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EmilyK

Portland, OR, United States
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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-06-18

compelling lectures on the Crusades

I was already a Prof. Daileader fan from his three-part Middle Ages lecture series, and this was another hit. I'm surprised at the negative reviews. If you like Teaching Company college-style history lectures, you will love this. (I find lectures easier to listen to than audiobooks at times, but I realize tastes vary on that.)

If you enjoy this, you would also enjoy the Thomas Madden lectures on the Crusades (through Modern Scholar on audible). Each professor chooses to emphasize different details.

Strengths here include an increased emphasis on causes and later impacts, while not skipping some of the interesting stories along the way. The lectures changed my perspective in many ways. He does a good job presenting the different schools of thought among historians on these issues, which seems especially prevalent in this time period with limited sources.

Overall, one of the better TC history lecture series.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-28-18

fascinating vignettes of key battles

This is an engaging overview of key battles. I enjoyed the professor's speaking style, and the format of picking battles from key periods in world history. By necessity, no one period gets in depth treatment, and it is helpful to have some general historical background. I appreciated the PDF reference in my library to help visualize names of people and places with which I was unfamiliar. Highly recommended especially for Great Courses history fans.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-28-18

interesting lectures on conversational strategies

Overall this was great:
-professor is enjoyable to listen to and keeps the audience engaged
-I learned some names for conversational strategies and issues; got me excited to learn more about linguistics
-moved quickly through interesting topics.

Critiques:
-perhaps in an attempt to appeal to a broad range of listeners, it was too basic at times
-related to that, at times seemed a "how to" for someone lacking social skills

Despite these criticisms. I very much enjoyed these lectures and look forward to hearing this professor on future topics.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-28-18

great professor on Norse culture

Highly recommended for all Great Courses/ Modern Scholars fans. He's one of the best professor-lecturers and this course was very interesting. Because there is little written record of the Viking Age, this focused on the literary and cultural history through the sagas and related sources. While my son was mildly disappointed this wasn't straight history, anyone who loves mythology and literature -- or just the lectures of a sterling professor -- will enjoy this a lot. He's funny, keeps your interest, and has a pleasant voice to listen to. I'm looking forward to checking out his other lecture series.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-16-18

Interesting discussion of 4 Medieval women

I ended up loving this course, but was frustrated with it along the way. I originally assumed it was broader than just focusing on 4 women, which frustrated me, and I had recently read more in depth treatments of some of the women covered. I see one reviewer was assuming this would be more strictly historical, and this is a mixture of history but also the importance of these women to later periods, and a review of the scholarship when the views of a fixture like Joan of Arc diverge.

Despite these frustrations, I ended up being very glad I listened. I found the treatment of Joan of Arc at the end particularly inspiring.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-16-18

Fun early Sherlock story

My 16 year old son and I enjoyed this as a fun summer listen. We're both Sherlock fans and thought the author added some interesting foreshadowing. The narrator was excellent. This would be good in the car, or as we used it, for an evening wind-down.

My only mild criticism is that I couldn't hear in the voice of Young Sherlock much of the adult he would become. It often felt like a different character, but one I thoroughly enjoyed following.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-02-18

wonderful intro to current astronomy topics

As other reviewers have noted, this is intro level treatment of these astronomy topics, but in the hands of one of my favorite lecturers of all. Tyson does have an unusual cadence - I noticed the slow parts or pauses - but he's absolutely captivating. I wish there were more Great Courses by him since I think his lecture voice is even better than when he reads.

I'm at the general science level of my knowledge so for me this was a wonderful re-exposure to the topics, done in a gently humorous style. I listened before bed, and another time with my teens, and it was perfect for both types of listening.

One of the best of the Great Courses.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-11-18

lovely bio of an amazing woman

My son and I enjoyed this biography. Although I thought I knew her life story, I learned a lot. This series is wonderful and this title would appeal to young people who think they are more interested in animals than history. What I like so much about this series is that it is interesting to listeners of all ages. Even older kids can enjoy these, and parents can too.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-11-18

Fascinating narrative history

This is an excellent narrative history and helped me tie together stories I knew anecdotally into a whole. I appreciated the level, where it moved fairly quickly and yet I learned much more than I had before. There were quotes from original sources but overall kept it at a high level. For good or bad, there wasn't much delving into the historiography, especially for a time that we naturally must interpret to understand. But that helped with the cohesive narrative.

As others have noted, the narrator is distinctive. You do have to be able to tolerate his cadence, since it repeats throughout. I found I enjoyed it once I adjusted. I did find it harder to warm up to than, for example, a Great Courses, lecture style.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-02-18

excellent course from a favorite lecturer

Prof. Daileader is one of my favorite Great Courses lecturers, and I was sad to see this series end! It was informative, funny, and always interesting. For me, this is a great pace and depth - enough to learn something new, but moves fairly quickly. I only wish he did more Great Courses.

If you can, listen to this after his other two middle ages courses. He does a good job making the case that the Middle Ages didn't end at 1500, and indeed made me see the ongoing relevance of the period in a way that I didn't before. I learned a lot as an adult with an ongoing history interest, but I think this would also be great for someone using it for homeschooling or to fill in gaps of knowledge.

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