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The History of the United States, 2nd Edition | [The Great Courses]

The History of the United States, 2nd Edition

This comprehensive series of 84 lectures features three award-winning historians sharing their insights into this nation's past-from the European settlement and the Revolutionary War through the Civil War, 19th-century industrialization, two world wars, and the present day. These lectures give you the opportunity to grasp the different aspects of our past that combine to make us distinctly American, and to gain the knowledge so essential to recognizing not only what makes this country such a noteworthy part of world history, but the varying degrees to which it has lived up to its ideals.
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Publisher's Summary

This comprehensive series of 84 lectures features three award-winning historians sharing their insights into this nation's past - from the European settlement and the Revolutionary War through the Civil War, 19th-century industrialization, two world wars, and the present day.

While American history spans not much more than two centuries, it is filled with a wealth of leaders, wars, movements, inventions, and ideas - each of which contributed in its own unique way to America's transformation from 13 disparate colonies on the east coast of North America into a global superpower.

These lectures give you the opportunity to grasp the different aspects of our past that combine to make us distinctly American, and to gain the knowledge so essential to recognizing not only what makes this country such a noteworthy part of world history, but the varying degrees to which it has lived up to its ideals.

The lectures chart the five predominant themes that run throughout the chronicle of U.S. history:

  • The American passion for freedom-including religious, political, and economic freedom.
  • The pursuit of education, which has been the quintessential way for Americans to invent (and reinvent) themselves.
  • The unquestioned faith in the value of popular government.
  • The willingness of Americans to experiment with and adapt to new environments and situations.
  • The belief that the United States is a "city on the hill," a country the likes of which the world has never seen before.

Placing familiar historical events in the context of these overarching themes will help you see American history less as a series of separate events and more as a mosaic in which everything is interconnected.

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.

©2003 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2003 The Great Courses

What Members Say

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  •  
    david chesapeake, VA, United States 06-26-14
    david chesapeake, VA, United States 06-26-14 Member Since 2009

    A fellow listener inclined to share my opinion on these productions. Maybe even inspire someone toward a powerful, or educational audiobook!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "History Can Be Fun!"

    I was blown away by this lecture series! I think there were over 80 lectures, and this was only 1 credit! Beside the value, these Professors are top notch. I never thought of history with much intrigue, and I think that was because it was never told with such enthusiasm during my education. The way these lecturers strung together the entire history of the U.S. in such brilliant narratives made me just impatient to get onto the next lecture. I went through all 43 hours in about three weeks. This was not the best way to approach this amazing production if you intend to retain the knowledge imparted here in any scholarly fashion. I will be starting this again by listening to one lecture a day squeezed between some of the other amazing audible material I am always listening to throughout my work day. I think that approach will make it easier to retain the material in a more accessibly fashion.

    The narration was superb, especially Professor Allen C. Guelzo; the second and third speakers are certainly nothing to squabble over, but the first was, in my opinion the cream of the crop! He conducted every lecture like a musical composition, and ended every one with a perfect segue into the next lecture. I really haven't been this satisfied with a purchase on Audible.com in a very long time! Absolutely enthralling.

    If anyone here is looking to expand their knowledge, refresh what they may have already studied, or take a trip down scholastic avenue, this is not going to disappoint. Another great thing about this is if you are interested in only a particular part of U.S. history you can easily skip forward or backward to whatever portion of the history you are interested in. I suggest taking advantage of bookmarks in lecture series such as this one. Don't miss out on this most spectacular production!!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saud 12-03-13
    Saud 12-03-13

    Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Everything You Need to Know about US History"

    I have always heard of the formation of the United States, slavery, the Constitution, the Civil War, the reformation, the Industrial Revolution and the two World Wars from the perspective of the United States. This book takes all of those, plus everything in between, and sets it up in an easy to understand framework. If you are a history buff, this is a piece of history you cannot afford to overlook, no matter how much you think you know (or care) about it.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Van 10-23-13
    Van 10-23-13
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    "HAS INTERMEDIATE BREAKS"
    What made the experience of listening to The History of the United States, 2nd Edition the most enjoyable?

