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Paul Strathern

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  • The Medici: Power, Money, and Ambition in the Italian Renaissance | Paul Strathern

    The Medici: Power, Money, and Ambition in the Italian Renaissance

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Derek Perkins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (385)
    Performance
    (350)
    Story
    (346)

    Against the background of an age that saw the rebirth of ancient and classical learning, Paul Strathern explores the intensely dramatic rise and fall of the Medici family in Florence as well as the Italian Renaissance, which they did so much to sponsor and encourage. Interwoven into the narrative are the lives of many of the great Renaissance artists with whom the Medici had dealings, including Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Donatello as well as scientists like Galileo and Pico della Mirandola.

    Matt Turner says: "An Intriguing Lens on the Renaissance"
  • Death in Florence: The Medici, Savonarola, and the Battle for the Soul of the Renaissance City | Paul Strathern

    Death in Florence: The Medici, Savonarola, and the Battle for the Soul of the Renaissance City

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Derek Perkins
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (97)

    Death in Florence illuminates one of the defining moments in Western history - the bloody and dramatic story of the battle for the soul of Renaissance Florence. By the end of the fifteenth century, Florence was well established as the home of the Renaissance. In an exhilaratingly rich and deeply researched story, Paul Strathern reveals the paradoxes, self-doubts, and political compromises that made the battle for the soul of the Renaissance city one of the most complex and important moments in Western history.

    Phil O. says: "Extravagant rich peacocks and true believers"
  • The Venetians: A New History: From Marco Polo to Casanova | Paul Strathern

    The Venetians: A New History: From Marco Polo to Casanova

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Derek Perkins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (30)

    The Republic of Venice was the first great economic, cultural, and naval power of the modern Western world. After winning the struggle for ascendency in the late 13th century, the Republic enjoyed centuries of unprecedented glory and built a trading empire which at its apogee reached as far afield as China, Syria, and West Africa. This golden period only drew to an end with the Republic's eventual surrender to Napoleon. The Venetians illuminates the character of the Republic during these illustrious years by shining a light on some of the most celebrated personalities of European history.

    Gary R. Frank says: "Mesmerizing"
  • Sartre: Philosophy in an Hour | Paul Strathern

    Sartre: Philosophy in an Hour

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 43 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    Following on from the incredible online success of the History in an Hour titles - now there’s a philosophy series for busy people, on the go. Listen to a succinct account of the philosophy of Sartre in just one hour. Here is a concise, expert account of Jean-Paul Sartre’s life and philosophical ideas in this short audiobook. Entertainingly written and easy to listen to - this also includes selections from Jean-Paul Sartre’s work with suggested further reading, and chronologies that place Sartre in the context of the broader scheme of philosophy.

  • Schopenhauer: Philosophy in an Hour | Paul Strathern

    Schopenhauer: Philosophy in an Hour

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 18 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Philosophy for busy people. Listen to a succinct account of the philosophy of Schopenhauer in just one hour.Arthur Schopenhauer, the ‘philosopher of pessimism,’ makes it clear that he regards the world and our life in it as a bad joke. However, if the world is indifferent to our fate it doesn’t thwart us deliberately – its façade is supported by what Schopenhauer calls the universal Will. He saw this as a force that is blind and without purpose, bringing on all our misery and suffering.

  • Heidegger in 90 Minutes | Paul Strathern

    Heidegger in 90 Minutes

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 27 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (36)

    One of the two major philosophical traditions of the twentieth century was linguistic analysis, derived largely from Wittgenstein. The other, diametrically opposed, came from Heidegger, and its fundamental question was, "What is the meaning of existence?" For Heidegger, this question could not simply be "analyzed away". It was beyond the reach of logic or reason. It was the primary "given" of every individual life. To confront it, Heidegger needed to develop an entire new form of philosophy.

    Michael says: "Less isn't more"
  • Nietzsche in 90 Minutes | Paul Strathern

    Nietzsche in 90 Minutes

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 10 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (52)

    With Friedrich Nietzsche, philosophy was dangerous not only for philosophers but for everyone. His ideas presaged a collective madness that had horrific consequences in Europe in the early 1900s. Though his philosophy is more one of aphorisms than a system, it is brilliant, persuasive, and incisive. His major concept is the will to power, which he saw as the basic impulse for all our acts. Christianity he saw as a subtle perversion of this concept, thus Nietzsche's famous pronouncement, "God is dead."

    Peter says: "A short biography"
  • Socrates in 90 Minutes | Paul Strathern

    Socrates in 90 Minutes

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 18 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (35)

    Just a century after it had begun, philosophy entered its greatest age with the appearance of Socrates, who spent so much of his time talking about philosophy on the streets of Athens that he never got around to writing anything down. His method of aggressive questioning, called dialectic, was the forerunner of logic; he used it to cut through the twaddle of his adversaries and arrive at the truth. Rather than questioning the world, he believed, we would be better off questioning ourselves.

    Theodore says: "I thought it was OK"
  • Foucault: Philosophy in an Hour | Paul Strathern

    Foucault: Philosophy in an Hour

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 34 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    Overall
    (0)
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    (0)
    Story
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    Philosophy for busy people. Listen to a succinct account of the philosophy of Foucault in just one hour. The French philosopher Michel Foucault set about his task rather like a historian. After painstaking research, he concluded that knowledge and power were intimately related throughout history.

