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Quaker

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  • 32
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  • English Grammar Boot Camp

  • By: Anne Curzan, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Anne Curzan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 26 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 923
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 826
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 813

Grammar! For many of us, the word triggers memories of finger-wagging schoolteachers, and of wrestling with the ambiguous and complicated rules of using formal language. But what is grammar? In fact, it's the integral basis of how we speak and write. As such, a refined awareness of grammar opens a world of possibilities for both your pleasure in the English language and your skill in using it, in both speech and the written word.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Spectacular

  • By Quaker on 09-24-16

Spectacular

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-24-16

Where does English Grammar Boot Camp rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Among The Great Courses series on language, which are all excellent, I rate this one in the middle of the pack. It depends on what type of learning you want.

What other book might you compare English Grammar Boot Camp to and why?

Anne Curzan's first audio series "The Secret Life of Words" is one of my favorites titles on Audible, so I was both excited to listen this new course, and curious: How would this descriptivist linguist, who's quick to point out that English has many grammars, teach a English Grammar Boot Camp?

I am pleased to report that Professor Curzan navigates the territory with great ease. Yes, she reminds us, the English language is not static. No, there is not one authoritative grammar. But there is a concept of "standard English," and while much of that has changed over time and debate persists over certain rules, you're listening to this series because you want to understand those rules and potential pitfalls, and Curzan brilliantly covers it all with humor, humility, and insight.

You will learn the rules of usage, and you will also learn the origins of those rules, the logic behind them (if there is any), and how the rules of what's considered proper may be changing over time.

It should also surprise no one familiar with Curzan's other courses that you will learn the differences between spoken English and written English, and how what's considered proper in one form may be unacceptable in the other.

Which scene was your favorite?

I love Curzan's descriptions of the things she learns from her students. She describes how she frequently calls on them, as young users of the language, to help her document changes in usage as those changes enter the mainstream.

She describes, among other things, how texting has its own grammar and punctuation, and makes the point that while some of us might view this as simply "bad english," there are in fact meaningful rules that are unique to the medium.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely not. It's quite long, and dense with information. I typically listened to two chapters a day.

Any additional comments?

For those who are prescriptivists looking to hone your sense of "proper" usage, you will no doubt find everything you're looking for, but prepare to also be humbled. It is inevitable that some rule you were taught in school and remembered all these years will be questioned.
This very review, up through the previous sentence, is filled with grammar and punctuation that defies some conventional rules, yet falls into the category of modern acceptable usage. Curzan explains those distinctions, with particular focus on those words and rules that tend to trip us up the most, such as:
That rule about never ending a sentence with a proposition
Apostrophes, dashes, semicolons, and the oxford comma
Who, whom, pronoun agreement, and all the other prounoun issues that trip us up
Which vs. that, and relative pronouns
Octopuses or octopi, and all the ways plurals trip us up
Lie vs. lay, past tense vs. past participle
Helping verbs, shall, can, may etc.
Passive voice
Adverbs
Conjunctives
Dangling modifiers
etc.

She will often stop short of declaring that a common usage is correct or incorrect, but will point out that if you make certain choices -- particularly in writing -- prepare to be judged.

It's a unique, refreshing, and entertaining approach to grammar study. Highly recommended for the usage nerd in us all.

227 of 236 people found this review helpful

  • Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader

  • By: Herminia Ibarra
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Van Dyck
  • Length: 5 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 213
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 186
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 183

You aspire to lead with greater impact. The problem is you're busy executing on today's demands. You know you have to carve out time from your day job to build your leadership skills, but it's easy to let immediate problems and old mind-sets get in the way. Herminia Ibarra - an expert on professional leadership and development and a renowned professor at INSEAD, a leading international business school - shows how managers and executives at all levels can step up to leadership by making small but crucial changes in their jobs, their networks, and themselves.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good information, but not as an audio book

  • By C. Harley on 10-01-16

Incredibly valuable insights regarding the steps it takes to become a leader

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-29-16

My business reading is usually confined to books about strategy. This book has absolutely changed my philosophy. Leadership is its own work. If that concept intrigues you, or if you don't know what that means, then I recommend starting this book. You'll know within a few pages whether it's relevant to you.

