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Lord Peridot

Cornwall, UK
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  • The History of Ancient Rome

  • By: The Great Courses, Garrett G. Fagan
  • Narrated by: Professor Garrett G. Fagan Ph.D. McMaster University
  • Length: 22 hrs and 42 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 172
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 159
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 155

Even today, the influence of Ancient Rome is indelible, with Europe and the world owing this extraordinary empire a huge cultural debt in almost every important category of human endeavor, including art, architecture, engineering, language, literature, law, and religion. At the peak of its power, Rome's span was vast. In the regional, restless, and shifting history of continental Europe, the Roman Empire stands as a towering monument to scale and stability, unified in politics and law, stretching from the sands of Syria to the moors of Scotland. And it stood for almost 700 years.In this series of 48 spirited lectures, you'll see how a small village of shepherds and farmers rose to tower over the civilized world of its day and left a permanent mark on history. In telling Rome's riveting story, Professor Fagan draws on a wealth of primary and secondary sources, including recent historical and archaeological scholarship, to introduce the fascinating tale of Rome's rise and decline, including the famous events and personalities that have become so familiar: . Horatius at the bridge . Hannibal crossing the Alps during Rome's life-or-death war with Carthage . Caesar assassinated before a statue of his archrival Pompey . The doomed lovers Antony and Cleopatra . The mad and venal emperors Nero and Caligula . The conversion of Constantine The course also addresses one of history's greatest questions: Why did the Roman Empire fall? And you'll learn why most modern scholars believe that the empire did not "fall" at all, but, rather, changed into something very different-the less urbanized, more rural, early medieval world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Nilli secundus! Great history, and great value!

  • By Jim Vaughan on 30-10-13

Lecture Titles

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 20-05-18

1 Introduction
2 The Sources
3 Pre-Roman Italy and the Etruscans
4 The Foundation of Rome
5 The Kings of Rome
6 Regal Society

7 The Beginnings of the Republic
8 The Struggle of the Orders
9 Roman Expansion in Italy
10 The Roman Confederation in Italy
11 The International Scene on the Eve of Roman Expansion
12 Carthage and the First Punic War

13 The Second Punic (or Hannibalic) War
14 Rome in the Eastern Mediterranean
15 Explaining the Rise of the Roman Empire
16 “The Captured Conqueror” - Rome and Hellenism
17 Governing the Roman Republic, Part I - Senate and Magistrates
18 Governing the Roman Republic, Part II - Popular Assemblies and Provincial Administration

19 The Pressures of Empire
20 The Gracchi Brothers
21 Marius and Sulla
22 “The Royal Rule of Sulla”
23 Sulla’s Reforms Undone
24 Pompey and Crassus

25 The First Triumvirate
26 Pompey and Caesar
27 “The Domination of Caesar”
28 Social and Cultural Life in the Late Republic
29 Antony and Octavian
30 The Second Triumvirate

31 Octavian Emerges Supreme
32 The New Order of Augustus
33 The Imperial Succession
34 The Julio-Claudian Dynasty
35 The Emperor in the Roman World
36 The Third-Century Crisis

37 The Shape of Roman Society
38 Roman Slavery
39 The Family
40 Women in Roman Society
41 An Empire of Cities
42 Public Entertainment, Part I - The Roman Baths and Chariot Racing

43 Public Entertainment, Part II - Gladiatorial Games
44 Roman Paganism
45 The Rise of Christianity
46 The Restoration of Order
47 Constantine and the Late Empire
48 Thoughts on the “Fall” of the Roman Empire

ps. Come on Audible update the website so chapters titles are published !!

  • Unspeakable

  • By: Chris Hedges
  • Narrated by: Chris Hedges, Michael Quinlan
  • Length: 4 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 8

Chris Hedges has been telling truth to (and against) power since his earliest days as a radical journalist. He is an intellectual bomb-thrower who continues to confront American empire in the most incisive, challenging ways. The kinds of insights he provides into the deeply troubled state of our democracy cannot be found anywhere else.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Concise & Eloquent

  • By Lord Peridot on 12-05-18

Concise & Eloquent

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-05-18

The distinguished journalist Chris Hedges presents his thinking here in an extended question and answer session. Covering his own life, personal & professional as well as the state of the USA, this is a great introduction to his convictions, opinions & insight. Since he is such an eloquent & incisive speaker, 4 hours is enough to cover a great many topics, including the mainstream media, other journalists good & bad, the role of wealthy elites, revolutions, the military, Hollywood, politics, protest movements, mass incarceration in the USA and much more. In short, if you want to quickly & easily realise a better understanding of whats going on in America & what role the US is playing worldwide then this is the ideal introduction.

  • The Thirty Years War

  • By: C. V. Wedgwood
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 19 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 41
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39

Initially, the Thirty Years War was precipitated in 1618 by religious conflicts between Protestants and Catholics in the Holy Roman Empire. But the conflict soon spread beyond religion to encompass the internal politics and balance of power within the Empire, and then later to the other European powers. By the end, it became simply a dynastic struggle between Bourbon France and Habsburg Spain. And almost all of it was fought out in Germany. Entire regions were depopulated and destroyed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More poetry than history

  • By Lord Peridot on 07-05-18

More poetry than history

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-05-18

The terrible saga of the 30 years war is recounted here like an epic poem. So many places, people, twists & turns. To get the most out of this history you probably need to know all about the war in the first place. For many listeners, myself included, the wonderful stentorian phrasing and pronunciation of Charlton Griffith is like a tragic symphony, washing over you, leaving an overall impression but no specific facts. Indeed I think I would have learnt more specific facts about the 30 years war by studying wikipedia for half an hour. Yet this is a great work of history. Its not so much that it is too detailed, its just that the events themselves are so numerous and complicated. Highly recommended but not for everyone.

  • The Modern Scholar: The Tiber and the Potomac: Rome, America, and Empires of Trust

  • By: Thomas F. Madden
  • Narrated by: Thomas F. Madden
  • Length: 8 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

Esteemed university professor and best-selling author Thomas F. Madden presents an intriguing series of lectures based on a fascinating premise: that the United States has more in common with the rising Roman Republic than with the declining Roman Empire.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • History repeating itself

  • By Lord Peridot on 28-04-18

History repeating itself

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-04-18

Prof. Madden has an informal, natural way of presenting his lectures which makes them easy to listen to and absorb. His basic thesis is that the USA is in many ways a latter day Rome, as the founding fathers had planned. He freely admits various differences but the evidence he does put forward is quite compelling and revealing. Its the empires of these two states that he is referring to and he speaks of similar dynamics having informed their development.

Both states began with empires of trust rather than of conquest, in other words empires based on friendly alliances with other states who were seeking protection. In both cases their empires were started reluctantly as a defensive mechanism following attacks by outside aggressors, Gaul in the case of Rome, Japan in the case of America, but ended up being unrivalled superpowers. Of course, this reading of history conveniently overlooks the Mexican-American war, the Spanish-American war and the conquest of the Native American Indians.

Prof. Madden doesnt say much about economics, abhorrence of rival political systems, nor the influence of the military industrial complex, all of which are surely germane to the growth of the American empire. It would be interesting to know his views on these motivating factors. Were they shared by Rome? But the points he does make are convincing and illuminating. For instance, the countries fought & defeated by the US in WWII, notably Italy, Germany & Japan were not subsequently colonised. They were politically reformed and given generous assistance to recover. That is not the normal pattern in the long & painful history of wars fought by aggressive imperial powers.

  • The Addictive Brain

  • By: Thad A. Polk, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Thad A. Polk
  • Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44

The Addictive Brain is a fair and balanced investigation of addiction, backed by hard science and behavioral science. Most of us have probably seen the old antidrug commercial in which an actor compares your brain on drugs to an egg sizzling in a hot frying pan. That's a powerful image, but it doesn't tell us what actually happens when drugs enter your body and interact with neurochemical processes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By Mr. M. Metcalf on 03-09-17

Addiction 101

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-04-18

Great set of lectures as others have noted. Deals with the science of addiction in general as well as the specifics of various legal & illegal substances including coffee, booze and tobacco. Prof. Polk has an excellent style, cheerful, clear and in no way patronising. He's obviously genuinely interested in the subject and seems keen to communicate his knowledge to the rest of us. There is a bit of science here, receptors, neurotransmitters and the like, but Polk keeps it to a minimum, concentrating instead on what the actual effects of drugs are on your mind & body and how you can best deal with any addictions you may be suffering from. Another great set of lectures from the Great Courses.

  • I Am Spartacus!

  • Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist
  • By: Kirk Douglas
  • Narrated by: Michael Douglas
  • Length: 5 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 32
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 32

Now, more than 50 years after the release of his enduring epic Spartacus, Douglas reveals the riveting drama behind the making of the legendary gladiator film. Writing from his heart and from his own meticulously researched archives, Kirk Douglas, at 95, looks back candidly—and often with self-effacing humor—at his audacious decision to give public credit to Trumbo, thus effectively ending the notorious Hollywood blacklist.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Politics meets Hollywood

  • By Lord Peridot on 18-04-18

Politics meets Hollywood

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-04-18

The film Spartacus tells the story of a great Roman slave revolt. But its the making of this film in the midst of the Hollywood blacklist and hysterical anti-communism that is the real story here. Kirk Douglas does a great job of weaving together the characters, both contemporary and historical, into a facinating account of how the film was made. And as the lead actor and producer he experienced it all first hand.

Most significant was the scriptwriter, Dalton Trumbo, who had to work anonymously as he had been blacklisted and even imprisoned. There are many more major Hollywood players involved in the making of the film, Stanley Kubrick and Laurence Olivier amongst them. Had never realised what an important film Spartacus was and is.