  • Hume in 90 Minutes | Paul Strathern

    Hume in 90 Minutes

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 17 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (39)

    David Hume reduced philosophy to ruins: he denied the existence of everything, except our actual perceptions themselves. I alone exist, he argued, and the world is nothing more than part of my consciousness. Yet we know that the world remains, and we go on as before. What Hume expressed was the status of our knowledge about the world, a world in which neither religion nor science is certain.

    L Mark Higgins says: "In 90 Minutes Series overview"
  • Descartes in 90 Minutes | Paul Strathern

    Descartes in 90 Minutes

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 13 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (22)

    Rene Descartes spent most of his childhood in solitude, a situation that also came to characterize his adult life. Fortunately, these countless lonely hours helped Descartes produce the declaration that changed all philosophy: "I think, therefore I am." Eventually convincing himself to doubt and disregard sensory knowledge, Descartes found he could prove his existence through his thoughts. This internal information, he believed, was the true reality and external forces were hopelessly deceiving.

    L Mark Higgins says: "In 90 Minutes Series overview"
  • Derrida: Philosophy in an Hour | Paul Strathern

    Derrida: Philosophy in an Hour

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 39 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Philosophy for busy people. Listen to this succinct account of the philosophy of Derrida in just one hour. Jacques Derrida’s ‘deconstructionism’ is nothing less than an effort to destroy all ‘writing’ by demonstrating its inevitable falsehood. The writer writes but does not know what he is writing. Derrida argues that all texts have their own hidden agenda and contain their own metaphysical assumptions – the writer’s very language inevitably distorts what he thinks and writes.

  • Sartre in 90 Minutes | Paul Strathern

    Sartre in 90 Minutes

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 40 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (39)
    Performance
    (24)
    Story
    (24)

    During his lifetime, Jean-Paul Sartre enjoyed unprecedented popularity for a philosopher, due partly to his role as a spokesman for existentialism at the opportune moment, when this set of ideas filled the spiritual gap left amidst the ruins of World War II. Existentialism was a philosophy of action and showed the ultimate freedom of the individual. In Sartre's hands, it became a revolt against European bourgeois values.

    L Mark Higgins says: "In 90 Minutes Series overview"
  • James Joyce in 90 Minutes | Paul Strathern

    James Joyce in 90 Minutes

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 47 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    From a young age, James Joyce showed a precocious and original intellect and a confidence in his own artistic destiny. He would indeed go on to transform the nature of modern literature, employing a unique stream-of-consciousness technique rich in symbolism and wordplay. Through his art, the Dublin native sought to reveal the radiance and meaning that lurks in the everyday world - "the soul of the commonest object" - evoking a heightened sense of consciousness within the grit of common life.

  • Borges in 90 Minutes | Paul Strathern

    Borges in 90 Minutes

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 49 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (14)

    Borges in 90 Minutes offers a concise, expert account of Borges' life and ideas and explains their influence on literature and on man's struggle to understand his place in the world. The book also includes a list of Borges' chief works, a chronology of his life and times, and recommended reading for those who wish to delve deeper.

    James Carl Barsz, MD says: "Jorge Luis Borges"
  • Aristotle in 90 Minutes | Paul Strathern

    Aristotle in 90 Minutes

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 15 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (26)

    Aristotle wrote on everything from the shape of seashells to sterility, from speculations on the nature of the soul to meteorology, poetry, art, and even the interpretation of dreams. Apart from mathematics, he transformed every field of knowledge that he touched. Above all, Aristotle is credited with the founding of logic. When he first divided human knowledge into separate categories, he enabled our understanding of the world to develop in a systematic fashion.

    Escendus says: "Trying to be a novelist"
  • Kierkegaard in 90 Minutes | Paul Strathern

    Kierkegaard in 90 Minutes

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 24 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (49)

    Kierkegaard wasn't really a philosopher in the academic sense. Yet he produced what many people expect of philosophy. His subject was the individual and his or her existence, the "existing being." In Kierkegaard's view, this purely subjective entity lay beyond the reach of reason, logic, philosophical systems, theology, or even "the pretenses of psychology." Nonetheless, it was the source of all these subjects. The branch of philosophy to which Kierkegaard gave birth has come to be known as existentialism.

    Peter says: "Great intros"
  • St. Augustine in 90 Minutes | Paul Strathern

    St. Augustine in 90 Minutes

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 13 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (16)

    In St. Augustine in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of St. Augustine's life and ideas and explains their influence on man's struggle to understand his existence in the world. The book also includes selections from St. Augustine's work, a brief list of suggested readings for those who wish to delve deeper, and chronologies that place St. Augustine within his own age and in the broader scheme of philosophy.

    MM says: "Author hates subject"
  • Wittgenstein in 90 Minutes | Paul Strathern

    Wittgenstein in 90 Minutes

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 13 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (59)
    Performance
    (29)
    Story
    (27)

    "If we accept Wittgenstein's word for it," Paul Strathern writes, "he is the last philosopher. In his view, philosophy in the traditional sense was finished."

    Joseph says: "Hatchet Job"
  • Plato in 90 Minutes | Paul Strathern

    Plato in 90 Minutes

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 13 mins)
    • By Paul Strathern
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (27)

    In an age when philosophers had scarcely glimpsed the horizons of the mind, a boy named Aristocles decided to forgo his ambitions as a wrestler. Adopting the nickname Plato, he embarked instead on a life in philosophy. In 387 B.C. he founded the Academy, the world's first university, and taught his students that all we see is not reality but merely a reproduction of the true source. And in his famous Republic he described the politics of "the highest form of state."

    Prudence says: "A wonderful summary - concise and interesting."
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