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The Skeptic's Guide to American History Lecture

The Skeptic's Guide to American History

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Publisher's Summary

To take a skeptical approach to American history is not to dabble in imaginative conspiracy theories; rather, it's to reframe your understanding of this great nation's past and actually strengthen your appreciation for what makes American history such a fascinating chapter in the larger story of Western civilization. And in this bold 24-lecture series, you can do just that.

Travel back in time and examine many commonly held myths and half-truths about American history and prompt yourself to think about what really happened in the nation's past - as opposed to what many believe happened. These lectures demonstrate how reconsidering some of the most popular notions of U.S. history can yield new (and sometimes startlingly different) interpretations of political, social, economic, and military events. But more than just debunking commonly accepted accounts, you'll be able to replace these misconceptions with insightful truths. Exploring both America's history and the verdicts that have been rendered about some of its most enduring figures - including George Washington, John Adams, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and many others - these lectures investigate a wide-ranging list of questions. What impact did other nations have on the American Revolution? Has George Washington always been revered as president? Do we now understand the true blunders in America's Vietnam policies and tactics?

In exploring these and other questions, these lectures prove themselves to be a delightful intellectual experience that will allow you to rethink not just the facts of U.S. history, but also their meaning.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2012 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2012 The Great Courses

What Members Say

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  •  
    Woodhouse Santa Monica, CA 10-01-13
    Woodhouse Santa Monica, CA 10-01-13 Member Since 2013

    JeannaRanae

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great to listen to while driving"
    Any additional comments?

    This lecture series was great to listen to while driving to work. It was interesting and the perfect length for my car rides. I would recommend this audiobook to anyone curious about US history.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt Haynes 03-19-17
    Matt Haynes 03-19-17 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unexpected"

    I thought I would be hearing a more cynical presentation and was pleasantly surprised to find that was not the case. One of the best presentations of events and facts supporting the lecturer's interpretation of those events I have ever heard.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dexter Ware 03-14-17
    Dexter Ware 03-14-17 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Learned so much"

    I had always cast a questionable eye on history as I currently know it. This course has responded to some of doubts about US history and others that I wasn't award of. I really enjoyed this course.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Mendez 02-22-17 Member Since 2014

    melobites

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    "A must for any citizen of the world"

    On point, unbiased and an eye opener. Should be part of any higher degree curriculum or high-school history class.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Crystal E. Ashland, OR United States 02-01-17
    Crystal E. Ashland, OR United States 02-01-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Best History Overview"

    This was the best history overview I've heard yet. I have taken History AP class but this one was more thorough

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stefan Balan 01-30-17 Member Since 2017

    StB

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    "Enlightening retake on the US history"
    If you could sum up The Skeptic's Guide to American History in three words, what would they be?

    It is not a debunking, not even a re-writing of the US history. It's just history-how it should be written.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The fact that each detail is put in the context of its time.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas L. Roush Utah 01-28-17
    Thomas L. Roush Utah 01-28-17 Member Since 2015

    Utah Tom

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "informative"

    Good information, we'll presented by an informed source. author not tied by any particular premises.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Yorktown, VA 01-11-17
    Dave Yorktown, VA 01-11-17 Member Since 2012
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    "excellent overview of overlooked history"

    Great narration and good content. Both interesting and enjoyable. highly recommend this course for history enthusiasts.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kassie sarr 01-07-17
    kassie sarr 01-07-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Worth listening"

    The first half is excellent, highly engaging, and informative. The professor does a great job shedding light on historical moments that we often culturally misunderstand.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RealTruth Investor Relations, MN 12-08-16
    RealTruth Investor Relations, MN 12-08-16 Member Since 2011

    RealTruth

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "puzzling"

    There is some good and bad in this title. One of the authors' main points is that history doesn't repeat itself and if we think so, we are misjudging current events. He also makes light of what he believes to be a fallacy: that the computer is the "most important invention in the history of the world", adducing as evidence the identical demotic cry heard with the invention of the: steamboat, telegraph, telephone, TNT, electricity, automobile, nuclear power, and jet technology in the 1950s. He emphasizes the importance of re-examining and re-interpreting the past.

    Those his methodologies seem sound, his views are arrantly slanted. In discussing other historical events, such as wars and politics, although he does criticize both political parties, he tends to take the view more of an outright liberal like Bernie Sanders as opposed to that of many conservatives. I don't know his background but he appears to not have had any personal family stake in most of these pre-20th century wars.

    However, what is most puzzling to me is why Mr. Stoler seems to criticize the American participation in wars such as the Mexican American war, the Spanish American, the War of 1812, and Vietnam, despite the fact that as an apparent American citizen, he directly benefits from the results of these conflicts, not to mention most of the parties on both sides. He cities "virtuous" Mexican army solders calling American militia men scoundrels, plays down all the good done in the Caribbean by the United States defeating the Spanish, and doesn't mention the victory of the 1812 War which gave America most of the Western United States and stopped harassment of shipping. He also forgets the outcome of the Vietnam war was highly influenced by detrimental government protesters in the US seeking to avoid the draft, and Chinese and Soviet military hegemony, the later of which no doubt had a great influence on the forces of Ho Chi Min. How many Vietnamese friends that you know, in the US, or elsewhere, are communists?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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