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  • Understanding the Inventions That Changed the World

  • By: W. Bernard Carlson, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: W. Bernard Carlson
  • Length: 17 hrs and 25 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 5

Now, you can learn the remarkable stories surrounding monumental inventions - and how consequential these inventions were to history. Taught by Professor W. Bernard Carlson of the University of Virginia, who is an expert on the role of innovation in history, these 36 enlightening lectures give you a broad survey of material history, from the ancient pottery wheel to the Internet and social media. Along with recounting the famous inventions you might expect, this course explores a number of surprising innovations, including beer, pagodas, and the operating room.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Not an audiobook

  • By Peter on 16-01-19

Not an audiobook

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 16-01-19

This is the audio track to a visual lecture. It is littered with reference to pictures and items being shown, but are not reflected in the accompanying material. Nevertheless it does a decent job of explaining a number of important inventions and their place in history and society.
PS: author should get his history straight though: ‘WW1 was fought between Britain and Germany’. Really?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Centuries of Change

  • By: Ian Mortimer
  • Narrated by: Mike Grady, Ian Mortimer
  • Length: 16 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 132
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 116
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117

In a contest of change, which century from the past millennium would come up trumps? Imagine the Black Death took on the female vote in a pub brawl, or the Industrial Revolution faced the Internet in a medieval joust - whose side would you be on? In this hugely entertaining book, celebrated historian Ian Mortimer takes us on a whirlwind tour of Western history, pitting one century against another in his quest to measure change.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Though provoking approach to history

  • By Kirstine on 28-11-17

Disappointing end

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-05-17

This could have been an interesting and enlightening walk down the last 10 centuries had the author not chosen to spend the last two hours speculating on the future. He is obviously a good historian but he just as obviously lack the capacity of analytical thought to make any intelligent statement of the future relying instead on fashionable - yet often debunked- doomsday preachers

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Black Death: The World's Most Devastating Plague

  • By: Dorsey Armstrong, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Dorsey Armstrong
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 115
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 110
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 110

Many of us know the Black Death as a catastrophic event of the medieval world. But the Black Death was arguably the most significant event in Western history, profoundly affecting every aspect of human life, from the economic and social to the political, religious, and cultural. In its wake the plague left a world that was utterly changed, forever altering the traditional structure of European societies and forcing a rethinking of every single system of Western civilization: food production and trade, the church, political institutions, law, art, and more.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • great course. so much info. loved it.

  • By M J North on 14-05-17

Could have been better...

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-07-16

To much repetition and not sufficient emphasis on Black Death's lasting impact on society and institutions

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Rise and Fall of the British Empire

  • By: Patrick N. Allitt, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Patrick N. Allitt
  • Length: 18 hrs and 9 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 275
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 255
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 253

What were the forces that thrust the British Empire to its extraordinary position of greatness and then just as powerfully drove it into decline? And why is nearly every nation on earth, in one way or another, the consequence of the British Empire?In these 36 lectures, Professor Allitt leads you through four centuries of British power, innovation, influence, and, ultimately, diminishment-four profound centuries that literally remade the world and bequeathed the complex global legacy that continues to shape your everyday life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A pleasure to listen to.

  • By michael frost on 17-02-17

More storytelling than history

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-01-16

Unfocused storytelling without depth and analysis. Full of digressions and anecdotes which do not add to a deeper understanding of the causes, role and development of the empire. An example is a full chapter of the early history of the State of Israel which not only illustrated the author's complete lack of knowledge of Middle East history but also in content has little to do with the subject of the lecture.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Industrial Revolution

  • By: Patrick N. Allitt, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Patrick N. Allitt
  • Length: 18 hrs and 11 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71

From electric lights to automobiles to the appliances that make our lives easier at work and at home, we owe so much of our world to the Industrial Revolution. In this course, The Great Courses partners with the Smithsonian - one of the world's most storied and exceptional educational institutions - to examine the extraordinary events of this period and uncover the far-reaching impact of this incredible revolution.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • really enjoyed this, though I want expecting to!

  • By Olly Buxton on 11-12-16

Very good general introduction

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

Reviewed: 17-04-15

Sweeping overview the development towards the modern economy, which provides a very powerful introduction to the subject to anyone wanting to learn the subject. The economist, such as I, would expect more focus and detail. Though the subject is industrial revolution the lecture goes on into post WWII economic development, and it never fully provides a fully and convincing explanation for why the revolution happened in England and at that particular point in time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful