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Publisher's Summary

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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2004 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2004 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Tim on 10-25-13

Poor audio quality

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

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.

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10 of 14 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Maria Mercedes Martinez on 04-21-18

Very interesting

Very easy to understand, because the professor talked slowly and explained every thing. I am from Colombia, and our history of independence was not explained In detail, but the same is true for all the other countries , if you want details I guess you have to read the history of each country. I learned many I interesting things about our America with capital A !

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Eliel Cohen on 04-23-16


Excellent history and well delivered. it has made me want to read more especially some of the historical novels and biographies referred to. also made me see European history in a different light.

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