✫ [PDF] ✑ The Skeptic's Guide to American History (The Great Courses #8588) By Mark Stoler ✸ – Saudionline.co.uk

The Skeptic's Guide to American History (The Great Courses #8588) summary The Skeptic's Guide to American History (The Great Courses #8588), series The Skeptic's Guide to American History (The Great Courses #8588), book The Skeptic's Guide to American History (The Great Courses #8588), pdf The Skeptic's Guide to American History (The Great Courses #8588), The Skeptic's Guide to American History (The Great Courses #8588) 97f1f26db0 For Most Americans, The History Of The United States Is Built On A Set Of Long Accepted Beliefs About Events, Each Of Which Resonates In The Nation S Collective Memory But What If Those Beliefs However Familiar Don T Really Tell The Whole Story Our Knowledge Of History Or What We Believe To Be History Is The Lens Through Which We View And Interpret The World And When That Lens Is Distorted With Misleading Information, It Has Powerful Effects On How We Perceive The Present And How We Make Decisions In The Future, From Choosing Whom To Vote For To Interpreting The Latest Developments In Today S News And Opinion Pieces To Take A Skeptical Approach To American History Is Not To Dabble In Imaginative Conspiracy Theories Or Doubt The Essence Of The American Experiment Rather, It S To Reframe Your Understanding Of This Great Nation S Past And Actually Strengthen Your Appreciation For What Makes American History Such A Fascinating Chapter In The Larger Story Of Western Civilization


10 thoughts on “The Skeptic's Guide to American History (The Great Courses #8588)

  1. says:

    What s a book Is it whatever you can check off as currently reading on Goodreads Do e books count Do audiobooks What about a podcast series like Serial Where s the line What about an essay of just a couple dozen pages It s not really a book or is it If I set a goal of reading 75 books, as I have this year, and one or of my entries is made up of a series only available on audio, does that count Or should my achievement have an asterisk attached to it I know Goodreads, like the rest of social media, isn t policed, and a person would have to be a real dick to comment under someone s completed achievement Nice try, Susan Issues of Vogue magazine don t count Neither do those romance novels you get for free on your Kindle A magazine is a magazine, not a book I think we can all agree on that But what about a short story A single short story that might just happen to be squeezed in between two covers Like many classic short stories, Stefan Zweig s Chess Story is sold on its own and in short story collections So if a single story counts as a read , then a collection of 10 of Zweig s stories should count as 10 Maybe that s the definition of a book, typed text on pages between two covers.Last year, I reviewed Hans Christian Andersen s The Complete Fairy Tales, but as you ll see if you go to that link, nearly every review is a review for a different edition That wouldn t ordinarily cause concern, but Andersen reportedly wrote 168 fairy tales and stories There is, as far as I know, no single collection containing them all because if you tried to walk onto a plane with it, they d make you check it in as luggage Which is to say, every collection of Andersen s stories contains different fairy tales That means that although both Aliona and I checked off The Complete Fairy Tales as Read , our editions most likely contained completely different stories They must have, because Aliona gave her collection only 3 stars, and I know there is no way anyone who read the collection I did would have given it anything less than a 5 Or a 4, if a gun was being held to their head Not 3 Because then I d have to write Aliona and demand that she explain herself.But, much to Aliona s relief, I don t think I have to do that because Aliona probably got a really shitty translation Was it The Princess ON the Pea or The Princess AND the Pea , Aliona See, on is the correct translation of the original Danish, but almost all editions before Tiina Nunnally s have it as and What about if someone goes on and checks off Princess and the Pea, ON ITS OWN, as read I mean, surely that shouldn t count, right The thing s like two full pages 48, apparently, with pictures I am much relieved to find that none of my Goodreads friends have marked this Princess and the Pea as read.I mean, it s just laziness really, isn t it Marking Princess and the Pea as read when it took you all of two minutes to read it Perhaps this is something parents do when they find that they no longer have any time to read, indeed, that the only books they ARE reading are to their kids at night But they don t want to feel left out, so they mark Princess and the Pea as read, in an effort to try and keep up with Jon athan Nakapalau who has set a reading goal of 365 books 365 And guess what He s already read 303 probably up to 429 by the time you read this I mean, what the heck, Jon Way to make us all feel like losers And no, I didn t check, but perhaps Jon has just read Princess and the Pea 303 times That s highly probable I d say.Some years ago, the actor Richard Armitage signed a deal with audible to narrate a couple of Shakespeare novelizations If you go to your local bookstore and try and get the first of these, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, you ll come up empty because there never was a physical book released You can, however, download the e book on your kindle.Richard Armitage s second Shakespeare novelization, Romeo And Juliet, doesn t even have an e book for you to download It s available ONLY on audible in audiobook format Does that, then, still count as a book It does say it s a novel I mean, the word is right there in the title But is it Really I admit it I am a highly competitive person, and if I manage to get to 75 books at the end of the year, I will take some pride in that But there should be some guidelines, shouldn t there No Brendan, the whole point is to just try and get people to read It s not a contest Really The word challenge is right there But ok, sure, whatever gets people to read But to openly admit this, to remove the competitive aspect of it, would threaten the entire enterprise, wouldn t it Aren t we a society run on competition God knows that for better or worse, social media certainly is ok, for worse, most assuredly I do find that I absolutely am pushed to read when I sign into my Goodreads to find that I m two books behind schedule as I am now, probably because I m spending so much time writing this review when I should be reading but if everyone you know is logging episodes of Game of Thrones I mean, why not How long until people are doing that why care any at all How long until this entire thing comes crashing down and, with it, Goodreads itself We need some regulations, people We need someone to tell us what can and can t be read With that said, I m not sure whether or not you re familiar with The Great Courses They re not books, but a series of easily digestible half hour episodes about some various topic They have courses on Shakespeare, Dante, Plato, King Arthur, the British Empire, and seemingly an endless list of other subject matter The Skeptic s Guide to American History might better be called, American History Fact and Fiction If Mythbusters did a series on American History, it would probably sound something like this I ve enjoyed all the entries in The Great Courses series, and this is no exception They re all really well taught and I find that they re often better at keeping my attention while at the gym than any actual books are That s because they don t have characters It s just history, at least in this case.It s no Hans Christian Andersen, but I think Aliona would probably like these too But is it reading I m marking this as read because I want to personally acknowledge that I finished it, for myself in other words But is it read Ultimately, that s what the Reading Challenge depends on Our own feelings on the matter Whether we feel guilty about marking something as read that actually isn t a physical book, or whether we re ok with it, knowing that the 303 books Jon s read are all physical books.Or are they, Jon Anything you d like to confess


