Turning Points in Modern History : The Great Courses: Modern History

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius
  • Series: The Great Courses: Modern History
  • 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

This lecture series takes you on a far-reaching journey around the globe - from China to the Americas to New Zealand - to shed light on how two dozen of the top discoveries, inventions, political upheavals, and ideas since 1400 have shaped the modern world. In just 24 thought-provoking lectures, you'll get the amazing story of how life as we know it developed.
Starting in the early 15th century and culminating in the age of social media, you'll encounter astounding threads that weave through the centuries, joining these turning points in ways that may come as a revelation. You'll also witness turning points with repercussions we can only speculate about because they are still very much in the process of turning.
Professor Liulevicius doesn't merely recount the greatest events of history, but rather has selected true catalysts in provoking changes in worldview. Some of the events you'll investigate, including the discovery of the New World and the fall of the Berlin Wall, will immediately resonate as watershed moments. The global significance of other pivotal events may only become apparent through the detailed analysis contained in these lectures, such as the publication of the Enlightenment-era Encyclop├ędie and the Russo-Japanese War - which has been historically overshadowed by the two world wars that followed.
As you discover how turning points such as the discovery of penicillin and the opening of East Berlin hinged on chance, accident, and, in some cases, sheer luck, you'll realize how easily history might have played out differently.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

One of the best "Great Courses" I have listened to!

I have quite a few Great Courses in my library, on a variety of subjects. This one is by far my favorite. Professor Liulevicius has a great voice which does not turn monotonous. You can tell that he loves history and knows quite a lot about it.

Each lecture surrounds a certain event. Some of them are obvious such as the voyages of Columbus or the invention of the printing press. Some are surprising but make a lot of sense once you hear the lecture such as the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

Every single lecture is fun to listen to as you don't just hear facts and figures. Instead Professor Liulevicius tells us all about the people that lived through an event. We get to really know the people that changed history. This makes it more personal and real.

What I love the most is how he links past lectures to a current one. It could be someone using a technology from a past lecture or an idea. All of them come together. This makes you think about those lectures well after you listened to them. For that reason this course could easily be listened to at least a couple of other times.

If you are curious about modern history and want a sweeping understanding then get this course. If you are curious as to how the past can be linked to the present then get this course. If you are going on a road trip and want a fun listen then get this course!
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- Nicole

Excellent perspective on world history

I've listened to several Great Courses and this may be my favorite. I enjoyed the world perspective as opposed to a concentration on European history. And, I enjoyed thinking about the instructor's reasons for adding something out of history to his list of Turning Points. Often, this was something new to me, but all were treated with an insightful perspective. Very enjoyable!
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- Jon Crawfurd

Book Details

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