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Nicole

Brooktondale, NY, United States
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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-29-15

A Great Look into a Not Well Known Era

Usually when you take an American History course the Gilded Age is not well covered. I only remember a little bit of this era from the history courses I took. So I came in with a small understanding of the era. After this course I found it to be the most fascinating era in US history. So many things happened during this time that still effect us. This is not only in regards to law but also culture.

Professor O'Donnell has a great voice and I found myself feeling a comfortable familiarity with him. He tells some great stories along the way too so you feel like the people in this era are truly people and not just listed names.

Sometimes you get a treat with some background music from the era. I loved that as it made the lecture feel really alive.

I think that this is an important course to get as it has a lot of correlation to our times. Many of the problems of this era are still going on today. Some examples are the rise of nativism, the huge rich versus poor divide and campaign finance. I would personally suggest this as a course for all of those reasons.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-26-15

A Different Way of Thinking About US History

As a lover of history I have found myself disappointed with the telling of history. It seems to be more about a course on myth making then what actually happened. This course is the opposite and I love it.

What I loved about this course is that he not only dispels popular misconceptions but he explains why it is so. I was happy to be proven wrong in more than occasion.

There were some that I knew but some that shocked me. One example is how he puts President Hoover in a more positive light. Now I have a newfound appreciation for this man! The same for John Quincy Adams. I had no idea he had such a great record on social justice. Now I am going to get a biography on this man who is not that well know expect for the incorrect assumption of a "corrupt bargain" towards his election.

I would greatly recommend this course because of how eye opening it is. He also teaches you how to think of history in a different way.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-20-15

A Great Survey of the English Language

I bought this title because I have always been interested in those mysterious parts of history. That is I want to learn about the history that is not told in school. What is the English language? What was its early form like? How did we get to the version we use today?

I can tell you without a doubt that I got my answer and so much more!

Professor Lerer goes above and beyond in telling the story of the English language. For example I didn't think about how important grammar was or how pronunciation has changed over time. He also speaks of culture and how dialects are formed.

I will admit though that his weakness can be when he gets too technical. For the lay person this can be a turnoff. Sometimes I will admit I zoned out when it was getting too "boring".

He was at this best when he spoke of literature. He did brilliantly at using different stories for an example of dialect or the change in language.

I also loved his discussions on different dialects. I learned what made these regions special and it was eye opening.

I would certainly recommend this course even with its problems. It will make you think about language in a very different way.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-15-15

One of the best "Great Courses" I have listened to!

I have quite a few Great Courses in my library, on a variety of subjects. This one is by far my favorite. Professor Liulevicius has a great voice which does not turn monotonous. You can tell that he loves history and knows quite a lot about it.

Each lecture surrounds a certain event. Some of them are obvious such as the voyages of Columbus or the invention of the printing press. Some are surprising but make a lot of sense once you hear the lecture such as the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

Every single lecture is fun to listen to as you don't just hear facts and figures. Instead Professor Liulevicius tells us all about the people that lived through an event. We get to really know the people that changed history. This makes it more personal and real.

What I love the most is how he links past lectures to a current one. It could be someone using a technology from a past lecture or an idea. All of them come together. This makes you think about those lectures well after you listened to them. For that reason this course could easily be listened to at least a couple of other times.

If you are curious about modern history and want a sweeping understanding then get this course. If you are curious as to how the past can be linked to the present then get this course. If you are going on a road trip and want a fun listen then get this course!

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14 of 14 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-08-14

A great introduction to The Divine Comedy

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is a great way to get a gist of The Divine Comedy. It's beautifully narrated with different voices for different characters. When you add the sound effects and different cool effects you get a whole experience that really pulls you into the story. You don't think that the story is being told to you. Instead you feel like you are right there with Dante going through the same experiences that he is.

What did you like best about this story?

As it's The Divine Comedy, the story speaks for itself. What I liked the best was how you never knew what was going to happen but knew that it was going to affect you greatly. It feels real and you honestly fear for Dante's life even though you know that nothing bad is going to happen to him. This trilogy is very graphic and pulls on your emotions as it looks at major theological and philosophical questions. You never really get bored.

What about the narrators’s performance did you like?

It was a full cast which was great. You get that full on experience of living there. I loved that so much! It really honestly felt as if you were there because of that. Instead of one narrator doing different voices of characters. Even the older Dante is played by a different voice actor. I loved that older Dante was played by John Hurt but I didn't recognize who did the voice of the younger Dante. It has been stated that Dante was a symbol of the every man. So having it not be a recognizable actor, at least to me, added in its brilliance.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Experience the three realms of the afterlife like never before...in stunning 3D.

Any additional comments?

I do want to note that this is abridged from the source material. It's a dramatization and skips cantos. This can be annoying especially as there are cantos that I thought they would not skip. There was one spectacular action sequence from Infierno that they skipped that shocked me. It was one that should have been here. Even with that it's a great dramatization. This is a great thing to listen to if you want the main gist or read the whole comedy and want to hear it. I would certainly recommend this to anyone interested in The Divine Comedy.

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14 of 15 people found this review helpful