The Long 19th Century: European History from 1789 to 1917 : The Great Courses: Modern History

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Robert I. Weiner
  • Series: The Great Courses: Modern History
  • 18 hrs and 28 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Few periods of history offer such captivating complexity as Europe in the long 19th century between 1789 and 1914. From the idealism of the French Revolution to the power of the Industrial Revolution to the chaos of World War I, this fascinating whirl of events, personalities, and forces formed the foundation for the modern world.
Over the course of 36 engaging lectures Professor Weiner leads you on a spirited journey across an ever-changing European landscape, examining the forces and personalities that reshaped the continent's physical borders, diplomatic relationships, and balance of power. Assuming no prior knowledge of this era and no professional vocabulary, he explores this turbulent and important era with interest, curiosity, and passion.
You'll look at what the transition to modernity meant for peasants, workers, the middle class, aristocrats, women, and minorities. And you'll consider the political and diplomatic moves of the great powers - Great Britain, France, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia, and Italy - in the context of the deeper economic, social, and cultural forces at work and how they reflect the impact of some of history's most significant names, including Napoleon Bonaparte, Otto von Bismarck, and Kaiser Wilhelm II.
With this ambitious look at the evolution of the environment that ultimately made World War I possible, Professor Weiner explores more than factual history - the dates, battles, and treaties. He repeatedly steps back from on-the-ground events to clarify historical trends or patterns, providing a comprehensive look at this engaging era.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A great historical overview with no academic pressure

I thoroughly enjoyed this lecture series. Although this course had its fair share of specific dates and events, the context and overview of the time period made them relevant and easier to comprehend.

The19th century was a pivotal and complex time and Europe was the most powerful and volatile continent. A lot happened.

Professor Weiner is a master of the topic. He offers great insights into the trends of humanity, the effects of the events that shaped 19th century Europe and its impact on the 20th century and beyond.

I had a difficult time keeping track of all the political and social systems that came into play during this century because many were launched and tried during this tumultuous time. If I were to follow the book recommendations of the professor I'm sure I'd have a clearer understanding of 19th century liberalism, early anarchism and socialism - to name a familiar few.

This was my first experience with the "Great Courses" lecture series and I can only hope that my next one will be as informative and fulfilling.
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- Peter

More of a Good Course than a Great Course

I've never yet listened to a production by "The Great Courses" that wasn't worthwhile, and "The Long 19th Century" is no exception. Prof. Weiner is both knowledgeable and engaging, with an obvious love for his subject. In particular, I found the final lectures, with their ties to WWI and to the "short" 20th Century which followed, to be the most interesting and rewarding.

My major complaint about this series is that, unlike the other Great Courses offerings I've listened to previously (and I've probably listened to a couple dozen), Prof. Weiner refers extensively to the suggested reading in the course guide. course guides aren't typically included GC downloads on Audible. Typically, the course guides are a nice compliment to the recorded material, but aren't an integral part of the course. While I don't think they were 'integral' in this lecture by any means, I did feel that the lecture was created with the assumption that readers would read the suggested texts (much as an undergraduate would), which puts the Audible listener at a disadvantage.

This is a quality product, and for anyone seeking a broad overview and thematic analysis of an important but poorly-remembered period in European history, this is probably a great place to start. But for those encountering the Great Courses series for the first time, I'd advise picking a different title.
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- Flavius

Book Details

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