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Publisher's Summary

No city has had as powerful and as enduring an impact on Western civilization as London. But what made the city the perfect environment for so many great developments? How did London endure the sweeping historical revolutions and disasters without crumbling? Find the answers to these questions and more in these 24 fascinating lectures.
Professor Bucholz takes you through the history of this magnificent metropolis, from its birth as an ancient Roman outpost to its current status as a global village. You'll study the many epic chapters in British and world history - including the English Renaissance, the turmoil of the English civil war, and the epic conflicts of World Wars I and II - through the lens of this amazing capital.
What makes the course unique is that it takes you deep into the streets of London during formative periods in its history. Professor Bucholz continuously emphasizes the importance of understanding and experiencing the sights and sounds of London as it was lived by its residents. You'll come to know what daily life was like in historical London, learning the secret histories behind places such as Westminster Abbey, Piccadilly Circus, and London Bridge.
This unforgettable look at an unforgettable city will undoubtedly delight and surprise you. By the final lecture, you'll come to realize just what Samuel Johnson meant when he famously declared, "there is in London, all that life can afford."
©2009 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2009 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Amy on 08-05-14

Good Starting Place or Refresher

I went to these lectures in order to brush up on my knowledge of London's history (which varies depending on the era from "rather expert" to "rather sketchy") and gain new perspectives on the "Cool Britannia" phenomenon today, and this fit the bill. Robert Bucholz offers an interdisciplinary and broad history of the city drawing from court history, literature, sociology, urban planning, economics, and other approaches. He manages to cover a great deal in a short time, complete with entertaining asides and corny humor. I especially appreciated his guided tours of the city during different stages of its life (Chaucer's time, Shakespeare's time, Samuel Pepys's time, Dickens's time, and "Millennial London"), which provided very useful comparisons and contrasts. A work this brief covering such a time span cannot be all things to all people, but for someone already familiar with the history and wanting a refresher, or someone wholly new to the history and seeking an introduction, this is an ideal resource.

The individual lectures are as follows:

1. There's No Place like London
2. The Rise and Fall of Roman Londinium
3. Medieval London's Thousand-Year Climb
4. Economic Life in Chaucer's London
5. Politics and Religion in Chaucer's London
6. London Embraces the Early Tudors
7. Elizabeth I and London as a Stage
8. Life in Shakespeare's London—East
9. Life in Shakespeare's London—West
10. London Rejects the Early Stuarts
11. Life in Samuel Pepys's 17th-Century London
12. Plague and Fire
13. London Rises Again—As an Imperial Capital
14. Johnson's London—All That Life Can Afford
15. The Underside of 18th-Century London
16. London Confronts Its Problems
17. Life in Dickens's London
18. Two Windows into Victorian London
19. Questions Postponed and the Great War
20. London's Interwar Expansion and Diversions
21. The Blitz—The Greatest Target in the World
22. Postwar London Returns to Life
23. The Varied Winds of Change
24. Millennial London—How Do You Like It?

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31 of 31 people found this review helpful


By Joel on 04-28-15

Well Done

Enjoyed it a lot but missed the maps etc that are not included with Audable download. Fortunately with a little digging you can find it on the Internet.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Dusty Raven on 08-20-15

Enjoyable until..

Would you listen to London: A Short History of the Greatest City in the Western World again? Why?

Yes. I have worked in London for 35 years and was interested to learn more about the places I know.

What did you like best about this story?

Learning about the history of all the familiar places.

What about Professor Robert Bucholz’s performance did you like?

His enthusiasm and personal knowledge of London.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

No idea.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed this until the last couple if episodes when a number of factual errors made me doubt the veracity of the whole thing. So The Dave Clark 5 were from Tottenham not Tooting, the Labour election victory in 1964 was not a landslide, the O2 is not the O squared and so on.

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6 of 7 people found this review helpful


By FarmerDave on 08-05-17

Great subject, appalling presentation

I believe that London is the greatest city on the planet and was truly looking forward to this course but the prof made me inclined, every few minutes, to turn it off, thinking I couldn’t take it anymore. That’s harsh but his delivery is appalling and he appears to believe he’s the most beguiling presenter ever. Satisfy your love of exploring the history of London elsewhere.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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