A Brief History of the World : The Great Courses: Modern History

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Peter N. Stearns Ph.D. Harvard University
  • Series: The Great Courses: Modern History
  • 19 hrs and 1 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

The construction of the great pyramids of Egypt, the development of democracy in ancient Greece, the glories of ancient Rome - these stories are familiar to students of history. But what about the rest of the world? How do the histories of China and Japan, or Russia, India, and the remote territories of Sub-Saharan Africa and South America fit in with commonly known accounts of Western traditions?
Learn the rest of the story with these 36 riveting lectures that survey the expanse of human development and civilization across the globe. From the invention of agriculture in the Neolithic era to the urbanized, technologically sophisticated world of the 21st century, you'll apprehend "the big picture" of world history. You'll examine and compare the peoples, cultures, and nations of Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas to understand how, throughout history, peoples all over the world have connected and interacted, traded goods and technology, and conquered and learned from each other.
As you travel around the world and through time, Professor Stearns provides surprising insights that will overturn many of your assumptions about history. For instance, you'll see how the invention of agriculture brought with it a number of drawbacks, such as a new inequality between men and women and greater exposure to epidemic diseases. Fascinating episodes like these will give you a deep appreciation for the human experience as it was lived throughout the centuries.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

This is not a brief history of the world

Would you try another book written by The Great Courses or narrated by Professor Peter N. Stearns?

I would still read and listen to The Great Courses books BUT NOT any book by the author

What could The Great Courses have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

To start, he should have written and narrated a proper history with names of rulers and dates, then started to give his unfounded theories

What didn’t you like about Professor Peter N. Stearns’s performance?

He was overbearing in forcing his false theories on the listener. All his chosen examples were biased and do not reflect the other opinion

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from A Brief History of the World?

Practically I would have asked him to re-write the whole book

Any additional comments?

He should either include history in his book or change its title into (exhaustive biased theories on human history)

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- Ibrahim955


This is a history of trends and inter relationships rather than events and the big names. I found it a very enjoyable look at the history of the world from a global viewpoint.
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- Andyjn

Book Details

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