Interpreting the 20th Century: The Struggle Over Democracy : The Great Courses: Modern History

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Pamela Radcliff
  • Series: The Great Courses: Modern History
  • 24 hrs and 24 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Consider the intense and rapid changes that transformed the political, social, and economic struggles of the world during the 20th century: the first flight and space flight, the Manhattan Project and the welfare state, Nietzsche and Freud, the Great Depression and inflation, moving pictures and home computers, the Cold War and terrorism - and war and peace.
These 48 comprehensive lectures examine this extraordinary history and provide a multidisciplinary understanding of how the modern world came to be and how democracy has emerged as a political ideal, although the parameters of a truly democratic world order are still being vigorously contested. You'll see how the 20th century can be read as a history of ideas, and how those ideas both influenced events and were in turn influenced by them to shape today's world.
Professor Radcliff not only distills political and economic trends from a century of world history, but she explains them with clarity, drawing on other disciplines as necessary to make key points come alive. She defines the perspective of this course as including what she calls the "Enlightenment Project" - the adoption of liberal, democratic, rationalist principles in much of the world - while emphasizing the unresolved nature of the struggle for democracy.
As you move chronologically through the century, you'll explore a range of ideas in depth, including the "crisis of meaning" unleashed by World War I, the different approaches of Fascism and Communism to organizing and mobilizing masses, and how art provided a window into the psychological forces swirling through public life. Detailed case studies also bring history's ideas alive.
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

More philosophy than history

I thought this lecture series would be a history of democracy in the 20th century. Was that stupid of me? Having listened to several lectures now, it appears to be more of a general discussion of ideas, public consciousness and philosophy. If thats what you want then this may well be the right audiobook for you. Lecturer comes across as very clear, intelligent and sympathetic with to my ear a very pleasant voice. I didnt notice her saying "in other words" repeatedly, but she certainly sighs alot. Take a year off Professor? Sounds like you are working too hard.
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- Lord Peridot

Interpretting the 20th century

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Nobody ,I am gla i never attended any of her lectures, her presentation is very poor and i am not surewe are bothrelating to the same century. I would not recomend it to any student or to the casual listern, it not the subject because I study it, it the long pauses ans, EEERRRSSS,. However commisioned need there head examined.

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

Some body how can present a piece of history with emphasis on the interesting and factual parts

What didn’t you like about Professor Pamela Radcliff’s performance?

Nothing, she should not be allowed to teach History, her method of droning on put people of History for Life

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?


Any additional comments?

Dont commision any more from her

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- Stuart

Book Details

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