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The Foundations of Western Civilization | [The Great Courses]

The Foundations of Western Civilization

What is Western Civilization? According to Professor Noble, it is "much more than human and political geography," encompassing myriad forms of political and institutional structures - from monarchies to participatory republics - and its own traditions of political discourse. It involves choices about who gets to participate in any given society and the ways in which societies have resolved the tension between individual self-interest and the common good.
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Publisher's Summary

What is Western civilization? According to Professor Noble, it is "much more than human and political geography," encompassing myriad forms of political and institutional structures - from monarchies to participatory republics - and its own traditions of political discourse. It involves choices about who gets to participate in any given society and the ways in which societies have resolved the tension between individual self-interest and the common good.

Within this series of 48 lectures, you'll discover the many ways in which Western civilization has addressed those questions, from its first stirrings in the great river valleys of Iraq and Egypt in 3000 B.C to the beginning of the 17th century and the dawn of the modern world. Your learning will cover vast amounts of territory and thousands of years, beginning in the ancient Near East and moving to Greece and then Rome. You'll explore ancient empires, including those of Persia, Alexander the Great, and Rome.

You'll watch as western Europe gradually expands, both physically and culturally. And you'll examine the globalizations of Western civilization with the Portuguese and Spanish voyages of exploration and discovery.

This broad and panoramic series, ripe with the telling detail on which history can turn, will help you pull an enormous sweep of history together into one coherent - though by no means closed - framework as you watch history develop under the influence of such critical factors as ecology and environment, geography, and climate; government and economics; technology; religion; work and leisure; philosophy; literature; art and architecture; and virtues, values, and aesthetics.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

©2002 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2002 The Great Courses

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    Tyler Red Deer, AB, Canada 03-04-14
    Tyler Red Deer, AB, Canada 03-04-14 Member Since 2011

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    "Excellent course!"

    This is my second, all time favorite history course thus far. I have only been a patron of the Great Courses for about 7 or 8 months when my favorite podcaster mentioned they were now on Audible. I highly recommend this particular course. The professor is very good at what he does, captivating, interesting, and knowledgeable.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    Palmer2010 NC, USA 12-26-13
    Palmer2010 NC, USA 12-26-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Good Survey Course"
    Would you listen to The Foundations of Western Civilization again? Why?

    This question is not applicable to this title or most other audio courses. Would listen to other courses by this professor.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Foundations of Western Civilization?

    Sections covering the Greek and Roman cultures, including the decline of Rome, were especially interesting.


    What does Professor Thomas F. X. Noble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Good, enthusiastic speaker. Well organized and he makes clear the main, take-away points, which is so important for an audio course.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    History of the World Part I ... Maybe Monty Python and the Holy Grail


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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