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.
 >   > 
Turning Points in American History | [The Great Courses]

Turning Points in American History

These 48 lectures are your chance to relive the most groundbreaking moments in the fascinating story of the United States. They offer you a different perspective on the sweeping narrative of U.S. history. Spanning the arrival of the first English colonists to the chaos of the Civil War to the birth of the computer age and beyond, this lecture series is a captivating and comprehensive tour of those particular moments in the story of America, after which the nation would never be the same again.
Regular Price:$52.95
  • 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

These 48 lectures are your chance to relive the most groundbreaking moments in the fascinating story of the United States. They offer you a different perspective on the sweeping narrative of U.S. history. Spanning the arrival of the first English colonists to the chaos of the Civil War to the birth of the computer age and beyond, this lecture series is a captivating and comprehensive tour of those particular moments in the story of America, after which the nation would never be the same again.

Taking a chronological approach, Professor O'Donnell gives you new ways to understand American history and to appreciate it as a grand narrative pinpointed with key moments that changed things forever. Each lecture focuses on a single turning point, explaining the conditions that led up to it, immersing you in the experience of the event itself, and exploring its immediate and long-term ramifications.

Among the great turning points you'll investigate in depth are the trial of John Peter Zenger (1735), which popularized the ideas that freedom of the press is essential to liberty; the battle of Antietam (1862), which eliminated the possibility of England and France intervening on behalf of the Confederacy; and the Watergate scandal (1974), which signaled a heightened level of public distrust toward elected officials. Along the way, Professor O'Donnell often dispels some intriguing myths and half-truths about American history and provides an honest, unabashed look at the subject matter. These lectures are packed with unfamiliar anecdotes, stories, and side notes that just may change your views on the grand narrative of American history.

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.

©2011 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2011 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (99 )
5 star
 (67)
4 star
 (20)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (2)
Overall
4.5 (86 )
5 star
 (59)
4 star
 (16)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.4 (87 )
5 star
 (55)
4 star
 (22)
3 star
 (5)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Quaker Philadelphia 04-01-15
    Quaker Philadelphia 04-01-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    189
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant, Informative, Entertaining!"
    Where does Turning Points in American History rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I have listened to over 60 titles from the Great Courses series. They are almost universally wonderful, but of course a few professors rise to the top as my favorites. Professor O'Donnell has jumped to the top of that list. He is both incredibly organized and incredibly entertaining. Each of the lectures starts with a story, sets out objectives, and makes a strong and logical case for it's topic as a true turning point in history. Some of the turning points (such as the Boston Tea Party) would classify as "the usual suspects" (though not necessary for the reasons you expect), and others (such the eradication of hookworm in the South) are delightful surprises. O'Donnell's pace is consistently perfect.

    You will be entertained. You will be informed. You will be a better citizen. 5 Stars for sure.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Rockford, MI 02-19-15
    Amazon Customer Rockford, MI 02-19-15 Member Since 2015

    Amy Life long avid reader, especially of poetry, literary and popular fiction, historical fiction, mystery/suspense, and some non-fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    19
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I FEEL INFORMED!!"
    Where does Turning Points in American History rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is my first Great Courses book and I am very impressed with professor and with the content! As I result, I am encouraged to continue with the Great Courses series. This may well be the best non-fiction choice I have made. The narration was excellent because the professor was enthusiastic about his subject.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I did not have a "favorite character" in history, but these lectures helped me understand that history is not only a "story of surprises" as the professor explains, but that the history of our country is a constantly evolving process. It has been said that life can only be lived forward and learned backward. Looking back at these turning points gives me a wide perspective of American history and a greater appreciation for current events.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I was fascinated to learn about the eradication of the hookworm epidemic in the South. Who would have thought that hookworms could affect the health and economy of an entire region of the US and that the our public health system resulted from that event.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Hurrah! for the Founding Fathers


    Any additional comments?

    I have ancestors who lived in Connecticut before the Revolution. As I pondered the events of American history, it made these people come alive for me. I more was able to see daily life as they may have seen it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms Winston East Coast U.S.A. 10-07-14
    Ms Winston East Coast U.S.A. 10-07-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    20
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent Presentation by a Master Instructor"
    If you could sum up Turning Points in American History in three words, what would they be?

    Knows his history!


    What did you like best about this story?

    This is not a story but rather an examination of events in the history of America that the professor feels constitutes turning points -- had this event not happened, or it had turned out differently, our history may have turned out far different than it did.


    What does Professor Edward T. O'Donnell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    There is no book to accompany this version of The Great Courses audio.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    One event that stood out in particular was the section on Roger Williams, who in my opinion was the first of the early colonists to truly bring religious liberty to America. The charter of the Providence Colony did not require belief in a particular doctrine or mandatory church attendance. A man ahead of his time, and a man we need today.


    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George USA 05-08-15
    George USA 05-08-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great insights into critical events"

    Felt like a seminar with a wise , low key leader. Helped me let go of some of my predujices and preconceptions. Optimistic rather than fateful view of events.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt 05-06-15
    Matt 05-06-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Totally boring"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. Prof O'Donnell may be a good professor, I don't know, but he doesn't know how to craft a narrative, and he delivers everything as if he was reading from a book.


    Any additional comments?

    If you never took an American history class in college, this might be a decent choice for you. Otherwise, if you're like me, you won't find anything interesting, insightful, or new about this book. It just spins the same old yarn that you learned throughout high school and college delivered like a bedtime story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Kraver 04-19-15
    P. Kraver 04-19-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great run through American history"

    I hated history in school so I missed a lot of these events and the significance of them. The lecturer was excellent. He kept the discussions fair and balanced, always presenting both sides in fair light.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-29-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Like an aural wikipedia"
    Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Edward T. O'Donnell?

    No.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The episodes themselves are intrinsically interesting.


    What didn’t you like about Professor Edward T. O'Donnell’s performance?

    The lectures are glib and unanalytical. They are like soundbites on radio between programs.


    Any additional comments?

    I fast-forwarded through many of the lectures. In fairness, some of them were interesting. But generally they were at a high school level.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-7 of 7 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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.