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
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.
Great Lectures and new perspectives!
I have a new understanding of US history. I'm looking forward to more lectures.
I think I was hoping to hear some really earth-shaking, recently discovered history. Not so much. For example, I thought my feelings about the Civil War (that it really was about slavery ) would be challenged. But except for some substantial nuances, I was mostly reinforced. The deprivations that the Revolutionary Army suffered through I at least had some knowledge of. The way that the Great Depression lasted until WWII has already been well documented.
So even though I self-identify as a skeptic, I thought I would really be challenged. OTOH, it did fill in a lot of holes in my knowledge so I'm happy to have made this purchase.
Very good overview of many historical legends and events. The lecturer is very well spoken and knowledgeable and doesn't have any obvious political bent.
This course presented a realistic view of American History with all the twists and turns and conflicts that defines who we are as Americans. What an eye opener!
Very much enjoyed this. I didn't know much about U.S. history going into this, but I was still able to follow everything. The lecturer was also clearly really passionate about the subject matter.
I appreciated the details on alternate points of view and the discussion on the political and societal perspective at the time of each historical event or era.
I had hoped for more from the word skeptic in the title. This was a simple retelling of commonly accepted American history with only minor and infrequent deviation from grade school, one man's opinion. The considerable Russian contribution to the conclusion of WWII was the biggest bit of news.
Someone whose only exposure to history is what they 'learned' in public schools. For those with no additional exposure to history this would be an ok starting point, but his skepticism is borderline at best.
The idiotic explanation of the Great Depression
I found this book puerile at best. Professor Stoler has either never heard of, or is deliberately avoiding discussion of some of the most important aspects of American History to wit:
1. the role of the bankers and establishment politicians in destroying the anti-federalist papers, and forcing votes, including kidnapping representatives to obtain a quorum for votes during the constitutional ratification process
2. The extensive correspondence between Robt. E. Lee and Lord Acton concerning the need to rein in the US federal government and the dire consequences for the world if this was not done (how prescient of them!)
3. Anything other than warmed over Keynsian-light economics regarding the Great Depression e.g. Murray Rothbard's tome on that subject, or anything by Von Mises or Von Hayek.
4, the recently declassified documents showing that Roosevelt ordered a course that would force the Japanese to attack including firing all the commanders the month before Pearl Harbor because they objected to their forces being, 'sitting ducks.'
No, this is not a skeptic's history. This is a slight alteration of the standard government issued history.
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