history began.In this series of 48 fascinating lectures, Professor Childers makes the history of Europe from the 1750s to the present - events both horrible and magnificent - as immediate as today's headlines, employing the historian's craft and a storyteller's skill to find the causes of what otherwise could seem to be the march of folly.

    Quaker says: "Oh my, where do I begin? A fantastic listen."
  • War and World History

    • ORIGINAL (25 hrs and 1 min)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Jonathan P. Roth
    Overall
    (172)
    Performance
    (153)
    Story
    (150)

    This fresh and challenging inquiry into human societies takes a deep look at the effects and roles of war. As the most complex of all human endeavors, warfare - from ancient to modern - has spurred the growth of essential new technologies; demanded the adoption of complex economic systems; shaped the ideology and culture of nations; promoted developments in art and literature; and spread faith across the globe.

    Jamie Nettles says: "War & Its Interactions with History & Civilization"
  • The Americas in the Revolutionary Era

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Marshall C. Eakin
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (48)

    Go on an in-depth, 24-lecture exploration of important (and often overlooked) questions about the tumultuous political history of the Americas. Professor Eakin explains the cultural, economic, and political pressures each of these new American nations faced in achieving independence. In addition, he examines exactly why each revolution progressed, and succeeded or failed, as it did.

    Tim says: "Poor audio quality"
  • A History of Russia: From Peter the Great to Gorbachev

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Mark Steinberg
    Overall
    (607)
    Performance
    (554)
    Story
    (546)

    It's difficult to imagine a nation with a history more compelling for Americans than Russia. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, this was the nation against which we measured our own nation's values and power and with whom war, if it ever came, could spell unimaginable catastrophe for our planet.Yet many Americans have never had the opportunity to study Russia in depth, and to see how the forces of history came together to shape a future so different from the dreams of most ordinary Russian people, eager to see their nation embrace Western values of progress, human rights, and justice.

    Shah Alam says: "Not story-telling but history-telling at its best"
  • The African Experience: From 'Lucy' to Mandela

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Kenneth P. Vickery
    Overall
    (221)
    Performance
    (201)
    Story
    (198)

    The story of Africa is the oldest and most event-filled chronicle of human activity on the planet. And in these 36 lectures, you'll explore this great historical drama, tracing the story of the sub-Saharan region of the continent from the earliest evidence of human habitation to the latest challenges facing African nations in the 21st century. By learning with these lectures, you'll finally be able to bust myths and correct potential misunderstandings about Africa.

    Logical Paradox says: "Africa Found!"
  • Classical Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, John R. Hale
    • Narrated By Professor John R. Hale
    Overall
    (132)
    Performance
    (118)
    Story
    (117)

    Over the years, Classical archaeology has evolved from a pastime of collectors and antiquarians to a mature science. Today, the field is a multidisciplinary effort that involves not only traditional diggers, but also geologists, geographers, anthropologists, and linguists.These 36 lectures introduce you to this fascinating field of study. Professor Hale guides you through dozens of ancient sites with the skill of a born storyteller.

    Bookworm says: "Absolutely Fantastic!"
  • The Long Shadow of the Ancient Greek World

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Ian Worthington
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (65)
    Story
    (66)

    Immerse yourself in this comprehensive survey of ancient Greece from 750 to 323 B.C.-from the emergence of Greece at the end of the Dark Ages to the final disintegration of Greek autonomy through the Macedonian kings Philip II and Alexander the Great.

    Reid Kotlas says: "Excellent. Compelling and informative."
  • Late Antiquity: Crisis and Transformation

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Thomas F. X. Noble
    Overall
    (131)
    Performance
    (115)
    Story
    (115)

    Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire painted a portrait of the Roman Empire in a long, debilitating slide to oblivion, but now historians have reevaluated this picture to create a radically different understanding of the period now known as "late antiquity." Far from being a period of decline and fall, late antiquity marked one of history's great turning points.

