Trade Ed. The Teaching Company 2002
CS ISBN 1565855329 $99.95 Twenty-four cassettes
CD ISBN 1565855345 $129.95 Twenty-four CDs
A lecture series of this scope can be like a "Europe in 7 Days" vacation--you cover a lot of ground, but nothing has any impact. Notre Dame historian Thomas Noble generally avoids this danger as he covers 45 centuries, from Sumer to 1600. Instead of cramming each half-hour lecture with easily forgotten names and dates, he focuses on themes and ideas, such as the myth of the Roman Empire's fall (it wasn't sudden) or the medieval feudal system (it was never a system at all). Noble speaks informally from outlines, an approach that works well because he's scrupulously organized and articulate. The outlines are included in booklets, so you can review or follow along. D.B.
(c) AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine [Published: FEB/ MAR 04]