• The Modern Scholar: The Second Oldest Profession, Part 1

  • A World History of Espionage
  • By: Jeffrey Burds
  • Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Release date: 01-19-12
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Recorded Books
  • 3.5 (33 ratings)

Regular price: $49.95

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Publisher's Summary

Professor Jeffrey Burds of Northeastern University delves into the history of espionage in this eye-opening lecture series. The course opens with espionage activity in the ancient world and the Roman Empire and continues with the American Revolution, Age of Napoleon, and American Civil War. Throughout this compelling discussion it becomes evident that spying is not only a never-ending source of fascination but also a major contributor to world history and the development of nations.

©2011 Jeffrey Burds (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC

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Fascinating!

What did you love best about The Modern Scholar: The Second Oldest Profession, Part 1?

This has many very interesting stories about the important role of espionage in history.

Any additional comments?

I want Part 2!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Excellent

Where does The Modern Scholar: The Second Oldest Profession, Part 1 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This ranks in the top ten percent of the three hundred or so audio books I have heard, probably because it relates to my 28 year career as an intelligence officer in the US Army. Professor Burds is to be congratulated for this outstanding presentation. I am dismayed at the gratuitous one star review posted here with no explanation of the reason for it. Why a person would do such a thing escapes me. Bad reviews are useful only if they have substance. If there were any way for the editors to excise reviews that serve only a destructive purpose, I would urge them to remove the review by F-M, and not to accept such contributions in future.

Any additional comments?

I look forward very much to Part 2!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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ERRORS-CARELESS AUDIO EDITING-v. interesting tho

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The audio editing has been done carelessly, resulting in needless ERROR of facts - e.g. in the audio book the Professor says, Julius Cesar changed his name to Augustus, in the PDF the same section has the correct FULL NAME for Octavius, who changed his same to Augustus. Problem is, how many other mistakes are there????

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

It's great information, but it's accuracy is harmed by the careless audio editing.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The Professor has great information, but it's very obvious that he's reading from the written page, he sounds rushed, reading without imparting his actual understanding of the information. No doubt if he were actually lecturing for real, the sense of the words would come through naturally. The performance makes it hard to comprehend the information.

Was The Modern Scholar: The Second Oldest Profession, Part 1 worth the listening time?

It is definitely worth listening to, it's a very interesting subject. But frankly, with the mistakes, it's hard to get too enthusiastic until the audio book has be re-edited and the performance worked on. BUT THE INFORMATION IS FASCINATING, I'm writing this, precisely because I'm hoping this repair work will be done, then it will be a really great lecture!

Any additional comments?

The Professor makes a mistake saying 1504 instead of 1604 somewhere ... it was probably in the section on Elizabethan spycraft.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Interesting, but not compelling

For the casual history buff, there is some new information here that might surprise. But if you are looking for exciting historical stories of espionage--not so much. Certainly the problem with such a history is the covert nature of the work--scholars may not know the most interesting material. There are huge gaps in the presentation. A great deal of Julius Ceasar, a tiny bit on the Middle Ages, then a leap to material about Elizabeth I's court, for example.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A bit dull

What disappointed you about The Modern Scholar: The Second Oldest Profession, Part 1?

I'm afraid the presenter is a bit boring. He researched it all well and all but it was a bit on the dreary side. i expected more.

Would you ever listen to anything by Jeffrey Burds again?

Well I might but I'ma bit put off.

How could the performance have been better?

A bit more personality of the voice and a better presentation

Any additional comments?

I generally likwe modern scholar biut this was a weak offering.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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No part 2 available...

What a bad joke. There's no part 2 available... Waste of time. You are warned.

4 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • Haymarket, VA, United States
  • 02-19-13

Save your money

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Not really. Mr. Burds' saying Julius Caesar defeated Marc Antony at the Battle of Actium and then saying Julius Caesar changed his name to Augustus makes me wonder what ELSE is factually incorrect with his lectures.

What could Jeffrey Burds have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Quit preaching and get your facts straight.

What didn’t you like about the narrator’s performance?

Patronizing

Was The Modern Scholar: The Second Oldest Profession, Part 1 worth the listening time?

No

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Steven
  • 05-10-13

Nice but...

The lectures are very interesting and the professor reads them fairly well but part two is not available on Audible. I might not have bought it if I had known.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • jacob
  • 07-30-13

I wouldn't bother

If you have a prior interest in history (I'd assume most people looking at this series do) what you'd learn from this would be mostly trite (if you've had a lifelong interest in the history of warfare and politics like me you won't learn anything at all). The account of espionage put forward is not compelling and as part two isn't included it's left ultimately unfinished. These lectures are not worth £30 and I'm not convinced that they'd be worth a credit either - I just wouldn't bother.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful