The Great Courses: Modern History
Books in series22
ORIGINAL
(4.4 based on 3908 ratings)
  • European History and European Lives: 1715 to 1914 | The Great Courses

    European History and European Lives: 1715 to 1914

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Jonathan Steinberg
    Overall
    (28)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (23)

    Meet 35 of the most influential people who lived during the 200 most difficult years in the history of the West. Between the years 1715 and 1914, the lives of these artists, writers, scientists, and leaders shaped our times and reflected their own.You'll meet such figures as Charles Darwin, Sir Robert Walpole, David Lloyd George, Mary Wollstonecraft, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, Napoleon Bonaparte, and others whose lives represent the crucial forces that shaped European history during two decisive centuries.

    Excellent, fast paced course

    I have several Great Courses in my library, and I have enjoyed this one the most. Of course, I knew of all of the people in the 35 biographies, but t..Show More »

    Reviewed on December 17 2014 by Mark (United States)
  • Utopia and Terror in the 20th Century | The Great Courses

    Utopia and Terror in the 20th Century

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (30)

    From the trenches of World War I to Nazi Germany to Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the 20th century was a time of unprecedented violence. Yet while such monumental violence seems senseless, it is not inexplicable. If we can understand the origins of violence, we may prevent even greater horrors in the century to come. These 24 necessary lectures trace the violent history of the 20th century, beginning with its early roots in the American and, especially, the French revolutions.

    A Great Lecture Series

    The thread that haunted my understanding of modern history is why so many utopian dreams degenerate into mass murder, aggressive suppression of human..Show More »

    Reviewed on November 10 2013 by MasterPsych (Louisiana)
  • The Fall and Rise of China | The Great Courses

    The Fall and Rise of China

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Richard Baum
    Overall
    (419)
    Performance
    (384)
    Story
    (388)

    For most of its 5,000-year existence, China has been the largest, most populous, wealthiest, and mightiest nation on Earth. And for us as Westerners, it is essential to understand where China has been in order to anticipate its future. These 36 eye-opening lectures deliver a comprehensive political and historical overview of one of the most fascinating and complex countries in world history.

    Offers excellent objective perspective!

    Objective perspective of the events and captured the essense of leader's characteristics.

    Reviewed on December 15 2013 by Yu-Chin (Porirua, New Zealand)
  • A History of Russia: From Peter the Great to Gorbachev | The Great Courses

    A History of Russia: From Peter the Great to Gorbachev

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Mark Steinberg
    Overall
    (118)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (104)

    It's difficult to imagine a nation with a history more compelling for Americans than Russia. Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, this was the nation against which we measured our own nation's values and power and with whom war, if it ever came, could spell unimaginable catastrophe for our planet.Yet many Americans have never had the opportunity to study Russia in depth, and to see how the forces of history came together to shape a future so different from the dreams of most ordinary Russian people, eager to see their nation embrace Western values of progress, human rights, and justice.

    Not story-telling but history-telling at its best
    Reviewed on October 22 2013 by Amazon Customer (Brampton, Ontario, Canada)
  • The Rise and Fall of the British Empire | The Great Courses

    The Rise and Fall of the British Empire

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Patrick N. Allitt
    Overall
    (247)
    Performance
    (217)
    Story
    (212)

    What were the forces that thrust the British Empire to its extraordinary position of greatness and then just as powerfully drove it into decline? And why is nearly every nation on earth, in one way or another, the consequence of the British Empire?In these 36 lectures, Professor Allitt leads you through four centuries of British power, innovation, influence, and, ultimately, diminishment-four profound centuries that literally remade the world and bequeathed the complex global legacy that continues to shape your everyday life.

