We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
The Skeptic's Guide to American History | [The Great Courses]

The Skeptic's Guide to American History

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.
Regular Price:$34.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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.

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.

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (719 )
5 star
 (391)
4 star
 (236)
3 star
 (69)
2 star
 (16)
1 star
 (7)
Overall
4.4 (631 )
5 star
 (365)
4 star
 (186)
3 star
 (55)
2 star
 (14)
1 star
 (11)
Story
4.3 (644 )
5 star
 (351)
4 star
 (194)
3 star
 (75)
2 star
 (17)
1 star
 (7)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Kimberly Indianapolis, IN, United States 09-29-13
    Kimberly Indianapolis, IN, United States 09-29-13 Member Since 2015

    I enjoy historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Also steampunk, sci-fi, fantasy, suspense, and fiction. I'm open to about anything

    HELPFUL VOTES
    239
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    618
    192
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    20
    14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wish my history classes had been like this"

    This is an academic class, and one should approach it as such. Mark A. Stoler, while not exciting as a lecturer, was better than my college professors, and made me really interested.
    There really wasn't that much in his lectures that I didn't already know, but he did clarify things in many instances. And he made clear that, while history doesn't repeat itself, attitudes often are.
    My boyfriend and I listened to this, one chapter each evening, at dinner, and we paused it often to discuss the material being presented. It beat the heck out of watching TV while we ate, and it actually made the time much more enjoyable than usual, as well as more sociable.
    I probably wouldn't recommend this as a straight-through listen, but approach it as you would with any history class. The lectures themselves are only about half an hour each, so it is actually easier to take than the usual hour-long lecture one deals with at a college level. And there aren't constant umms and ahhs to irritate.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristi Richardson Milwaukie, OR, United States 04-30-14
    Kristi Richardson Milwaukie, OR, United States 04-30-14 Member Since 2014

    An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    435
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    237
    220
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    60
    88
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "24 Lectures The American History not taught."

    This Great Course was very easy to follow and understand. It begins with the causes of the Revolutionary War and goes out to the Vietnam War. I especially enjoyed the parts about the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation and the ratings of various Presidents.

    There was also a lecture on Hoover and whether or not he was helping to get the economy going and what Roosevelt did or didn't do to get us out of the Depression.

    Lots of things I forgot or never knew, so this was a great learning experience.

    Professor Mark Stoler is a wonderful teacher and lecturer. I am going to continue to look at some more of these courses as no matter what your age, you should keep on learning.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phoebe SAINT LOUIS, MO, United States 04-04-15
    Phoebe SAINT LOUIS, MO, United States 04-04-15 Member Since 2014

    My taste is FLAWLESS! Also, I don't still live in Seattle. And don't know how to change the bit that says so. Why is every word capitalized?

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not everyone's cup of tea but certainly mine."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I loved it! It is long as hell, and there were parts I was less interested in, but I really liked the professor's voice and pace, and general outlook. This approach to history is sorely needed, mainly that our view of it is ridiculously colored by the present, and requires a continuously skeptical approach because of this. The naysayers reviewing it were hoping for more/expecting something different from the word "skeptic" in the title, so read their reviews, but I didn't expect anything more than some observations by a guy who studies these things, not a debunking of every myth ever. So I was happy. Also his voice. I have abandoned perfectly good books because I hate the narration. They all seem to come from the same farm that trains people to say that xyz drug "may not be right for everyone; symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, suicidal ideation and hallucinations" etc. in the most mellifluous Stepford Wife voice possible. Those people need to GO.


    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. E. JORDAN Berlin, Germany 11-04-13
    J. E. JORDAN Berlin, Germany 11-04-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    20
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Let Go of the Grade-School Storybook History"

    You do know all that stuff you learned about American history in school was simplified, right? And, in a certain sense, it was propaganda: a narrative intended, in this case, to give young people the feeling that they are heirs to a righteous cause, whether we were opponents of tyranny, barbaric natives, evil slave-owners, socialists, or you-name-it. We were always on the right side of history and history can be understood as an epic struggle between we good people and our evil enemies.

    Furthermore, even as adults, we tend to look back on events of the past with our own understanding of what followed or the way things are now and assume that we are in a position to understand. (How many times in a given month do we hear two groups invoking the Founding Fathers, for example, drawing wildly different conclusions about what that means? Or, hear that appeasement is a terrible idea and as Chamberlain demonstrated with the Nazis, only gives the enemy time to amass strength for an inevitable conflagration?)

    We don't necessarily bring any new knowledge when we draw these conclusions, but when they seem to match our beliefs about the world, we assume they must be accurate. Those mistaken conclusions (and assumptions) become difficult to let go of, even when we are presented with new opinions of working historians who find new, compelling information that contradicts us. This lecture series is for adults who are ready to let go of the storybook history in exchange for a more complex, nuanced understanding of history.

    I loved this lecture series. I looked forward to the next time I could sit down and listen to one of them. Each one was full of the context I needed to understand why what I had always believed about American history may not actually be what historians, with the fullness of time, have come to believe about it. I also found the Professor's presentation enthusiastic and easy to follow. Excellent lecture series all around.

    33 of 39 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Becca 04-17-15
    Becca 04-17-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "This is how history should be taught"

    This is how history should be taught -- not with presumption of knowledge, but with more questions and the attempt to answer such questions with all available data currently known, while still acknowledging that much still needs to be learned. Also a relief to not hear how "good/bad" events or figures were in general, as if such subjectivity can be written as fact. Rather different perspectives were approached, and what was "good/bad" for whom, from which perspective, and in consideration of which goals/intentions.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanna Woodhouse Santa Monica, CA 10-01-13
    Jeanna Woodhouse Santa Monica, CA 10-01-13 Member Since 2013

    JeannaRanae

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SEMH 06-02-15
    SEMH 06-02-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating and informative"

    Taught me many new ideas about American history and gave me a framework for further study and interpretation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Caledonia, IL, United States 05-19-15
    Amazon Customer Caledonia, IL, United States 05-19-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What People Should Hear And Hear Again."

    Being A Skeptic Is A Good Thing, We Need More Skepticism and Less Taking Beliefs For Granted.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John W Lindsay Oconomowoc, WI, US 05-17-15
    John W Lindsay Oconomowoc, WI, US 05-17-15 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Every kid should read this"

    An honest look at the history of the u.s. We need to be honest with our selves about thinking we're always the good guys.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KellysHero718 05-16-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    90
    25
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not Much Skepticism"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.