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What made the experience of listening to An Economic History of the World since 1400 the most enjoyable?
The title could be misleading, because it is neither purely economics-based, nor is it correspondingly dry. Instead, it focusses on a range of technological developments that enhanced the economic advantages of different nation-states etc. at key points in history.
As a result, you're learning about exactly why the fortunes of nations were influenced by discoveries and innovations over hundreds of years.
There's a lot of wisdom in here, and even as an engineer, I found myself learning a lot about previous tech developments and appreciating how important they really were.
My favourite moment was the description of Germany's economy before the Nazi party started to gain power, truly fascinating - providing you don't already have the insight of course.
Whether you're in business, education, politics or needing to become well-rounded from any discipline such as economics, this is a must listen and is in my top three audiobooks. I doubt you'd get the broadness of perspective from studying economics alone, nor the same rigour from reading non-academic literature.
Additionally, the narrative is pitched correctly, it rarely gets tiring and maintains your attention. My acid test is can I maintain my attention whilst driving and this passes.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
I wish prof. Harreld would drop the written lecture and just talk about the subject he loves.
As it is, by apparently reading verbatim, he somehow has the worst of both worlds. On the one hand, his delivery sounds stilted and he garbles the meaning of sentences in an effort to sound natural. He refers to "extraordinary taxes," like they were HUGE, but in the next sentence it becomes clear he had meant the word in the legalistic sense of "extra-ordinary," as in ad-hoc. The listener is repeatedly thrown off-course and has to catch back up.
On the other hand, writing the lecture out hasn't contributed structure or coherence. He jumps back and fourth between times and subjects, introduces big thoughts only to abandon them, fails to wrap up themes or tie events back to his central ideas.
In short, I couldn't finish it. I got to the opening of global shipping lanes and jumped ship.
22 of 23 people found this review helpful
If you're going to invest this kind of time into a subject you are obviously interested in it or at the very least, you are curious about it. In that regard, the audio book is interesting and educational. The narrator is tough to listen to. so many mistakes and miscues. How can The Great Courses not edit their audio books? Very disappointing as it took away from the content.
20 of 21 people found this review helpful