    Comprehensive and Thoughtful

    The full consequences of the rise and (perhaps especially) the fall of the British Empire are still very much unfolding in our world. In Africa and t..Show More »

    Reviewed on March 18 2014 by C. Telfair (Shepherdstown, WV, United States)
  • Victorian Britain | The Great Courses

    Victorian Britain

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Patrick N. Allitt
    Overall
    (85)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (71)

    This series of 36 fascinating lectures is a chronological journey into the story of Victorian Britain, from the unexpected ascension to the throne of teenaged Princess Victoria in 1837 to her death in 1901 as the Boer War neared its end.Presented with all of Victoria's strengths and foibles left intact by an award-winning teacher and author, the lectures invite you to reflect on both the positive and negative aspects of her reign.

    Very good introductory course

    I'd recommend this course to anyone who wants a broad overview of Victorian England. Prof. Allitt covers a LOT of topics, but none in very much depth..Show More »

    Reviewed on October 08 2013 by Dulce (USA)
  • Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies | The Great Courses, Robert Allison

    Before 1776: Life in the American Colonies

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Robert Allison
    • Narrated By Professor Robert J. Allison
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (85)

    The history of colonial America is a story of extraordinary scope, with Europeans, Africans, and the native peoples of North America interacting in a drama of settlement and conflict that lasted nearly three centuries. Go back in time and relive this epic story in 36 spellbinding lectures. While concentrating on British North America, Professor Allison also covers developments in the colonial outposts of Spain, France, the Netherlands, and the all-important British possessions in the West Indies, which were the source of the most lucrative crop in the New World - sugar - and the reason for the enormous growth in the slave trade.

    New Perspectives and great insights

    I am researching the family tree in America from 1625 in Virginia and 1640 in New Hampshire. This series does a great job of describing each colony's ..Show More »

    Reviewed on January 10 2014 by James R. Ellis (sacramento, ca)
  • The American Revolution | The Great Courses

    The American Revolution

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Allen C. Guelzo
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (51)

    Why did 13 colonies believe they could defeat the most powerful nation on the planet? And how did they eventually manage such an impressive feat? Get the real story on the battle for American independence with Professor Guelzo's 24 gripping lectures.With a focus on the war's strategy, military tactics, logistics, and most fascinating people, these lectures are a must own for anyone curious about the origins of the greatest nation in modern history.

    Merica

    The lecturer is dramatic so it makes it more interesting. Very good brief overview of the revolution. Apparently congress was a bunch of dicks back th..Show More »

    Reviewed on March 26 2015 by Space Man Spiff ()
  • Origins and Ideologies of the American Revolution | The Great Courses

    Origins and Ideologies of the American Revolution

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Peter C. Mancall
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    The years between 1760 and 1800 rocked the Western world. These were the years when colonists on the eastern fringes of a continent converted the ideals of Enlightenment thought first into action, then into an actual form of government.Now you can learn why this happened and how the colonists did it-in a series of 48 insightful lectures from an award-winning teacher and author.

    Not a good speaker

    The lecture is successful in completely covering the motivations behind the American War of Independence but Prof. Mancall is a horrible speaker. He'..Show More »

    Reviewed on August 07 2014 by Steven ()
  • Civil Liberties and the Bill of Rights | The Great Courses

    Civil Liberties and the Bill of Rights

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor John E. Finn
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    The civil liberties and constitutional rights possessed by our nation's citizens-not only in theory, but in the courtroom, where the state can be forced to honor those liberties-are a uniquely American invention.And when we were taught history and learned about the Constitution and its Bill of Rights, we were always made aware of that uniqueness, of the extraordinary experiment that gave to every citizen of this new nation a gift possessed by no others.

    Great Course. Good Narration.

    I'm only writing this review because I saw where another review stated how terrible the narration is. While it's true, the professor does correct hims..Show More »

    Reviewed on September 14 2013 by aaron (los angeles, CA, United States)
  • The American Identity | The Great Courses

    The American Identity

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Patrick N. Allitt
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (26)

    What defines an American? Is it the love of liberty, the pursuit of justice, the urge to invent, the desire for wealth, the drive to explore, the quest for spiritual values? The paradox of American identity is that although the United States is a melting pot of many different traditions, motives, and ideals, there are nevertheless distinctive qualities that define the American character.

