The Course of Human Events

Narrated by: David McCullough
Length: 37 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (624 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On May 15, 2003, David McCullough presented "The Course of Human Events" as The 2003 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities in Washington, DC. The Jefferson Lecture is a tribute to McCullough's lifetime investigation of history.

In this short speech, this master historian tracks his fascination with all things historical to his early days in Pittsburgh where he "learned to love history by way of books" in bookshops and at the local library.

McCullough eloquently leads us through the founding fathers' attraction to history, letting us in on his composition of 1776 as well as the Pulitzer Prize-winning John Adams. His obvious affection for history is inspiring, because it encompasses the whole reach of the human drama. In McCullough's able hands, history truly "is a larger way of looking at life".

©2005 David McCullough (P)2005 Simon & Schuster Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Inc.

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What listeners say about The Course of Human Events

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A Pitch for History

Everyone, school-age people in particular, should hear this short but superb talk by one of America's greatest historians. David McCullough, as anyone familiar with his work knows, creates what amount to wayback machines that plop us right into the events that made America. He portrays participants so vividly that they soon begin to seem like our old personal acquaintances.

In this recording McCullough tells how he got hooked on history, why history is so important to an understanding of our world... and why it's so much fun.

He points out here and in his book 1776 what isn't understood widely enough -- and this is why every American should hear this program -- that America's war for independence was an absurdly long shot, almost certain to fail. Yet thousands bet their lives and fortunes to go up against the world's only superpower -- and incredibly, after hardship and loss that is difficult for present-day Americans to imagine, they eventually won.

I just wish I'd been exposed to history by someone as inspirational as McCullough when I was fourteen.

67 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Stupendous

David McCullough has three things going for him.
1) is that he has an amazing voice for an author
2) is that he could make a phone book sound facinating, and
3) is that David McCullough knows what he is talking about.
For a short read, you cannot go wrong with this book.

21 people found this helpful

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Comments re The Court of Human Events

Would you listen to The Course of Human Events again? Why?

I would listen again to this performance because it is inspiring, especially if you love American history or are a family historian.

What other book might you compare The Course of Human Events to and why?

This book is comparable to another book by McCullough; 1776.

Which scene was your favorite?

There is only one scene. McCullough captures the historical essence of a famous painting which depicts the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was left with deep feelings of patriotism and reverence for the individuals who made great personal sacrifices before, during and after the Revolution.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Be still my patriotic heart

I love Mr. McCullough's work, and I enjoy listening to him speak. This was very enjoyable, something I will listen to time and time again.

13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

David McCullough's brilliance

Inspiring beyond description and causes anyone to launch into a lifetime of exploration at no matter what age! Well done!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    out of 5 stars

FANTASTIC

ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC

6 people found this helpful

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This Review Needs a Title...So, I Gave it One

Not really a book...more like an academic lecture. While the subject matter is entertaining and motivating, the author's delivery is academic--many long parenthetical phrases that make comprehension difficult but communicate precisely. Maybe, i did not get the point, exactly, but I'd rather spend my time elsewhere and I'm glad that I borrowed it and did not have to pay for it.

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting

Interesting and insightful speech by the great historian David McCullough. Well worth a read (listen) for those who read and enjoy American History.

1 person found this helpful

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Enjoyed it...

Great to listen to a calming voice and a great history lesson to listen to again and again...

1 person found this helpful

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For the love of history

Great short speech. Love this writer! Thought provoking. Will listen again. Read his books. They are are very good.

1 person found this helpful