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The World Was Never the Same: Events That Changed History Lecture
The World Was Never the Same: Events That Changed History
Written by: 
The Great Courses
Narrated by: 
Professor J. Rufus Fears
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The World Was Never the Same: Events That Changed History Lecture

The World Was Never the Same: Events That Changed History

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Publisher's Summary

History is made and defined by landmark events - moments that irrevocably changed the course of human civilization. They have given us

  • spiritual and political ideas;
  • catastrophic battles and wars;
  • scientific and technological advances;
  • world leaders both influential and monstrous; and
  • cultural works of unparalleled beauty.

Now a series of 36 captivating lectures explores some of the most important and definitive events in the history of the world - events after which our world would never be the same.

Taught by a remarkably gifted teacher with more than 25 teaching awards to his credit, these lectures form an intriguing and engaging tour of thousands of years of human history, from the creation of the Code of Hammurabi to the Battle of Lexington to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and beyond. It's a chance for you to gain new insights about world history from a truly riveting historian.

Using his expert knowledge and impressive ability to draw out invaluable lessons from the past, Professor Fears has chosen the events he discusses based on three criteria: how the event in itself fundamentally changed history, how the aftermath of the event changed history, and how the event and its impact still resonate with us today.

The result is a comprehensive and authoritative selection of subjects, each of which played a crucial role in transforming human civilization. Whether the event is an obvious or not-so-obvious choice, Professor Fears takes great care to tie each to the 21st century, pointing out just how influential these and other moments were in shaping who we are and how we live.

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

©2010 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2010 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (240 )
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4.1 (221 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Erin 05-24-16
    Erin 05-24-16 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    4
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    Story
    "It felt like a high school class"

    This teacher recounts legends as truth. I'm no history expert but even I know Caesar never said "et tu Brute" Shakespeare wrote that. But this teacher stated that they were Caesar's last words. It felt like a high school class where the bible was used as historical record and the "Great Man" version of history is retold. I had to turn it off half way through his rosie retelling of Columbus. That's where I would have walked out of the class. If you are a fan of history skip this one you'll be disappointed. If you want a happy version of the history of the western world without too much fact checking or doubt then download away.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dianne 04-09-16
    Dianne 04-09-16
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    "Captivating history"

    I would have loved to have a professor like Professor Fears when I was in college. If I had, I might have decided to change my major to history. He brings to life with great reality, color, and sometimes humor, 36 events and people who impacted world history forever. I have listened with enjoyment and new insight to his lectures several times, and they will be a permanent audible on my iPod.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Upper Montclair, New Jersey, USA 01-14-16
    Amazon Customer Upper Montclair, New Jersey, USA 01-14-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Untrustworthy"
    What disappointed you about The World Was Never the Same: Events That Changed History?

    As a cheerleader for the Great Courses, it pains me to say: Stay Away!

    Announcing that there is nothing implausible about the stories of Abraham and Joseph, and a pointed refusal to question even the literal parting of the Red Sea, should be a huge red flag. Professor Fears goes on to tell us that Sparta was a democracy, that Caessar didn't want power for ambition's sake but only to serve Rome better, and that Robert E. Lee owned no slaves. Neglecting to add that this last is true only by the hairsplitting legality of the slaves belonging to Mary Custis amounts to deliberate deception.

    Alongside such whoppers, Fears offers a lot of half-truth, mixing imaginary scenario with fact or conspicuously ignoring pivotal elements. One typical example: in seeking causes for the Wall Street crashes of 1929 and 2008, he delivers a lengthy and fictive tale of a consumer buying irresponsibly on credit. Banking deregulation gets mentioned only once, in passing, without elaboration. Monetary policy, regulatory capture, and corporate malfeasance aren't even mentioned, much less fairly examined. Nope, the market collapse was caused by small consumers buying too much, end of story.

    Sermonizing asides push a mix of American exceptionalism, biblical literalism, and Horatio Alger bromides. This is not history; it is ideology culling history (and historical myth, when necessary) for validation.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claire R. 01-11-16
    Claire R. 01-11-16 Member Since 2013
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    5
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    "Great premise, poor execution"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    People comfortable with taking the Bible at face-value.


    If you’ve listened to books by The Great Courses before, how does this one compare?

    I love The Great Courses, but this one was a disappointment.


    What aspect of Professor J. Rufus Fears’s performance would you have changed?

    A little less theatrical gravitas wouldn't have hurt.


    Any additional comments?

    Prof. Fears takes the census at the time of Jesus's birth for granted, without even mentioning that many other historians find it highly problematic or impossible. If he's not addressing historical controversies in his lectures, then it makes me question his biases and the validity of his other narratives.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hellocat Centurion, South Africa 05-20-14
    Hellocat Centurion, South Africa 05-20-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Decent but forgettable"

    This course is not a write-off, but I find it hard to recommend to anyone. My instinct is to say if you are looking for a decent primer on major historical events, with an eye towards delving more deeply into the topics that interest you afterwards, you should pick this up. However, I can't bring myself to doing that.

    For my liking, the courses are much too heavily influenced by the lecturer's Christianity and, to a lesser extent, his American patriotism.

    Another issue for me was that I simply disagreed with much of what he had to say about certain topics. When covering areas where I am fairly well versed, such as ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, I did not agree with his interpretation or presentation of the facts.

    This is not to say that he is completely wrong. He obviously knows his stuff and is never flat-out wrong about the facts, but I just didn't care for his approach all that much. I'd recommend listening to the lectures on Jesus and Constantine, which are some of the most arguably controversial. If his treatment of those topics don't bother you, you might enjoy the whole course.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Weber Westfield, IN USA 02-10-14
    J. Weber Westfield, IN USA 02-10-14 Member Since 2011

    Indy Tar Heel

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    "Excellent and insightful"
    What made the experience of listening to The World Was Never the Same: Events That Changed History the most enjoyable?

    The professor was engaging, dynamic and made interesting points. He described the downline implications well and plausibly as well as situating the occurrences among the contemporary history.


    What other book might you compare The World Was Never the Same: Events That Changed History to and why?

    What if? just because it describes pivotal moments in history that had far reaching impact.


    Have you listened to any of Professor J. Rufus Fears’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I would listen to him in a heartbeat.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Fort Wayne, IN, United States 10-17-13
    David Fort Wayne, IN, United States 10-17-13
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    "Informative"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The World Was Never the Same: Events That Changed History to be better than the print version?

    Haven't seem the print version.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The speaker was very knowledgeable. Did not get stuck on any one era, except too much emphasis on modern America. Disagree with some of his choices, Michelangelo can not have the same impact on history that the invention of: railroads, steam engines, corporations, radio, television, or the internet.


    What about Professor J. Rufus Fears’s performance did you like?

    Very passionate.


    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew AUSTIN, TX, United States 09-28-13
    Matthew AUSTIN, TX, United States 09-28-13 Member Since 2016
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    "*not actually history"
    Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor J. Rufus Fears?

    No


    Would you be willing to try another one of Professor J. Rufus Fears’s performances?

    No


    What character would you cut from The World Was Never the Same: Events That Changed History?

    The bible stories


    Any additional comments?

    I was pretty disappointed to hear Prof. Fears telling the story of the Jews in Egypt and the first Passover as if these were historical events; they're not. I thought I was getting a serious history course, not a sermon or a course on myth and legend. If you're looking for a serious course presented with academic rigor, this isn't it. I'd like to get my credit back, honestly.

    14 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jayme Hayes 06-08-16
    Jayme Hayes 06-08-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Disappointing; very religion-centric"

    I found this book very disappointing. There was little history, and that was well salted by myths, fables, and speculation presented as fact. Large sections of the first three hours were simply credulous readings out of the bible, or Torah, recounted as if they were uncontested histories. If I had known this was a "history of the world as told by important events in religious books" I would never have purchased it. First great course I have not finished. I honestly wanted my money back.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tyler Red Deer, AB, Canada 07-02-15
    Tyler Red Deer, AB, Canada 07-02-15

    I've been a member here for a few years now. Nothing will ever replace printed books for me, but I do enjoy lots of things Audible has!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent!"

    As with all the Great Courses selections, this was a great choice. I purchased it right after another history one that seemed to flow into this topic. I wasn't disappointed. I strongly recommend it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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