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War and World History | [The Great Courses]

War and World History

This fresh and challenging inquiry into human societies takes a deep look at the effects and roles of war. As the most complex of all human endeavors, warfare - from ancient to modern - has spurred the growth of essential new technologies; demanded the adoption of complex economic systems; shaped the ideology and culture of nations; promoted developments in art and literature; and spread faith across the globe.
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Publisher's Summary

This fresh and challenging inquiry into human societies takes a deep look at the effects and roles of war. As the most complex of all human endeavors, warfare - from ancient to modern - has spurred the growth of essential new technologies; demanded the adoption of complex economic systems; shaped the ideology and culture of nations; promoted developments in art and literature; and spread faith across the globe.

Over the course of 48 highly provocative lectures, Professor Roth explores armed conflict across five continents. Far from a traditional approach to military events, this panoramic series is not the history of battles or military campaigns, but the story of the intimate interconnections of war with human cultures and societies and how these connections have shaped history.

You'll study the complex effects of culture, economics, politics, and religion on war - and war's influences on them. In this context, you chart the colorful history of the practice and methodology of warfare. Among many other things, you'll learn about

  • the development and evolution of history-making military weapons such as bows, horses, swords, and gunpowder;
  • the interface of warfare with religion, which has bred some of the most unusual and poignant conflicts in history;
  • the 17th-century European nation-state, where militaries were "nationalized" into central governments and military service was imbued with ideology of citizenship and loyalty to state;
  • the crucial military underpinnings of nationalism, Communism, Fascism, and other political movements from the modern era.

Probe these pivotal and revealing features of history and deepen your understanding of our extraordinary, evolving world.

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.

©2009 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2009 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (66 )
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4.2 (57 )
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4.2 (58 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mike Urbana, IL, United States 11-26-14
    Mike Urbana, IL, United States 11-26-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "World History > War"

    This course seems more like a survey of World History than the title would suggest. I found the lack of detail regarding both Military and World history often left me wanting more. Given the scope of the course - from the dawn of mankind to the present - I guess this isn't surprising. I stuck it out to the end, but I was more than ready to be done with it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saud 12-11-13
    Saud 12-11-13

    Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

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    "An essential history of war as a human condition"

    This series of lectures is an unapologetic look at warfare as a human condition which explores the ways it developed technologies from the stone age up to the 2000's and how it influenced, and was influenced by, economic, political, social and religious factors.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James CHAPEL HILL, NC, United States 01-10-14
    James CHAPEL HILL, NC, United States 01-10-14 Member Since 2013
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    "The best Teaching Company lecture!"
    What about Professor Jonathan P. Roth’s performance did you like?

    I've listened to easily about 50 or so lecture series from The Teaching Company and Great Courses and so far this one is my favorite! I've listened to lectures which have covered some of the same topics that he covers, such as early human history, and yet he brings many new details to them that I had not heard elsewhere and is very good at making things interesting.

    I would even recommend this to people who aren't as into military history as I am. I think many historians now downplay war as a factor in history to focus more on social change, but this is a mistake as looking at how war has evolved along with human civilization leads to some very fascinating insights on how both have evolved together. For instance, most historians tend to simply accept as a given that iron working was a revolutionary technology, but Roth actually goes into detail about the pros and cons of switching from bronze to iron and why some civilizations, such as the Egyptians, waited for hundreds of years to adopt it.


    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samara United States 12-09-13
    Samara United States 12-09-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Confusing layout"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Only if they are very interested in war and history


    What did you like best about this story?

    This book had great information, I felt that I learned a lot.


    Any additional comments?

    Not put in chronological order, maybe this is why I was often confused about when, what, and whom he was talking about. The lecture was hard for me to follow.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brooke L. Morris 01-31-15

    Brooke

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Provably wrong statements throughout"
    What would have made War and World History better?

    Correct information. Specifically, the lecturer claims that the 20th century is the most bloody century in human history. This is provably wrong. Please see "The Better Angels of our Nature" by Steven Pinker. This is only one example. Avoid this lecturer. He is ignorant of history and makes stupid broad statements regularly. Also some of his statements about the usefulness of military hardware are suspect. He gives no sources, just dismisses them out of hand. Do not expect scholarship. This is opinion shrouded as fact.


    What was most disappointing about The Great Courses’s story?

    Incorrect information and a poor intonation that is exceptionally annoying.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the first time I have noticed completely fallacious statements in a TTC series. I am very disappointed.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr Lilyfield, Australia 02-16-15
    Mr Lilyfield, Australia 02-16-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Terrible"

    As a massive audible and great courses fan this is a clear loser.

    Don't waste the time or money. If you enjoy useless drone sit in front of your clothes dryer for a few hours - probably more interesting.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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  • Kazi
    12/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Intriguing research into military history"
    Where does War and World History rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Really enjoyed this, especially towards the 20th century era to modern times it really picks up.


    What about Professor Jonathan P. Roth’s performance did you like?

    All round great performance.


    Any additional comments?

    A chapter or two a day is the way!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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