On Audible, I usually listen to The Great Courses, so perhaps my low score on performance for this book is unfair. I'm just not used to listening to audiobooks that sound like somebody's reading.

The book was recommended to me by an executive coach. I am in a position of leadership, and have had much success, but when faced with the challenge of promoting cultural change, am finding that my pacesetting style hasn't helped. This book was an eye-opener. I saw myself in many of the examples, and as a result had no choice but to listen and challenge some of my previously held beliefs about leadership. I will be buying some copies of the book to share with others

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A History of the U.S. Economy in the 20th Century

  • By: Timothy Taylor, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Timothy Taylor
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 316
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 273
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 274

The history of the U.S. economy in the 20th century is far too interesting-and far too important to our future-to be dismissed with just a few stock explanations. These 10 fast-paced lectures introduce you to vital economic lessons learned in the last century to provide invaluable guidance for understanding the current economy. Each lecture focuses exclusively on one decade to provide you with a clear understanding of economic developments and outside influences on the U.S. economy.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very effective, as far as it goes

  • By Philo on 07-15-13

Should be required listening for any citizen

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-05-16

This is one of the older series in The Great Courses library -- it was recorded at the close of the 20th century; but it is outstanding, and the best evidence of that is the fact that every minute of it remains relevant today.

When I listen to the level of political discourse we have in the 21st-century, it almost makes me sympathetic to the belief by our founding fathers that only educated people should be allowed to vote. Better still, just have all of our elected officials listen to this course. It is a fascinating history of the United States in the 20th century as told through the eyes of an economist, and as economists go, Professor Tim Taylor is a joy to listen to. No matter what your political persuasion, prepare to have myths busted, your eyes opened, and your opinions changed. This series is a perfect example of what makes The GreatCourses so great.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Jesus and His Jewish Influences

  • By: Jodi Magness, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Jodi Magness
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 221
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 198
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 193

Follow an acclaimed archaeologist to unearth the roots of Jesus' actions and teachings within the traditions and beliefs of ancient Judaism. These fascinating 24 lectures approach the subject of Jesus from a historical, rather than scriptural, perspective; one rooted in ancient texts and archaeological discoveries. This investigation reveals hidden insights into how the tumultuous events of early Jewish history shaped an individual - and a movement - whose legacy endures to this day.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not entirely what I expected, but still a great course.

  • By Paul D. on 07-05-16

Fascinating

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-10-16

Professor Magness is not the most dynamic of The Great Courses professors, but the insights, scholarship, and organization she brings to this series are outstanding, making it a fascinating listen.

Whether you are religious or not, whether you are Jewish or Christian or Muslim, if you are at all curious about how history is made, you will surely find this series riveting. I thought I knew a few things about biblical Israel, Roman antiquity, Jesus and ancient Judaism... but Professor Magness pulls it all together into a context that makes all of it make sense.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • A History of Eastern Europe

  • By: Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius
  • Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 864
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 784
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 780

Eastern Europe has long been thought of as the "Other Europe", a region rife with political upheaval, shifting national borders, an astonishing variety of ethnic diversity, and relative isolation from the centers of power in the West. It has also been, and continues to be, pivotal in the course of world events. A History of Eastern Europe offers a sweeping 1,000-year tour with a particular focus on the region's modern history.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • "MODERN" History of Eastern Europe

  • By Brooke L. Morris on 12-05-15

A fascinating tour through a rich and complex history

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-05-16

Professor Liulevicius is an international treasure and I am grateful that The Great Courses is able to bring him to me on my iPhone. His courses on espionage and on history's greatest voyages of exploration are among my favorite titles on Audible.

BUT Eastern Europe is his specialty, and so I was really looking forward to this series. I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I learned surprising things about my own heritage.

I will admit there were moments when I wished I was watching the video version. I've seen bits of it, and the maps illustrating the constantly changing borders of Eastern Europe are very helpful; but if you know the geography, or if you are able to look up a map to glance at while listening (as I did), then you'll be more than satisfied with this rich and nuanced tour of a fascinating part of the world.

Highly recommended.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition

  • By: Richard Wolfson, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Richard Wolfson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,086
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,726
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,668

"It doesn't take an Einstein to understand modern physics," says Professor Wolfson at the outset of these 24 lectures on what may be the most important subjects in the universe: relativity and quantum physics. Both have reputations for complexity. But the basic ideas behind them are, in fact, simple and comprehensible by anyone. These dynamic and illuminating lectures begin with a brief overview of theories of physical reality starting with Aristotle and culminating in Newtonian or "classical" physics.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would

  • By Brady on 09-22-13

I never took Physics...

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-01-15

What made the experience of listening to Einstein's Relativity and the Quantum Revolution: Modern Physics for Non-Scientists, 2nd Edition the most enjoyable?

If you're like me -- intellectually curious but lacking a physics education -- then this course is a dream. I know my history, math, economics, music, biology, but physics? Before listening, I didn't even know what quantum mechanics was, and I couldn't have explained the first thing about the theories of relativity. Thank goodness for professor Richard Wolfson. This course provided an entertaining and user-friendly overview that I frankly raced through. It was that good. There were so many "aha" moments. General relativity, special relativity, black holes, worm holes, Schrödinger's cat... It's all making sense. Could I take an exam or teach it to others? Hmm... doubtful. But I certainly no longer feel ignorant about the subjects, and I finally know what people are talking about when I read about developments in theoretical physics.

What did you like best about this story?

Getting these concepts across in an audio series would seem insanely hard, but professor Wolfson is constantly conscious of the audio listener, describing things in great detail, and referring to additional diagrams or illustrations in the included guidebook when such things would be helpful.

Any additional comments?

Every once in a while, the fact that this series was recorded some years ago becomes obvious, such as when he refers to the UHF channels on your television, or to the Higgs Boson particle as something that has yet to be discovered (it was discovered in 2012). These things are chuckle-worthy, but do not detract from the value of this terrific series.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

  • Techniques for Retraining Your Brain
  • By: Jason M. Satterfield, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Jason M. Satterfield
  • Length: 12 hrs and 35 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,097
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,803
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,783

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a well-tested collection of practical techniques for managing moods and modifying undesirable behaviors through self-awareness, critical analysis, and goal-oriented change. CBT illuminates the links between thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and physical health and uses those connections to develop concrete plans for self-improvement. In 24 engaging half-hour lectures, you'll build a robust and effective self-improvement toolkit with the expert guidance of Professor Satterfield of the University of California, San Francisco.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great addition to my counseling practice

  • By Stephanie-Samantha on 01-09-16

An amazing series

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-01-15

Where does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is a unique and remarkable series -- highly recommended for anybody interested in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, whether you are an experienced practitioner, an aspiring therapist, or a potential beneficiary wondering about the practice and how it may help you.

What did you like best about this story?

Professor Satterfield is both highly engaging and practical in his approach.

Which scene was your favorite?

Recordings from actual therapy sessions are interspersed with each segment, so you can listen to practical examples of the techniques being discussed.

Any additional comments?

Like all of The Great Courses, this series is highly engaging and is an enormous value.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Legacies of Great Economists

  • By: Timothy Taylor, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Timothy Taylor
  • Length: 7 hrs and 24 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 220
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 194
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 195

When it comes to economics and economic theory, a few thinkers dominate the landscape. Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Alfred Marshall, John Maynard Keynes, and a handful of others have shaped the world of economics and influenced our lives. These 10 lectures acquaint you with the thoughts, theories, and lives of these great economists.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A fine basic survey: a home run for Prof. Taylor

  • By Philo on 03-19-14

Who knew economics could be so captivating?

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-30-15

This is the second series I've listened to by Tim Taylor and I have to rank him right up there with the best of The Great Courses professors. He is easy to listen to. -- energetic, passionate about the subject, and able to explain anything in the simplest of terms.

This series takes you on a marvelously captivating walk through the history of economic thought -- how great minds evolved our thinking to understand what an economy was and what made it work. So from a historical perspective, it provides a fascinating perspective on our evolution as a society.