  2. says:

    Living through an era is much different from reading about the history of it The one learns about particular historical happenings, the complicated their causes, occurrences and consequences become Thus, there are plenty of misconceptions, myths and half truths about American history to examine for accuracy and completeness These twenty four lectures provide a fresh examination of American history to see what really happened as opposed to what many believe happened The lecturer repeatedly observes that when historians interpret the past they often impose the values and understandings of their own day on to the past events This can lead to incorrect conclusions People well read in American history will probably not learn much that is new from these lectures Nevertheless the lectures do provide a concise articulation of how different people can arrive at different understandings of history The following quotation is a good example of this from Lecture 8 titled Did Slavery Really Cause the Civil War The Lecturer has just finished reviewing numerous causes of the Civil War that have been proposed over the years by different historians Then the lecturer wraps it up as follows Interpretations are usually tied in some way to the era in which they were written It s far from accidental that the generation that fought the war would come to view it in the North as a moral struggle over slavery, and in the South as a defensible support of state s rights Similarly it is far from accidental that the economic interpretation gained great popularity during the 1930s, the years of the great depression Nor is it surprising that interpretations emphasizing fanatics and incompetent politicians should arise as people in the 1930s began to see World War I as an avoidable conflict, and who were simultaneously witnessing the rise of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini Nor should we be surprised that all these alternative views to slavery as the cause of the war emerged in the decades of intense racism in the United States Nor should we be surprised by the reemergence of slavery as a moral issue, and the question of race relations in the era of civil rights and in the years since World War II and the full revelation of Nazi racial atrocities The emphasis of psychological interpretations in this same time period should not surprise us either Nor should the emphasis on ideology that developed in the years of the cold war, which was an ideological conflict be a surprise It is important to realize that if one accepts the ideological approach then all the previous interpretations retain their validity For even if there were no conspiracies in reality, no truly irreconcilable differences in economies and cultures, no basic disagreement over the nature of the Union, and no chance of slavery establishing itself in the territories Americans North and South believed otherwise because of their ideology, and they acted on the basis of those beliefs Further, ideology and perceptions are themselves products of all the general factors previously sited as causes of the war Economics, culture, politics, political theory, moral values And the common denominator linking all of these previously sited causes is SLAVERY It was the base of the southern economy, southern culture, the conspiracy theories north and south, the fanaticism, politics, moral arguments, racism, conflicting definitions north and south of rights, and ensuing ideological conflicts It is therefore the basic cause of the war In other words, slavery was the cause but not in the simplistic way that one would usually think of it.


  3. says:

    The Skeptics Guide to American History is a collection of fairly short lectures that take the listener from the Revolutionary War to the end of the Cold War For the most part it s a history of politics and conflict and I found myself surprised than once with Mark A Stoler s perspective on the past It is anything but complete but offers an insight into America s history and dispels some of the myths that many Americans believe to be true As a non American I found it particularly insightful and I think it s definitely worth the effort for Americans who have a high school knowledge of American history, but it s probably not really of much interest to academics and historians.


  4. says:

    I have a friend who s a freshman congressman and have told him every member of congress should watch or listen to this course from The Great Courses It s a different kind of survey course, in which each lecture takes on some popularly held belief or myth about America s past and examines in with a skeptic s eye Many of the myths discussed are frequently cited by politicians today to support some viewpoint they are pushing While it s hardly realistic to think that congress would be affected by such scholarship, at least we as voters can educate ourselves so that we can weed through the B.S on our own For me, the most thought provoking was lecture 10 on the pre regulatory Laissez Faire economics era that is widely believed to have spurred on the industrial revolution Here the professor disputes the notion that the economic environment was hands off Explaining instead that it was very interventionist on behalf of big business Fascinating in light of the strong anti regulatory movements of the early 21st century Highly recommended series, and the Guidebook prepared by the professor that comes with the course includes a HUGE bibliography for further reading.


  5. says:

    This series of lectures starts off with the discovery of the North American continent and concludes it s critical analysis around the time of the Vietnam War It is important to note this is not a set of lectures designed to build a foundational history, but to augment knowledge from a perspective that is not as biased by patriotism, ethnocentrism, or by time In doing so, these lectures challenge long held beliefs and myths about American history, then proceed to explain their creation and persistence When analyzing historical figures, a detailed look at the events that defined these persons to modern history is compared to the events that actually defined the person to his contemporaries This not just a series of lectures on history, it is also a excellent guide on how to view history skeptically and in doing so, holistically The author is an excellent orator and rarely interjects personal beliefs into the narrative, although he does do so by proxy with quotes from others Even so, not only does he challenge his own interpretation of history, but encourages other s to do so This is an excellent and informative effort, and highly recommended to those who enjoy history and those who consider themselves patriots.


  6. says:

    Come election time, you re going to want to have read this book in order to see through the garbage that s dished out as history by politicians Ewing says, Simple truths about history are lies about complex subjects Every such truth has layers and layers of depth and breadth that no 30 second sound byte can capture This book is good at exposing the myths, the disinformation, and the things that historians like myself have been deceived into believing For example, I always thought that Herbert Hoover took a passive stance toward the Great Depression He actually tried lots of remedies, some of which Franklin Roosevelt later took the credit for The fact that we have a bad opinion of Hoover is largely due to the myths about him that Franklin Delano Roosevelt wanted to perpetuate This is only one fascinating example from this marvelous book.


  7. says:

    A great course indeed.Professor Stoler dissects the many myths that continue to perpetuate in the US From the Pilgrims to the Information Age and everything in between, he analyzes different events and the people involved and sheds light on the actual facts in a clear and concise manner.I have to admit, a lot of what the Professor went over I did not know I think its best to have at least a basic knowledge of US history to get the most out of this course However, even if I wasn t too familiar with the Great Depression for example, I learned a good amount about it and have a foothold, albeit a slippery one, on the subject Stoler does a good job at giving a basic overview on the events.Overall, I enjoyed this course and I plan to further my reading about US history Highly recommended


  8. says:

    I found this to be very enlightening and interesting The downside to buying this through audible.com instead of through the Great Courses is you don t have access to the lecture notes which would certainly be helpful to search out information But the price is so much better this way that it s hard to turn down.This is a highly recommended.


  9. says:

    One of my favorite Great Courses I thought it might just be a big debunking mess but instead I thoroughly enjoyed Stoler s take on American misconceptions.


  10. says:

    Terrific read on hearing the other side to many of the historical accounts we ve heard in history classes growing up and or many of the things we ve believed about our historical heroes and their accomplishments.Stolen does a great job of offering a balanced approach recognizing both the great achievements and morally admirable decisions of some of the historical giants we re familiar with, as well as their tragic pitfalls and or moral failures.At the end, he even encourages his students to further study history and even be skeptical of his own material so that they might catch something he hasn t.Very interesting approach And a very good read.


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