    Endlessly Fascinating and Entertaining Stories

    I have watched or listened to many of The Great Courses series, and Professor Patrick Allitt ranks among my very favorite professors. I had previously..Show More »

    Reviewed on January 23 2014 by Quaker (Philadelphia)
  • Robert E. Lee and His High Command | The Great Courses, Gary W. Gallagher

    Robert E. Lee and His High Command

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Gary W. Gallagher
    • Narrated By Professor Gary W. Gallagher
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (36)

    Few events have captivated students of American history like the Civil War. Its most striking personalities seem somehow outsized, magnified beyond the ability of books or even legend to contain them. And few among those personalities have ever held our attention like General Robert Edward Lee.With his Army of Northern Virginia, Lee came to embody the cause of the Confederacy itself

    Excellent Review of Lee's High Command

    Professor Gary Gallagher (a very highly decorated, nationally renown history professor at the University of Virginia) delivers a fast-paced review of ..Show More »

    Reviewed on September 20 2013 by Brad (Littleton, MA, United States)
  • Mr. Lincoln: The Life of Abraham Lincoln | The Great Courses

    Mr. Lincoln: The Life of Abraham Lincoln

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Allen C. Guelzo
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (13)

    Five days after Abraham Lincoln was buried in Springfield, Illinois, John Locke Scripps, who had convinced Lincoln to write his first campaign autobiography, asserted that the 16th president had become "the Great American Man-the grand central figure in American (perhaps the World's) History." Historians still find it hard to quibble with Scripps's opinion."

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

  • The History of the Supreme Court | The Great Courses, Peter Irons

    The History of the Supreme Court

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Peter Irons
    • Narrated By Professor Peter Irons
    Overall
    (41)
    Performance
    (39)
    Story
    (38)

    For more than two centuries, the Supreme Court has exerted extraordinary influence over the way we live our daily lives. This series of 36 clear and insightful lectures - delivered by an award-winning teacher and widely respected authority on the Supreme Court - answers many questions about the Court as it traces the development of the Court from a body having little power or prestige to its current status as "the most powerful and prestigious judicial institution in the world."

    Great Lecture Series !

    I stumbled upon this collection of lectures while reading a book about Roosevelt's court packing plan. In my opinion this is a very good series of lec..Show More »

    Reviewed on September 22 2013 by GEORGE (Waverly, OH, United States)
  • The United States and the Middle East: 1914 to 9/11 | The Great Courses

    The United States and the Middle East: 1914 to 9/11

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Salim Yaqub
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (54)

    At the dawn of World War I, the United States was only a rising power. Our reputation was relatively benign among Middle Easterners, who saw no imperial ambitions in our presence and were grateful for the educational and philanthropic services Americans provided. Yet by September 11, 2001, everything had changed. The United States had now become the unquestioned target of those bent on attacking the West for its perceived offenses against Islam. How and why did this transformation come about?

    Fantastic Overview of events But Slow Narration

    This course is a great introduction to anyone interested in the history of US-Middle East relations which has so shaped the world we live in today. F..Show More »

    Reviewed on November 25 2013 by Jeff (Sonoma, Ca, United States)
  • America and the World: A Diplomatic History | The Great Courses

    America and the World: A Diplomatic History

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Mark A. Stoler
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    In barely more than two centuries, the United States evolved from a sparsely settled handful of colonies into the most powerful nation the world has ever known. How could such an implausible metamorphosis have occurred? These 24 insightful lectures address that penetrating question and many others. Professor Stoler offers you a fresh view of America's shift from the periphery of international politics to its very center as he explores the key components of American diplomatic history.

    Great Synopsis

    The under-written about history. In my US History 1776-1860 class, we did not cover much at all of the history that this book delved so deeply into. ..Show More »

    Reviewed on October 17 2013 by David (Fort Wayne, IN, United States)
  • The Americas in the Revolutionary Era | The Great Courses

    The Americas in the Revolutionary Era

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Marshall C. Eakin
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (7)

    Go on an in-depth, 24-lecture exploration of important (and often overlooked) questions about the tumultuous political history of the Americas. Professor Eakin explains the cultural, economic, and political pressures each of these new American nations faced in achieving independence. In addition, he examines exactly why each revolution progressed, and succeeded or failed, as it did.

