The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade Audiobook | Susan Wise Bauer | Audible.com
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The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade | [Susan Wise Bauer]

The History of the Medieval World: From the Conversion of Constantine to the First Crusade

From the schism between Rome and Constantinople to the rise of the T'ang Dynasty, from the birth of Muhammad to the crowning of Charlemagne, this erudite book tells the fascinating, often violent story of kings, generals, and the peoples they ruled.
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Publisher's Summary

From the schism between Rome and Constantinople to the rise of the T'ang Dynasty, from the birth of Muhammad to the crowning of Charlemagne, this erudite book tells the fascinating, often violent story of kings, generals, and the peoples they ruled. In her earlier work, The History of the Ancient World, Susan Wise Bauer wrote of the rise of kingship based on might. But in the years between the fourth and the 12th centuries, rulers had to find new justification for their power, and they turned to divine truth or grace to justify political and military action. Right thus replaces might as the engine of empire. Not just Christianity and Islam but the religions of the Persians and the Germans, and even Buddhism, are pressed into the service of the state. This phenomenon---stretching from the Americas all the way to Japan---changes religion, but it also changes the state.

©2010 Susan Wise Bauer (P)2010 Tantor

What the Critics Say

“[A] witty and well-written examination of world history...that is rich in detail and intriguing in anecdotal information.” (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (219 )
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 (72)
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4.1 (121 )
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4.1 (121 )
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  •  
    Chi-Hung Riverside, CA, USA 06-15-10
    Chi-Hung Riverside, CA, USA 06-15-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    534
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    "Balanced"

    This book has a very balanced treatment to middle age by presenting political history of Western Europe, Americas, India, China, Japan, Byzantine, Islam and Turks, and because the focus is on political history, it's infinitely readable and interesting. We however get no social history, no great thinkers, no technology, no class analysis only time they were mentioned was if they have tangent with political narrative.

    Also the decision to end the book at First Crusade, (1096-1099) seem entirely arbitrary.

    22 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd United States 05-13-11
    Todd United States 05-13-11 Member Since 2011

    tpaddack

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "A tough one to get through"

    I tried. I really tried with this one. I think the idea of the author is a good one, but without enough personalized accounts or a contiguous narrative, this book just becomes the thing that everyone who hates history dreads: a long list of events, dates, names and places that have no coherent connection.

    One strategy to get through this book is to just listen to the different segments based on the civilizations followed. For instance, just listen to the segments about Rome and the West, then go back and listen to the segments about China and Korea and then finish up with the segments about India. It does make it easier but still, since there's very little meat presented to hang on the historical bones of events, the book is still not much fun to follow.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Austin, TX, United States 08-04-11
    Alison Austin, TX, United States 08-04-11 Member Since 2010

    Miss Construed

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My Kind of History Book"

    Bauer's book is a narrative of medieval history. It covers facts without a lot of fluff. I like how it travels the globe to give you an idea of what is going on all over during a time period. I learned a lot about Indian and Korean history which I'd never encountered and was able to line up events on different continents and see the relationships. Well worth the credit.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl Tehachapi, CA, United States 01-15-12
    Carl Tehachapi, CA, United States 01-15-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "A great place to continue--a tough place to start."
    What did you love best about The History of the Medieval World?

    The book does an excellent job of connecting world events together, instead of focusing on one specific land/nation/continent. That said, that is a monumental task and a listener can easily get overwhelmed by such a perspective--especially when


    What did you like best about this story?

    As an American of Western European stock, I found it useful to hear about the developments on the Korean Peninsula--as that drama continues to play out today.


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

    No--one chapter at a time. The listener needs time to absorb the content of this book


    Any additional comments?

    This is one of the few audio books I have downloaded where I fully intend to listen to it--not one more time--but two more times. The topic is that heavy.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr United States 12-11-10
    Mr United States 12-11-10 Member Since 2010

    Historys Hammer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "An Excellent Overview"

    This book is an excellent overview of the transition from the old Roman and Persian world of late Antiquity into the the Feudal/Crusader period. It also provides the reader with much information on the Orient/Indian/North American civilizations and their highs and lows. It is really quit fascinating how much the history of nearly all peoples is linked. For every action there is a consequence, a ripple effect that may not affect the peoples performing said actions, but can cause mass chaos half a world away.

    While this book by no means goes into any great depth on a particular people, it provides the reader with a great stepping stone for further investigations into history. As a Christian, I particularly enjoyed the look into the founding of Islam and the conquests following the death of Muhammad, a subject slightly difficult to find in audio format.

    John Lee is a fine narrator, one of my favorite voices, and he really brings this book to life. He certainly is not monotone in his reading, as one reviewer suggests. I find that his pronunciations are spot on; he clearly has much knowledge of history himself.

    So if you are interested in Medieval history but do not know where to start, this book will provide you with an excellent overview of the subject and act as a stepping stone into further reading.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Metcalfe, ON, Canada 11-15-10
    Kim Metcalfe, ON, Canada 11-15-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wide-ranging"

    The book starts rather abruptly, but that wasn't a huge obstacle to becoming absorbed in it. Of necessity, it gives only summaries of large periods of time, but it discusses pretty much the whole world. There is quite a lot of discussion of Asian history at this period, including what are now Japan, the Koreas, China and India, so it's not just a book about Europe.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John A. Csellak North Carolina, USA 01-23-13
    John A. Csellak North Carolina, USA 01-23-13 Member Since 2005

    businessman

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worth a Listen for the Details and Narrator"
    Any additional comments?

    This book is a detailed account if medieval history throughout the world. A valid criticism is that it does tend to be a list of people, events, and dates, exactly what some people don't like history to be. In spite of that, I found it to be incredibly interesting and useful, giving a fantastic review of all the important (and some not-so-important) things that happened in this period.I especially like the way it includes what was happening in China, Japan, India, and the Near East during this period, interweaving this with the events of Medieval Europe that most books limit themselves to.If nothing else, it's worth listening to if only to hear the narrator seamlessly switch from jaw-dropping pronunciations of Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Scandinavian, Persian, Arab, Frankish, Germanic, Spanish, Greek, Anglo-Saxon, Italian, and other place names and person names. I don't know if he's pronouncing the all correctly, but it sure sounds like he is.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    goddess_of_pipework Roswell, GA United States 02-11-11
    goddess_of_pipework Roswell, GA United States 02-11-11 Member Since 2002

    goddess_of_plumbing

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good overview of history"

    There's not a great deal of depth here, but that's not the point - it's a survey of what went on in Europe and Asia. But it is interesting and balanced. However, the narrator is both dry and dull. A different narrator, with a bit of life in his narration, would have made for a much better listen.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Marietta, GA, USA 02-12-13
    Daniel Marietta, GA, USA 02-12-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "More comprehensive than I thought"
    If you could sum up The History of the Medieval World in three words, what would they be?

    Very worthwhile listen!


    What other book might you compare The History of the Medieval World to and why?

    Not sure.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I was fascinated by the stories of how leaders were changed....death, murder, conquest, etc. All were interesting glimpses into how power has been determined through history.


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

    No


    Any additional comments?

    This is an excellent and thorough treatment of the history of the world during the time when history was not much talked about. I was surprised and delighted with the inclusion of essentially the entire world and not just Europe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott FRANKSVILLE, WI, United States 10-01-12
    Scott FRANKSVILLE, WI, United States 10-01-12 Member Since 2006
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    "good listen"

    very detailed interesting history lesson. takes a while to get into the detail but well worth the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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