Foundations of Western Civilization II: A History of the Modern Western World : The Great Courses: Civilization & Culture

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Robert Bucholz
  • Series: The Great Courses: Civilization & Culture
  • 24 hrs and 38 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Beginning with the Renaissance, the culture of the West exploded. Over the next 600 years, rapid innovations in philosophy, technology, economics, military affairs, and politics allowed what had once been a cultural backwater left by the collapse of the Roman Empire to dominate the world.
This comprehensive series of 48 lectures by an award-winning teacher and captivating lecturer will show you how - and why - this extraordinary transformation took place.
As you listen to the series, you'll begin to grasp not only the history of Western civilization, but the meaning of civilization itself, as this grand narrative of the past five centuries creates a coherent context for the period's events and trends, and offers an analysis of what these five centuries have bequeathed to us. Lecture by lecture, you'll explores the ideas, events, and characters that modeled Western political, social, religious, intellectual, cultural, scientific, technological, and economic history between the 16th and 20th centuries. You'll learn how Western civilization was shaped by the low as well as the mighty, the practical as well as the artistic. You'll gain a larger understanding of the political, social, and cultural events that shaped Europe. And you'll explore the ramifications of these epoch-making events on the rest of the world, including the United States.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An Excellent Overview

Any additional comments?

I am a community college history professor. I normally teach US History survey courses but I recently found myself tapped to teach Western Civilization Since 1660. My specialty is military history, so I am good with European History from Napoleon to World War Two, but a little rusty on things that happened prior to that. I haven't had a Western Civ class since 1997, so I knew I needed to brush up. I started listening to this course with the intention of only listening to the first third of it, but I found that I liked the professor's style and the next thing I knew, I had listened to all of it! He gives you the big picture, but he also works in funny anecdotes and stories from everyday people. In other words, exactly what good professors do. His delivery style is good and I found it both entertaining and informative. He is funny too! He has some great one liners that you really have to pay attention to catch. Overall, I certainly recommend this. Yes, he may be a little biased towards England, but all historians have their biases. At least he admits his. I would definitely listen to another of his courses, even if it was a subject that did not really interest me that much, simply because I like his style.

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- Lee

An Unexpected Reaction

When I bought this course, I looked forward to rediscovering and enhancing any knowledge i already had of Western Civilization. From the excellent reviews, I was also aware that other listeners had really appreciated Professor Bucholz' series of lectures. So I dug in with gusto.

I expected to learn a lot, and I did. Prof. Bucholz is excellent - in knowledge, in organization, and in delivery. What seemed like a big commitment - 48 lectures! - turned out to be a real pleasure. I recommend this experience heartily!

What I did not so much expect was to spend sleepless nights with alarm bells going off in my head. Like most people, I often forget that the patterns of history aren't just about the past - they repeat themselves over and over again and say much about what is still deep in human nature. Historians and other wise people say something like: "Woe to those who forget their history - they are doomed to repeat it!"

We are stupid indeed to think that our own actions in the present can't abruptly alter and send the civilization we have achieved rocking on its heels. I wish that every person who feels that his/her vote doesn't matter, or who considers casting that precious vote in sheer anger - or, worse, as a joke - would listen to this course and appreciate just how delicate and vulnerable our "civilization" really is!
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- C. Telfair

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses