This course is an interdisciplinary series of connected lectures delivered by eminent scholars from several colleges and universities. Each professor addresses an area of personal expertise and focuses not only on the matter at hand, but on the larger story-on the links between the works and the figures discussed. The lectures address-in chronological sequence-a series of major works that have shaped the ongoing development of Western thought both in their own right and in cultural dialogue with other traditions.
In the process, the course engages many of the most perennial and far-reaching questions that we face in our daily lives. The lectures draw upon the resources of history, philosophy, literary study, art history, religious studies, political science, and the history of science and technology, in hopes of engaging the rich and profoundly interactive discussions that, over the course of 40 centuries, have made Western culture what it is.
©2007 Timothy Shutt (P)2007 Recorded Books
I think the negative review that suggests there aren't chapter divisions in this audiobook should be removed, because it is not accurate, at least in iTunes and on my iPod Touch. Remember that in iTunes, the Chapters menu appears in the TOP (main application) menu, as the next-to-last item. There you can choose any of the 14 chapters. And on the iPod, there is a small icon in the upper right in the audio app that lets you do the same. For anyone who has an Audible subscription, these Modern Scholar lecture sets are among the absolute best bargains in the store. Don't forget that you can download the beautiful pdf lecture notes that go with the course. I have found that the spoken and written versions sometimes differ in detail, each with its own rewards.
Teaching cultural history through great books seems obvious, but have never encountered it before this series. I enjoyed the switching of narrators. It gave it an organic feel, like they all had their particular interests and couldn't wait to tell you about them. Great detail and explanations about things I have heard about, but never really understood.
In my opinion, this is one of the best in the Modern Scholor series. As a long time Audible user, I've never heard of downloading my selections chapter by chapter. They are always delivered in ~ 8 hour increments. I was puzzled by the other reviewer who downgraded the entire course because of unsupported functionality. I don't think this has anything to do with the course itself. This is a good survey course.
Letting the rest of the world go by
Who among us doesn't love ancient text? I did get lost on the Greek play sections, since I know so little about that stuff. I did love the section on Homer since I know so little about that stuff. The section on the old testament was near brilliant.
As always you get you money's worth on a modern scholar course.
Look at the accompanying reference guide, it says it all. I really enjoyed this book
Beware that you would be downloading a single, 8.5 hour long recording! This is incredibly impractical. You will not be able to skip from one lecture to the next, or look up a particular lecture that you are interested in; your only option is listening from start to finish.
"An excellent series. Highly recommended."
A good deal of narrative in the pre-history, but identified as conjecture where necessary by interesting and clearly informed speakers. One of the better general lecture series I've come across.
"Unhistorical, unliterary, a lot of religion though"
The first chapter about the epic of Gilgamesh was brief, but perhaps a good introduction. It was overall well-narrated but very short. If you are moderately aware of the story it will not add anything to your knowledge.
Then we hit the Bible:
This is not a literary study of the Bible; it is a literal study of the bible. It is neither historical nor literary, is more like a wishful description of several books (wishful as in the “they may be true; I want them to be at least partially true, but if they are not, I don’t care I like’em” sense. Professor Schiffman sounds like an shouting angry rabbi. Why does he shout so much? It’s very irritating. And no, the 10 commandments are not the direct ancestor of Human Right professor Schiffman.
I like The Teaching Company. I have listened to many lectures by them. This is the worst I have ever encountered, as it does not seem to be educational at all. I cannot be bothered to follow it through.
As a side note: The addition of an “E” after BC to make it “Before the Current Era” instead of “Before Christ” is an exercise in futility. As an atheist I was quite contempt with BC. There is no need for renaming everything!
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