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Publisher's Summary

This lecture series takes you on a far-reaching journey around the globe - from China to the Americas to New Zealand - to shed light on how two dozen of the top discoveries, inventions, political upheavals, and ideas since 1400 have shaped the modern world. In just 24 thought-provoking lectures, you'll get the amazing story of how life as we know it developed.

Starting in the early 15th century and culminating in the age of social media, you'll encounter astounding threads that weave through the centuries, joining these turning points in ways that may come as a revelation. You'll also witness turning points with repercussions we can only speculate about because they are still very much in the process of turning.

Professor Liulevicius doesn't merely recount the greatest events of history, but rather has selected true catalysts in provoking changes in worldview. Some of the events you'll investigate, including the discovery of the New World and the fall of the Berlin Wall, will immediately resonate as watershed moments. The global significance of other pivotal events may only become apparent through the detailed analysis contained in these lectures, such as the publication of the Enlightenment-era Encyclopédie and the Russo-Japanese War - which has been historically overshadowed by the two world wars that followed.

As you discover how turning points such as the discovery of penicillin and the opening of East Berlin hinged on chance, accident, and, in some cases, sheer luck, you'll realize how easily history might have played out differently.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2013 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2013 The Great Courses

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  • Nicole
  • Brooktondale, NY, United States
  • 12-15-15

One of the best "Great Courses" I have listened to!

I have quite a few Great Courses in my library, on a variety of subjects. This one is by far my favorite. Professor Liulevicius has a great voice which does not turn monotonous. You can tell that he loves history and knows quite a lot about it.

Each lecture surrounds a certain event. Some of them are obvious such as the voyages of Columbus or the invention of the printing press. Some are surprising but make a lot of sense once you hear the lecture such as the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

Every single lecture is fun to listen to as you don't just hear facts and figures. Instead Professor Liulevicius tells us all about the people that lived through an event. We get to really know the people that changed history. This makes it more personal and real.

What I love the most is how he links past lectures to a current one. It could be someone using a technology from a past lecture or an idea. All of them come together. This makes you think about those lectures well after you listened to them. For that reason this course could easily be listened to at least a couple of other times.

If you are curious about modern history and want a sweeping understanding then get this course. If you are curious as to how the past can be linked to the present then get this course. If you are going on a road trip and want a fun listen then get this course!

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Must listen!

Excellent lecture series. Great delivery-- structured, concise, informative, and entertaining.

I read this over a year ago and am still thinking about it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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What a perfect course!

Love so many of The Great Courses but the material, storytelling and passionate, clear presentation of this one blew my mind. Was listening on a walk today when realized he was wrapping up the course and I actually let out an audible whine! Going to have one more listen before my next book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Interesting...

Well presented. Very enjoyable and informative. Interesting view on what constitute some great changes in our more recent history.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Lot of interesting points, good book.

Most of the events in this books are well known however, the author makes a good case for why each is an actual turning point (other "turning point" books fail to do this). Even for those areas I disagree with or am a bit skeptical about, I like the connection made as it relates to the greater historical impact for each.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Excellent throughout

One of the best courses I've listened too. Great job. Didn't want it to end! I was a little worried that he would have an accent from the sound of his last name but there was no accent at all.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Excellent perspective on world history

I've listened to several Great Courses and this may be my favorite. I enjoyed the world perspective as opposed to a concentration on European history. And, I enjoyed thinking about the instructor's reasons for adding something out of history to his list of Turning Points. Often, this was something new to me, but all were treated with an insightful perspective. Very enjoyable!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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I loved this so much, I'm sad it had to end

This was the best of The Great Courses I've had the pleasure of listening to. Each chapter was fascinating and really captured many of the most significant events in modern history.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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interesting retelling of major historical points

Not sure this needed an entire course buy this was a very good retelling of major historical points. Perhaps the final chapter (social media/internet communications) is telling of my review that this course would easily be summarized by a BuzzFeed listicle. That being said, this was thorough and did an excellent job describing both the lead up to and the after effects of each historically significant event.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great listen

I learned a lot about things I felt like I should already know, but didn't.
Great information presented in an non-boring way.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. Acapella
  • 06-01-16

Superior history

I'm a big fan of this chap, Prof. Liulevicius and hope he goes on to record many more audiobooks of his lectures. He has a bright, fluent, cheerful style which makes the comprehension of a wide range of inter-related history easy and leaves you thinking about the ideas he has covered and come up with himself. Only criticism I have, is that his historical turning points are partly skewed to a Western European perspective. For instance, from the point of view of first nation Americans, the arrival of the Europeans was a cataclysmic disaster, hardly the bright new beginning it was for the people emigrating from the Old World.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful