Go on an in-depth, 24-lecture exploration of important (and often overlooked) questions about the tumultuous political history of the Americas. Professor Eakin explains the cultural, economic, and political pressures each of these new American nations faced in achieving independence. In addition, he examines exactly why each revolution progressed, and succeeded or failed, as it did. Beginning with the revolution in our own 13 colonies, these lectures examine the uprisings and invasions that created the independent nation of Haiti in 1804; the wars for independence in Spanish South America; the bloody uprisings that led to Mexican independence; and the relatively bloodless revolt in Brazil. You'll also consider "counterexamples" of nations that failed to become independent or followed unusual patterns, such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the British West Indies. You'll also meet the "other" founding fathers of the Americas, including Toussaint L'Ouverture, José de San Martín, Bernardo O'Higgins, and Agustín de Iturbide. Throughout these lectures, Professor Eakin brings his perspective down to ground level, spanning oceans and mountain ranges to translate those forces into dramatic events, including: a riveting portrait of life among the slaves of what was then known as Saint Domingue (later Haiti); a brilliant description of the chaotic evacuation of the Portuguese royal family as they fled to Brazil only an hour ahead of Napoleon's troops; and the bold exploits of Simón Bolívar, including his remarkable and dramatic march from the tropics of eastern Venezuela through the 13,000-foot passes of the Andes to defeat the Spanish at Boyacá and liberate Colombia.
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Poor audio quality
No, I wouldn't recommend this book to a friend.
Well, it's not really the "audio quality" as much as the production value. To explain, after each sentence there is a 1-3 sec pause, all background noises and static cease and the "dead air" interrupts adding a level discontinuity to lecture. My assumption is that a noise gate was used on the mic or the production engineer used an automated noise reduction that doesn't work well with spoken word. That said, this is more of an issue with headphones - you might not notice if listening on a poor quality player.
It is very difficult in one course to explain the foundations of all of the independent countries in the Americas. However, Professor Eakin does an excellent job. The best aspect of this course is his ability to tie together the various histories of the diverse countries in the Americas. He provides a great overall view of the relations between the countries in the Americas along with the intertwined histories of Europe at these critical times.
- Mark Palmer