    Poor audio quality

    No, I wouldn't recommend this book to a friend.
    Well, it's not really the "audio quality" as much as the production value. To explain, after each ..Show More »

    Reviewed on October 25 2013 by Tim (WOODSIDE, NY, United States)
  • War, Peace, and Power: Diplomatic History of Europe, 1500-2000 | The Great Courses

    War, Peace, and Power: Diplomatic History of Europe, 1500-2000

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (56)

    For much of the past five centuries, the history of the European continent has been a history of chaos, its civilization thrown into turmoil by ferocious wars or bitter religious conflicts - sometimes in combination - that have made and remade borders, created and eliminated entire nations, and left a legacy that is still influencing our world.This 36-lecture series from an award-winning teacher and honored scholar pursues an explanation for this chaos that goes beyond the obvious ones of political ambition, religious intolerance, the pursuit of state power, or the fear of another state's aspirations.

    500 Years That Shook the World

    Professor Liulevicius gives an engaging overview of 500 years of the politics that changed the course of world history. From the Holy Roman Empire, to..Show More »

    Reviewed on October 08 2014 by Jeff (Sonoma, Ca, United States)
  • London: A Short History of the Greatest City in the Western World | The Great Courses

    London: A Short History of the Greatest City in the Western World

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Bucholz
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (67)

    No city has had as powerful and as enduring an impact on Western civilization as London. But what made the city the perfect environment for so many great developments? How did London endure the sweeping historical revolutions and disasters without crumbling? Find the answers to these questions and more in these 24 fascinating lectures.

    Walking through London/Two Millennia

    I have a new Audible routine: every weekday morning before I leave the house, I download the New York Times. If traffic is good, I get there right as ..Show More »

    Reviewed on November 23 2013 by Cynthia (Monrovia, California, United States)
  • Turning Points in Medieval History | The Great Courses

    Turning Points in Medieval History

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Dorsey Armstrong
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    For an accurate picture of how the political, social, and religious structure of present-day Europe came to be-and even why we're speaking English today-studying the key events between the years 500 and 1500 is of critical import. These 24 gripping lectures deliver an unparalleled look at these moments that profoundly changed the arc of history, and they weave the era's vast array of disparate events into an interconnected tapestry that illuminates why nothing exists in a vacuum.

    Medieval history for the slow-witted.

    This course might be OK as a primer, but if you already know anything about Medieval history, don't bother with this one. I was hoping for some new an..Show More »

    Reviewed on November 13 2014 by Guinnessdog (Minnetonka, MN)
  • Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon | The Great Courses

    Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Suzanne M. Desan
    Overall
    (260)
    Performance
    (226)
    Story
    (224)

    The 25 years between the onset of the French Revolution in 1789 and the Bourbon Restoration after Napoleon in 1814 is an astonishing period in world history. This era shook the foundations of the old world and marked a permanent shift for politics, religion, and society - not just for France, but for all of Europe. An account of the events alone reads like something out of a thrilling novel.

    Such a great balance of the big picture and detail
    Reviewed on September 17 2013 by Monte Johnston (Clayton, NC)
  • The Industrial Revolution | The Great Courses

    The Industrial Revolution

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Patrick N. Allitt
    Overall
    (145)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (122)

    From electric lights to automobiles to the appliances that make our lives easier at work and at home, we owe so much of our world to the Industrial Revolution. In this course, The Great Courses partners with the Smithsonian - one of the world's most storied and exceptional educational institutions - to examine the extraordinary events of this period and uncover the far-reaching impact of this incredible revolution.

    Incredibly entertaining, balanced, comprehensive
    Reviewed on December 03 2014 by Quaker (Philadelphia)