  • The Assassination Complex

  • Inside the Government's Secret Drone Warfare Program
  • By: Jeremy Scahill, The Staff of The Intercept, Edward Snowden - foreword, and others
  • Narrated by: George Newbern, Jeremy Scahill - introduction, Glenn Greenwald - afterword
  • Length: 5 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4

Major revelations about the US government's drone program - best-selling author Jeremy Scahill and his colleagues at the investigative website The Intercept expose stunning new details about America's secret assassination policy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Drone nightmare

  • By Lord Peridot on 10-04-18

Drone nightmare

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-04-18

Clear & succint account of use of drone warfare by the USA to spy on and attack supposed terrorists worldwide, especially in the middle east. Based on leaked documents & interviews with various experts, the authors build up a chilling picture of how drone operators see their work and how the whole drone programme is more of an industry than an effective way of accomplishing the declared goals of the USA. The point is well made that drone warfare serves mainly as an instigator of militancy in the communities being attacked, resulting in ever more recruits to anti American organisations like Al Quaeda. The afterword by Greenwald indites Obama as having completely betrayed the stance he took prior to his election as president.

  • No Place to Hide

  • Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State
  • By: Glenn Greenwald
  • Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 100
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 100

In May 2013, Glenn Greenwald set out for Hong Kong to meet an anonymous source who claimed to have astonishing evidence of pervasive government spying and insisted on communicating only through heavily encrypted channels. That source turned out to be the 29-year-old NSA contractor Edward Snowden, and his revelations about the agency’s widespread, systemic overreach proved to be some of the most explosive and consequential news in recent history, triggering a fierce debate over national security....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • good book but might be better as a read

  • By Timo van Weenen on 24-07-15

State of surveillance

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-03-18

Greenwald's book is a brilliant and sobering account of his crucial involvement in the reporting and release of the NSA security files by Snowden in 2013. He goes on to describe some of the documents themselves and their significance to civil privacy and international espionage. Finally he discusses the woeful state of the mainstream US media and how even the respected NY Times immediately attacked Snowden and himself often making false innuendos and allegations.

Greenwald is an excellent writer as well as being a courageous journalist, so the book reads easily and is indeed read very well by Mr. Ganser. The chapter on the NSA files takes a bit of stamina to get through as it involves listening to a lot of NSA jargon and repeated use of NSA phrases and acronyms. But there is a point to that. It brings home the attitude of the spying services and their unbridled, mechanical enthusiasm for eavesdropping on anything and everything.

Releasing state secrets is obviously a contentious matter. But if those secrets reveal routine lying and illegal behaviour by the security services then Snowden's action will be seen as laudable by many. And its no doubt significant that this was the reaction of Al Gore, Ron Paul and Jimmy Carter. Whereas Obama, Hilary Clinton and John Kerry all more or less condemned the man.

  • China's Imperial President

  • Xi Jinping Tightens His Grip
  • By: Elizabeth C. Economy
  • Narrated by: Kevin Stillwell
  • Length: 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

Xi Jinping’s reforms are designed to produce a corruption-free, politically cohesive, and economically powerful one-party state with global reach: a Singapore on steroids. But there is no guarantee the reforms will be as transformative as the Chinese leader hopes.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Concise briefing

  • By Lord Peridot on 14-03-18

Concise briefing

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-03-18

Clear & concise briefing on China's president Xi Jinping by Dr. Economy of the US thinktank Council on Foreign Relations. A few years out of date now but interesting none the less regarding Xi's domestic & international policies. Very little about the man himself, all policy & politics.

  • Wounds

  • A Memoir of War and Love
  • By: Fergal Keane
  • Narrated by: David McFetridge
  • Length: 10 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19

A family story of blood and memory and the haunting power of the past. After nearly three decades reporting conflict from all over the world for the BBC, Fergal Keane has gone home to Ireland to tell a story that lies at the root of his fascination with war. It is a family story of war and love, and how the ghosts of the past return to shape the present. Wounds is a powerful memoir about Irish people who found themselves caught up in the revolution that followed the 1916 Rising, and in the pitiless violence of civil war in north Kerry after the British left in 1922.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Ireland's revolution and civil war

  • By Lord Peridot on 06-03-18

Ireland's revolution and civil war

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-03-18

The author relates the events of the Irish war of independence and subsequent civil war through the events of County Kerry where his own family come from and who themselves played a part in this upheaval of Irish society which laid the basis for the modern Irish state. Keane writes throughout with sympathy and a questioning mind as to how people felt at the time and subsequently about the rights and wrongs of the British, the Irish free staters and the IRA. And he relates his own experience of witnessing war as a reporter and how profoundly that has affected him. The reader David McFetridge, who does an excellent job, sounds a lot like the author to me. But perhaps thats because they are both Irish and I'm not. Hopefully more people will learn about modern Irish history through this book and have a greater understanding and sense of forgiveness in consequence.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful