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A History of the Middle Ages | [Crane Brinton, John Christopher, Robert Wolff]

A History of the Middle Ages

A History of the Middle Ages is the amazing story of European man in transition. It is a dramatic chronicle of 1,000 years of political, social, and economic transformation beginning with the dissolution of the classical Mediterranean civilization and ending with the first flowering of the Renaissance. It is also the story of two new religions, Christianity and Islam, both of which were destined to dominate the mind of every person in those new civilizations arising in their wake.
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Publisher's Summary

A History of the Middle Ages is the amazing story of European man in transition. It is a dramatic chronicle of 1,000 years of political, social, and economic transformation beginning with the dissolution of the classical Mediterranean civilization and ending with the first flowering of the Renaissance. It is also the story of two new religions, Christianity and Islam, both of which were destined to dominate the mind of every person in those new civilizations arising in their wake. This was the great Age of Faith, a time of darkness and a time of enlightenment...a time of lords and vassals, popes and kings, and commerce and cathedrals.

This great history starts with a survey of Christianity, then continues with an exploration of the "dark ages" following the fall of Rome, before proceeding with an explanation of how Europe coped with, and absorbed, the barbarians who overran the Empire. It goes on to trace the development of feudalism and Islam, and describes the harrowing survival of Byzantium throughout the brutal chaos that swirled about the Eastern Roman Empire during the 9th and 10th centuries. Discover how national monarchies and the modern nation state came into being, how the West responded to the Islamic invasions, and how Christianity penetrated into the farthest reaches of Northern Europe. Understand the dramatic repercussions of the Great Schism in Christianity and how economic change in the West almost destroyed the church. Finally, discover the events which gave rise to the magnificent flowering of the Gothic Age and the explosion of knowledge which subsequently paved the way for the Renaissance. The Middle Ages were the precursor to everything which we in the west consider "modern." This beautifully written history tells you why.

© and (P)2004 Audio Connoisseur

What Members Say

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  •  
    ddsharper Los Angeles, CA 01-29-06
    ddsharper Los Angeles, CA 01-29-06 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Material: Hard Listen"

    Great information, thorough and power packed facts reside in this book. If you learn best through listening, perhaps this book is for you. If you need to ruminate and grasp facts and concepts before moving on, this book moves way to fast, in my opinion. It is one of the titles I've downloaded that I will listen to when I already have a framework set, and understanding of this period in western civilization, and then I can use this book as a solid review. Now, I use it to help my insomnia.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Akeel Montreal, QC, Canada 05-26-04
    Akeel Montreal, QC, Canada 05-26-04
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    "Don't waste your money"

    Not a particularly informative or interesting history of the middle ages. Worse still, it's biased and the scholarship is shoddy even by the standards of popular history. The material covered is full of questionable generalizations and opinions or interpretations differing form the authors are given very poor coverage. Combine this with the absurd English accent of the narrator and the audiobook becomes unsufferable.

    22 of 62 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald E. Campbell Pearl, MS USA 11-21-13
    Donald E. Campbell Pearl, MS USA 11-21-13 Member Since 2012

    reader

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    "Very interesting look at the middle ages"
    Where does A History of the Middle Ages rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was a very solid book. Part of the problems that I have with books like this is that I come in with very little background in the history of the parts of the world I am not familiar with (anything other than the US and the UK). This book did a good job of tying together the various strands of the politics/religion/culture, etc. for all parts of the world in a coherent picture. It was still hard for me to keep up with some of the historical discussions of areas was not familiar with -- but that's not the book's fault!


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked how the authors would take one era, break down that era by area of the world and then break it down even further by specific areas of discussion (religion, politics, etc.). I thought it very helpful.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I like how the authors toward the end tied the way we think about some things today to their roots in the middle ages. That was need.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are interested in this topic, it is worth a listen. If you are not, you will get bored. That's probably true of all history books.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zane riverhead, New Zealand 07-25-13
    Zane riverhead, New Zealand 07-25-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Deeply researched history of the Middle Ages"
    What three words best describe Charlton Griffin’s performance?

    Cliche history teacher (in the best possible way)


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Some sections of this audio book I found very dull others were hugely exciting. It's history. The dull parts set the scene for the fantastic layers of multiple kingdoms over many centuries. This audio book is a marathon. I don't think I would of made it through the first hundred pages of the physical book but I listened to this for weeks and continue to revisit it.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    j 06-30-13
    j 06-30-13
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    9
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    "Great HIstory"
    Where does A History of the Middle Ages rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a great read for those wanting to understand modern Europe and western civilization


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This book is best listened to continuously to be able to integrate all the components of history together


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-07-13 Member Since 2011

    JimBobBillyJoeJackJasonTom

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    "I just want to give a star rating. If you force me"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I just want to give a star rating. If you force me to say more, I will give you this tripe.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I just want to give a star rating. If you force me to say more, I will give you this tripe.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I just want to give a star rating. If you force me to say more, I will give you this tripe.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I just want to give a star rating. If you force me to say more, I will give you this tripe.


    Any additional comments?

    I just want to give a star rating. If you force me to say more, I will give you this tripe.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie 10-15-12
    Julie 10-15-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Incomprehensible"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I don't know who would like this. It is hard to follow, no story line and the narrator's voice sounds like he rehearsed with Monty Python.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I like Biographies and history, so I am open to recommendations.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Different narrator, he sounded pretentious, the music was weird, don't know why they put it where they did.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Yes, I liked the part about Christianity, It made me realize that St. Paul was a great organizer and that is why the church made it.


    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Megan 09-04-12
    Megan 09-04-12
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    "Loved it!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it was very informative, there was more than just talking and being read to. There was music and other aspects that made it interesting to listen to.


    Have you listened to any of Charlton Griffin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard HAMPTON, VA, United States 08-20-12
    Richard HAMPTON, VA, United States 08-20-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Interesting but nothing new was presented"
    Would you listen to A History of the Middle Ages again? Why?

    I probably would not. I did not find the information about the Middle Ages I had hoped to find. Basically I got a rehash of my college textbook.


    Would you recommend A History of the Middle Ages to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would recommend it to anyone who wants a refresher of what they learned in European History in undergraduate school.


    What about Charlton Griffin’s performance did you like?

    He read it with feeling, humor and authority.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Neither laughed nor cried


    Any additional comments?

    None

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tomer AMSTERDAM, Netherlands 07-11-12
    Tomer AMSTERDAM, Netherlands 07-11-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Fascinating!!!"

    Very comprehensive read, dealing with the full range of human life in the middle ages including politics, culture, religion and chronology.
    Very vibrant and existing period in human history, too often dismissed as 'dark' and thus unimportant - now. after this read, I beg to differ!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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