Throughout history, military engagements have altered the course of historical events, causing major changes both on a global scale (the battles of Yarmouk & al-Qadisiyyah in 636 determined the religious/linguistic orientation of the Middle East that persists today) as well as within individual cultures (the 1836 battle of San Jacinto gave the United States nearly one-third of its continental territory). For these reasons and more, the study of pivotal battles is a highly useful analytical tool and an important component for understanding world history.
In these 36 dynamic lectures, Professor Aldrete leads you in discovering the military conflicts that have had the greatest impact in shifting the direction of events and defining our world. Across 4,000 years of history, you'll explore nearly 40 key military engagements, from the milestone battles of Western civilization to their counterparts in the Middle East, India, and Asia.
Through his dramatic and evocative descriptions, using special maps and animations, Professor Aldrete brings the events vividly alive, taking you through the moment-by-moment unfolding of each battle. Throughout the lectures, he uncovers fascinating background material that highlights the drama, poignancy, and scope of the experience of war. This engrossing course provides unique insights into world civilizations by revealing the profound impact of military battles in human history.
©2013 The Great Courses; ©2013 The Teaching Company, LLC
This is an excellent survey of some of the most important/decisive battles in world history.
This is an overview of battles that made a difference, whether that means they were a turning point in the history of empires, or the introduction of a game-changing technology, or whether they were the most important/indicative of a series of battles that changed the fate of the world.
You could argue that some battles not included might have been more important, but this is a survey, not a compete history of all important battles.
Professor Aldrete does a good job of explaining both the battles, and why they were on his list as key decisive battles in history.
Folks, let me be concise in this review. Spend a credit on this if the topic interests you. It's worth your credit.
I found this course to be well taught and fascinating. The Professor was excellent. Although I may not agree with all of the battles selected by the Professor as being the most important in world history (especially some of the ancient ones)- I did enjoy the manner in which he described his methodology for choosing the battles and I learned a great deal about some historical events that I really knew nothing about. The biggest complaint that I have with this course is the lack of maps for each battle. You really cannot understand strategy, movement and terrain withoug some form of visual display. I really think that Audible should contract with the Great Corses to add a pdf file of the maps for each battle. Otherwise I would recommend that one purchase this course directly from the Teaching Company
I am an avid reader/listener. I teach history at a local community college and I enjoy history and mystery/suspense novels.
This is a very good overview of major battles in world history. The professor's delivery is excellent. He does a good job in the first lecture at explaining his rationale for choosing the battles that he did. The lectures on the battles themselves are a perfect blend of background information, the battle, and the aftermath. I am a military history buff, so this course is right up my alley! That said, I think that anyone interested in world history would benefit from listening to it. Do it today. You won't be sorry.
Max Fisher of Rushmore Academy
This is a compelling lecture series. The instructor is very knowledgeable in the subject and manages to bring these battles to life in the relatively short time dedicated to each. Highly recommended to any student of military history.
My only complaint deals with the delivery. Prof. Aldrete pronounces every third word as though it comes as a complete surprise to him. It's exhausting to listen to. That said, the information is well worth the effort to consume it.
The author, Prof. Aldrete, who is also the narrator, does a fantastic job of describing not only the occurrences on the battlefield, but also of the history behind and beside. This way, this course actually offers a bit of an overview of the last 3000 years of human history, in light of decisive battles. I really liked that Prof. Aldrete offers this list of battles as his own view, debatable and open for discussion. I have to admit - every time I thought to myself "why did he not include this", or "here his biases do come into view", I would always get my answer later in the lesson for why a battle was not included, or the battle I thought of was included in a later lesson. All in all, a truly interesting, engaging course. One caveat: for ancient times, Prof. Aldrete does not struggle with ancient names. He simply makes no effort to pronounce them in anything but a very American accent. As a narrator, he cautions in the beginning of the course that the course may reflect his own biases - well, this is the only bias I have found.
By the way - one of the reviewers said battle-maps were missing. In the one or two instances I really felt the need to see a map - I found it on Wikipedia. Hence, I don't find the lack of maps to be a real shortcoming. Their addition would of course have been welcome.
An exceptional Professor who makes the context of every historical battle very informative and engaging.
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I loved this lecture series. A great sweeping overview of world history seen through the view point of decisive battles. Very interesting. Well presented. I highly recommend it, if this sort of history is your cup of tea (it is mine).
A tad action, mix in some history, throw in some battle & a sprinkle of mystery. A dash narration with added heart & a novel can become art
The length and back ground of battles, almost making it a very brief world history as much as about decisive battles.
I commend Aldrete for his amazing work, however one very minor blemish on an otherwise amazing reading is the use of 'a couple...' Instead of 'a couple of...'
This struck me every now and then as a slight annoyance, i.e. surrounded by a couple soldiers, or, only managed a couple cannons.
That aside, i highly recommend this audio course.
The walk through many aspects of world history
Battles that decided the history of the world
The author keeps a strict focus on the "decisiveness" of the battles he describes. For each one of them he argues why this was a decisive battle (and often, why not the other). He often embeds the battle in a larger history of the region, which is the most informative part. I am not especially interested in a blow-to-blow-description, so this is what the author does very good.
There are two points I would criticize:
a) Obviously, the author has most interest in western/christian culture. He tries to balance his choices, but the way describes the non-western battles seems a bit more "skimming", less deep.
b) His pronunciation of (for him) foreign names is horrible. With his tries of german names I can tell best, but I recognize his difficulties with other languages as well. "Hashian" mercenaries in the American Civil War? Where is an "sh" in "Hessian"? The swedish occupied "Shleyswig Holstin"? The "ei" is in "Holstein", not in "Schlewsig". And so on.
Is this nit-picky of me? Maybe it is, but for some reason I expected a historian for international things would be more interested in international pronunciation as well. This one seems not.
"Great Courses are GREAT"
I like to read (or listen) about history and these Great Course series of books are very good.
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