Taking a chronological approach, Professor O'Donnell gives you new ways to understand American history and to appreciate it as a grand narrative pinpointed with key moments that changed things forever. Each lecture focuses on a single turning point, explaining the conditions that led up to it, immersing you in the experience of the event itself, and exploring its immediate and long-term ramifications.
Among the great turning points you'll investigate in depth are the trial of John Peter Zenger (1735), which popularized the ideas that freedom of the press is essential to liberty; the battle of Antietam (1862), which eliminated the possibility of England and France intervening on behalf of the Confederacy; and the Watergate scandal (1974), which signaled a heightened level of public distrust toward elected officials. Along the way, Professor O'Donnell often dispels some intriguing myths and half-truths about American history and provides an honest, unabashed look at the subject matter. These lectures are packed with unfamiliar anecdotes, stories, and side notes that just may change your views on the grand narrative of American history.
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 ReviewsMost Helpful
By Quaker on 01-04-15
Brilliant, Informative, Entertaining!
Where does Turning Points in American History rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I have listened to over 60 titles from the Great Courses series. They are almost universally wonderful, but of course a few professors rise to the top as my favorites. Professor O'Donnell has jumped to the top of that list. He is both incredibly organized and incredibly entertaining. Each of the lectures starts with a story, sets out objectives, and makes a strong and logical case for it's topic as a true turning point in history. Some of the turning points (such as the Boston Tea Party) would classify as "the usual suspects" (though not necessary for the reasons you expect), and others (such the eradication of hookworm in the South) are delightful surprises. O'Donnell's pace is consistently perfect.
You will be entertained. You will be informed. You will be a better citizen. 5 Stars for sure.
24 of 24 people found this review helpful
By Julie B on 09-06-15
More like this, please!
What made the experience of listening to Turning Points in American History the most enjoyable?
It has just enough information to make it interesting but not so much to put you to sleep. I also liked how he went in chronological order. I also liked how he structured each lecture with a story to begin with, then the objectives, the actual lecture and then why this particular event was a "Turning Point in History". Very well done.
What other book might you compare Turning Points in American History to and why?
I can't think of one I've enjoyed more of this type of audiobook. It was long - 36 chapters, I believe, but it flew by.
Which scene was your favorite?
I can't think of one in particular but I enjoyed that history was presented in a way that showed the cumulative effect if has even now.
Any additional comments?
I do want to speak to a review that said it was at a High School level. That is somewhat true and perhaps because it's been a while since I've been in high school but I learned a lot I didn't know or had forgotten. The parts that were well known to most of us still had relevance to the Turning Point in History that was being presented.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful