Sunday, August 29, 2010

Berkeley History 5 by Thomas Laqueur

History podcasts are my favorite among podcasts - of all the podcasts I have reviewed they make up some 30% and of all the reviews over 45%. History lecture podcasts from great universities represent the highest quality you can get in this genre. I am very excited that the very first of those, Berkeley's History 5 is back after having been away for two years. History 5 was the podcast that opened up history podcasts for me and university lecture podcasts as well. (feed)

This semester History 5 will be taught by Professor Thomas Laqueur, who was also the professor in that old 2006 series that not only marked for me the beginning of listening to podcasts and by extension the birth of this blog, but also podcast that set the standard for history podcasts and, for me, has remained to do so. History 5 not only gives European History from 1450 to 1989, it also gives a great interpretation to it. With this course you will get the narrative and at the same time learn to analyze history. When Thomas Laqueur shows Raphael's picture The school of Athens at the first lecture, he reveals that the original is to be found at the Vatican and he asks: 'Isn't that kind of odd?' History 5 is the kind of course that teaches you the capacity for historical analysis that makes you immediately utter exactly such a question. And that is why I love History 5 and love to recommend it.

While listening you can imagine the pictures Laqueur shows, but if you do not wish to miss out on them, you can choose to subscribe to the feed with slides which technically is a video podcast. It is however no video of the lecture, it is the audio delivered while showing the slides from the lecture power point, which in my opinion is about as good as it gets. If you have never heard History 5, this is a must take. Laqueur's voice may take some getting used to. He occasionally gets stuck in his own words, but there is eventually no harm in that. And the sheer depth and quality of the lecture makes up for it completely.

Previously on History 5:
History 5 by Carla Hesse,
History 5 by Margaret Anderson,
History 5 by Thomas Laqueur.
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