Five thousand years in the progress of human civilization is explained with a concise, animated series of mini-lectures. Examining of the course of human events flows briskly from the geologic influences in prehistory through the seismic shifts in culture and power created with the fall of the Roman Empire. (This look at history also serves as the perfect complement to the author's companion volume, A Survey of the Middle Ages: A.D. 500 - 1270). The easy-to-follow discussion highlights the most notable minds, greatest leaders, most significant events, and influential philosophies, as well as the formation of the arts, the development of the sciences, and foundation of the economic principles that continue to shape the present day.
Take a fascinating journey from the mists of prehistory to the fall of the Roman empire. Be introduced to the most notable men and minds of the ancient world. Explore the great currents of philosophy, art, science and economics that have shaped our world.
©2008 Trout Lake Media; (P)2007 Trout Lake Media
The first third of the book takes a very broad brush sweep from palaeolithic age to the end of Greek civilisation. There is no mention of the rise of Mesopotamian city states and their impact on developments in Europe. The remaining two thirds covers the Roman empire with particular emphasis on early Christianity. As a result, the book feels unbalanced, even acknowledging the limited sources for the earlier times. It does take an interesting approach however in using a series of very brief chapters for each period discussed, covering a wide range from agriculture, economics, battles, key personalities, and culture in its widest sense (art and architecture, philosophy, religion, poets and authors etc). The parallels between the Pax Romana/decline of the Roman Empire with modern capitalism are particularly well-drawn. I do not know who is reading this (an omission I have found with many Audible readings), but the listener feels the lecturer is addressing him/her as the sole person in a huge auditorium. Pronunciation of many words, particularly people's and place names is very unfamiliar and difficult to a British ear.
"Not really what I was looking for"
This is a very, very thin introduction to the major ancient civilizations. It is like listening to a short podcast, complete with cheesy sound effects and a narrator who sounds less than professional. The narrator has a flat, slightly irate-sounding voice and sighs repeated times. (Maybe he was yawning? I certainly was.)
Imagine a tired, slightly angry man reading Wikipedia for 5 hours, and chapters broken down by a musical flourish from a 1980's synthesizer and a loud, jarring "beep." Every two minutes or so. That was a good thing. The beep stopped me from falling asleep at the wheel while driving.
The content is too thinly skimmed over to really hold the interest of the listener. Like I said, think of an entry in an encyclopedia. If that's what you want, and you don't mind a grumpy narrator, this may be for you.
"Give it a pass"
The content is VERY superficial, I recognize that this is titled as a survey but some actual insight and content is still appropriate.
On top of that the narration is abysmal, very flat and halting.
"exmtremel difficult to listen to"
Might with Pruskin, but not Sand.ss
I honestly cannot tell as the narration was so horrible, I was unable to get far.
Alec Sand has no sense of flow in his narration.
I am usuallee (wie does not work on this computer) am able to listen with poor narration if I am interested, but this was the worst I have ever encountered.
"Could Be Presented Better"
This could be a very interesting book if the narrator sounded the least bit interested in the topic. Instead, he presents it as if he's a tired history professor, lecturing to a class when he would rather be home.
"Excellent historical overview"
Relatively sort, segmented sections based on themes in a chronological sequence. Easy to listen to and informative.
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