    AlexIndia says: "Drinking history from a fire hose!"
  • European History and European Lives: 1715 to 1914

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Jonathan Steinberg
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (87)

    Meet 35 of the most influential people who lived during the 200 most difficult years in the history of the West. Between the years 1715 and 1914, the lives of these artists, writers, scientists, and leaders shaped our times and reflected their own.You'll meet such figures as Charles Darwin, Sir Robert Walpole, David Lloyd George, Mary Wollstonecraft, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, Napoleon Bonaparte, and others whose lives represent the crucial forces that shaped European history during two decisive centuries.

    Lisa says: "Loved this!! Compelling, Intellectual and Fun"
  • Robert E. Lee and His High Command

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Gary W. Gallagher
    • Narrated By Professor Gary W. Gallagher
    Overall
    (145)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (131)

    Few events have captivated students of American history like the Civil War. Its most striking personalities seem somehow outsized, magnified beyond the ability of books or even legend to contain them. And few among those personalities have ever held our attention like General Robert Edward Lee.With his Army of Northern Virginia, Lee came to embody the cause of the Confederacy itself

    Brad says: "Excellent Review of Lee's High Command"
  • Turning Points in Medieval History

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Dorsey Armstrong
    Overall
    (118)
    Performance
    (108)
    Story
    (105)

    For an accurate picture of how the political, social, and religious structure of present-day Europe came to be-and even why we're speaking English today-studying the key events between the years 500 and 1500 is of critical import. These 24 gripping lectures deliver an unparalleled look at these moments that profoundly changed the arc of history, and they weave the era's vast array of disparate events into an interconnected tapestry that illuminates why nothing exists in a vacuum.

    Christian M.F. Poulsen says: "Great and clear voice, Easy to understand"
  • Greece and Rome: An Integrated History of the Ancient Mediterranean

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Robert Garland
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Garland
    Overall
    (394)
    Performance
    (357)
    Story
    (355)

    Integrated approaches to teaching Greek and Roman history are a rarity in academia. Most scholars are historians of either Greek or Roman history and perform research solely in that specific field, an approach that author and award-winning Professor Robert Garland considers questionable.In these 36 passionate lectures, he provides and impressive and rare opportunity to understand the two dominant cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world in relation to one another-a relationship that has virtually no parallel in world history.

    Mountain K9iner says: "Excellent content with some caveats"
  • A Brief History of the World

    • ORIGINAL (19 hrs and 1 min)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Peter N. Stearns
    Overall
    (165)
    Performance
    (144)
    Story
    (143)

    The construction of the great pyramids of Egypt, the development of democracy in ancient Greece, the glories of ancient Rome-these stories are familiar to students of history. But what about the rest of the world? How do the histories of China and Japan, or Russia, India, and the remote territories of Sub-Saharan Africa and South America fit in with commonly known accounts of Western traditions?Learn the rest of the story with these 36 riveting lectures that survey the expanse of human development and civilization across the globe.

    Tad Davis says: "Global"
  • Ancient Empires before Alexander

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert L. Dise Jr.
    Overall
    (118)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (110)

    Complete your knowledge of the ancient world with this comprehensive look at the dozen empires that flourished in the 2,000 years before the conquests of Alexander the Great. Over the course of 36 insightful lectures, you'll follow the Egyptians, the Mycenaean Greeks, the Persians, the Carthaginians, and others as they rise to glory, create administrative and military structures, clash with one another, and eventually collapse.

    Emily says: "University Level Lecture Series"
  • The Fall of the Pagans and the Origins of Medieval Christianity

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Kenneth W. Harl
    Overall
    (277)
    Performance
    (251)
    Story
    (249)

    Explore the dramatic interaction between Judaism, Christianity, and paganism in Rome from the 1st to the 6th centuries. Why did pagan Rome clash with the early Christians? What was it like to be a Jew or a Christian under Roman law? And how did Christianity ultimately achieve dominance in the Roman Empire?Over the course or 24 lectures, Professor Harl enables you to grasp the full historical sweep of this critically important era and its key figures.

    Lee says: "Not what they told you in Sunday School"
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