    Not sure what problems the other reviewer had but this audio book is broken up and has all the same breaks as every other Audible book I have ever purchased. On my iPhone app it is broken up into 7 downloadable parts and each lecture is its own separate chapter. So yeah, definitely has intermediate breaks


    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina Germantown, MD, USA 09-09-14
    Christina Germantown, MD, USA 09-09-14 Member Since 2005
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    "Wow!"

    This is my third Great Courses lecture series, and it was as amazing as the other two. I especially enjoyed Professor Guelzo's enthusiasm, which was contagious, but I give high marks to all three. They did a great job of breaking the series at logical points, which makes it possible to break off listening for a bit while you go read or listen to something less weighty, then come back and pick it up, no problem. I really feel, after listening to this series, that I have a more well-rounded grasp on American history, more than just the cold dates and facts. The various eras and the individuals who left their marks really came alive for me. I'm so glad that Audible and The Great Courses have teamed up! And now off to find another new favorite.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sumner SAN MARCOS, CA, United States 01-24-14
    Sumner SAN MARCOS, CA, United States 01-24-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Great highlights to US History for beginners"
    What made the experience of listening to The History of the United States, 2nd Edition the most enjoyable?

    You can tell that the narrators are knowledgeable about their topics and seem to be unscripted.


    What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

    you can tell when they were really digging into details of a particular event.


    Any additional comments?

    Definitely a great program to obtain if you are wanting a good intro into US History thats not boring or excessive. The 30 minute lectures are great for commuting to work.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell 09-26-14
    Russell 09-26-14
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    "enjoyable even on the third listen!"

    This is one of the few audiobooks or lectures that I have listened to multiple times. Even on the third listen I find it fascinating. Amazingly well done, informative, entertaining.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judi Jordan 09-14-14
    Judi Jordan 09-14-14 Member Since 2013
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    "good to hear history you knew but forgot!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The History of the United States, 2nd Edition to be better than the print version?

    Haven't read the print version, wasn't sure I would like a bunch of lectures, but the speakers really like their topics,so their zeal for the subject makes it interesting.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Liked Prof. Allitt the best; Maybe because he's British,; it's interesting to hear about American history from another perspective


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NekNam 08-17-14
    NekNam 08-17-14

    NekNam

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    "WHERE IS THE COURSE GUIDE?"
    What would have made The History of the United States, 2nd Edition better?

    Fantastic content and good readers, but we are advised right at the outset to refer to the Course Guide throughout, but Audible do not provide the course guide!
    I contacted Audible and they said they would look into it. That was 3 weeks ago and I have not heard back. Also emailed to Great Courses company at the same time, but no reply yet.


    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K 07-28-13
    K 07-28-13
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    "Didn't like Patrick Alitt"
    What did you love best about The History of the United States, 2nd Edition?

    I learned a lot that I didn't know -- particularly about Reconstruction.


    Any additional comments?

    I would like someone else to do the last segments. Not only were there errors, the instructor seemed biased.

    5 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip 08-09-13
    Philip 08-09-13

    Avid Ovid

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    "No Intermediate Breaks"

    Very disappointing. This is 43 hours long, but there are no intermediate stops. If you lose your place after 20 hours, there's no way to get back except to hold down the fast forward for 20 minutes! For that reason, I cannot recommend this.

    7 of 47 people found this review helpful
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  • Richard Batty
    9/28/14
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    "Excellent overview"
    What made the experience of listening to The History of the United States, 2nd Edition the most enjoyable?

    It was a riveting overview of American History, with a good balance of political, social, and economic topics. It was so good that I've been listening to it at almost any spare moment when I've been walking, commuting, or cooking.

    The lecturers were engaging teachers and the depth was just right for an introductory audio course - not too academic but also not dumbed down. I feel that I have a much better grasp of the broad sweep of American history and can now go on to learn in more depth about particular topics.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The History of the United States, 2nd Edition?

    I particularly enjoyed the discussion of economic and social topics in the late 19th century as the US expanded westwards and became more industrialised. There were some wonderful lectures on the challenges of western expansion, the consequences of industrialisation, and the attitudes to gender of the time.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish the third lecturer had explained why the Democratic and Republican parties seem to have switched ideological places in the mid-twentieth century.

    Also, audible should provide the option of buying the PDF guide that comes with Great Courses courses - it would be helpful for reviewing what I've learned.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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