From an economic and political perspective you will gain wonderful insights. I dare say your friends will think twice about quoting Adam Smith or Karl Marx in your presence once you've finished listening to this; and when politicians quote John Maynard Keynes or Milton Friedman, you'll know which parts are established fact, and which parts remain controversial theory.

these lectures were recorded before the financial crisis of the late 2000s, and I think that's a good thing. You will understand the prevailing theories of macroeconomics and decide for yourself how it applies today.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • America in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era

  • By: Edward T. O'Donnell, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Edward T. O'Donnell
  • Length: 11 hrs and 52 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 406
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 363
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 364

America stands at a dramatic crossroads: Massive corporations wield disturbing power. The huge income gap between the one percent and the other 99 percent grows wider. Astounding new technologies are changing American lives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another great course by Professor O'Donnell

  • By Quaker on 06-17-15

Another great course by Professor O'Donnell

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-17-15

Professor O'Donnell's first series Turning Points in American History ranks among the best of the many The Great Courses series I have listened to, so I couldn't wait to tackle this new series by Professor O'Donnell which takes a deeper dive into the period from the mid 19th to the early 20th century.

I was tempted to get the video version because this time period is so rich with historical photographs, documents and political cartoons. However I had an Audible credit and and I knew from his previous course that Professor O'Donnell would be very highly organized and easy to listen to. I have no regrets.

In the end I have to rate this series just a notch below "Turning Points." That series was absolutely loaded with new insights and "aha" moments, whereas this one felt more like an entertaining race through time ( then again, it could be that I feel that way only because I recently listened to the outstanding Great Courses series on the Industrial Revolution and it covered much of the same time period).

Bottom line: I recommend it highly. If you are really looking to seriously study this era, then I might first get a global perspective from Professor Bucholz's Foundations of Western Civilization II," then move to this series, and then to Professor Allitt's The Industrial Revolution.

If you are looking for a broader view of major milestones in American history, then listen to Professor O'Donnell's "Turning Points" followed by Professor Stoler's Skeptics Guide to American History.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Critical Business Skills for Success

  • By: The Great Courses, Clinton O. Longenecker, Eric Sussman, and others
  • Narrated by: Clinton O. Longenecker, Eric Sussman, Michael A. Roberto, and others
  • Length: 31 hrs and 18 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,871
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,644
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,622

What does it take to reach success in business - the kind of success that lasts? How do you set yourself apart from competitors or venture out into different markets? What does it take to develop streamlined processes, become a stronger team leader, and work your way up the corporate ladder?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Epic! It's like a complete 1st year MBA Curriculum

  • By Quaker on 05-22-15

Epic! It's like a complete 1st year MBA Curriculum

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-22-15

Would you consider the audio edition of Critical Business Skills for Success to be better than the print version?

This is the audio version of The Great Courses series, an epic series taught by five world class professors. You get the entire series here as one audio book, which is incredible. I will be recommending this series to every manager in my organization, whether they already have an MBA or not.

While the sections on accounting and finance clearly would have benefited from the video version, I was overall enthralled and amazed by these wonderful professors and this incredibly ambitious series. It is essentially the entire core 1st year MBA curriculum, spanning 60 lectures, with 5 professors taking on the core requirements of the typical MBA curriculum: Management strategy, Operations Management, Accounting, Finance, Organization Behavior, and Marketing.

What did you like best about this story?

I have an MBA from a top business school, but it’s been a while since I’ve been in the classroom, and any good business manager knows that you can never stop learning and reviewing the fundamentals. So my perspective listening to this series was that most of the concepts were not new, but all of it was valuable, and every section offered helpful new frameworks for me to use in thinking about my organization, my management style, and the business issues we all face in the 21st century.

Which scene was your favorite?

It should not come as a surprise that the sections on management strategy, organizational behavior, and marketing were the most entertaining (and most suited for audio), while the sections on accounting and operations had their dry moments. From my perspective, this is the nature of the beast and not a reflection on the professors.

Any additional comments?

The Great Courses is known for finding the world's greatest professors, and this series is no exception. More on each:

Management Strategy is taught by Professor Michael Roberto, who has taught at NYU, Harvard, and Bryant. If you have watched or listened to The Great Courses titles on Transformational Leadership or Critical Decision Making (both excellent), then you already know how great Professor Roberto is. You’ll be happy to know that his lectures n this series are not redundant at all with those titles. You also will not be surprised to know they are highly organized and entertaining at the same time. He offers a fresh framework for thinking about business strategy that should be relevant to anybody from entrepreneurs to middle managers to Fortune 500 executives. Every one of Professor Roberto’s lectures offers the winning formula of a logical framework for the principles at hand plus real world stories that you can repeat to help remember and spread the wisdom in your organization. The lecture on The Danger of Straddling may be my favorite.

Operations Management is taught by Professor Thomas Goldsby from Ohio State. Goldsby spends a lot of time at the beginning of this section defining operations and describing the critical role it plays in business success. He does a great job, and for the inexperienced manager, this is critical. For me, this part was a little too much review; but once we got into the details of things like inventory management, business process reengineering, and performance measurement, I was hooked and learned a lot about how operations managers approach these topics, and some of the common pitfalls encountered. Most of what I remember from my Operations classes is learning linear programming models. This series, for what it’s worth, offers a higher-level strategic view of operations management. There is math in some lectures, but it’s more about the types of metrics one would use to measure operational effectiveness.

The subjects of Accounting and Finance are taught in tandem by Professor Eric Sussman from UCLA. I never would have believed that you could cover these topics effectively in an audio series, and no doubt this is the one section where you might wish you'd spent your money on the video version, but still, Sussman amazingly pulls it off. All of the examples used are actual financial reports from companies like Apple, Intel, and Walmart. Accounting and Finance are of course important both for the business manager and the personal investor. Professor Sussman provides both perspectives, making this section different from the rest of the course. For my purposes, there was a little too much emphasis on the investor point of view, though all of it was relevant. To be clear, if you’ve never seen an income statement or balance sheet or cash flow statement, then you will no doubt start to get lost with the audio version. You would definitely want to have examples of these financial statements in front of you, or get the guidebook or the video version from The Great Courses. If you are familiar with what these types of statements look like and can follow simple math in your head, you'll be OK.

Organizational Behavior is taught by Professor Clinton Longenecker at the University of Toledo. Wow. What a find he is. I’m not surprised that he has won over 40 teaching awards. The field of organizational behavior can be tackled from a variety of angles. For these 12 lectures, Professor Longenecker switches the tone of the course towards a very direct advice mode, much in the same vein as the outstanding Great Courses titles “The Art of Negotiating the Best Deal” and “Art of Conflict Management.” If you haven’t enjoyed those series, trust me; this is high praise. Any one of these 12 lectures is worth the price of admission, whether you are just entering the workforce or leading a staff of hundreds or thousands. It is a switch in tone from the rest of the series, and honestly not what I expected, but as somebody who has both studied organization behavior and worked in a variety of management roles, I found the content to be outstanding, and words to live by.

Marketing is taught by another brilliant find – Professor Ryan Hamilton, a Northwestern/Kellogg School PhD now teaching at Emory University. This is a field I know well, so I was prepared to be critical, but Professor Hamilton knocked it out of the park with this highly-organized and entertaining set of lectures on the fundamentals of marketing. He presents a highly thoughtful, highly organized framework that should be taught in every business school. While most introductory marketing courses start with the “Four Ps” framework (product, price, promotion, and place), Professor Hamilton starts instead with marketing strategy – how to segment a market, target a segment, position your offering, and create value for your chosen segment. This section addresses nabt misconceptions about what marketing is, and is an outstanding bookend to Professor Roberto’s strategy lectures that opened the course. Professor Hamilton then turns to tactics, pointing out that the four Ps – and even branding itself – are simply tactics. There is much to learn about these tactics, but they are meaningless in the absence of a strategy based on segmentation, targeting, and positioning. Like Professor Roberto earlier, Professor Hamilton peppers his lectures with real world case studies and cautionary tales that help make things entertaining and memorable.

All in, an epic series that I will recommend to others and certainly return to in years to come.

197 of 206 people found this review helpful