Tag Archives: lecture

Great Mythologies of the World (book review)

Great Mythologies of the WorldGreat Mythologies of the World by Grant L. Voth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Type: Audible
Length: 31 hours 36 minutes

An incredibly brief but informative journey around the world!

This was a great series of lectures of mythology from around the world. I wouldn’t say it is the most in depth, but it covers so many cultures that it surprised and entertained me.

As someone who has read a lot of Greek, Roman, some other European and Egyptian mythology there was nothing surprising. I have heard all these before and in more depth, so it was a disappointment. However, this is an overall view so of course they would skim the surface not dig deep.

The beauty of this was in the other Middle Eastern myths, Southeast Asian myths and African myths. I am sure they are much like the Greek and Roman mythology covered. They are probably the very basic myths and not connected well between then. However, they were brand new to me and have inspired me to check them out closer.

The one problematic area were the Native American myths. Most of them were great, I enjoyed listening to them. The problematic myth though involved what seemed to be a tale about a child watching her father be with what seems to be a two-spirit or possibly transgender lover and in the end that lover killed her father.

What bothered me greatly about this was his constant reference of that being/person/creature being a transvestite and how it was wrong. I do admit it felt personal and in full disclosure I am transgender myself, but his CV indicates no professional experience with Native American subject matter (that isn’t anything he is listed as being a specialist in) and it felt like a personal conservative viewpoint with an agenda. The rest of his myths seemed fine, but his personal observations on that one are what bothered me a lot and is why it only gets a four.

Like many of their courses, I definitely recommend this course in mythology. It is well worth the time, money and effort to get through almost 32 hours of courses. Or at least it was for me.

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Great Courses: Other Side of History – Daily Life in the Ancient World

The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient WorldThe Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World by Robert Garland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Book Type: Audible Book
Length: 24h 28m

This course made me miss going to college.

Professor Garland is clear, crisp and smooth with the material. I never realized how interesting it would be to have 48 lessons that cover the common person’s life from Neanderthal through the medieval times.

It was interesting to hear how a common person lived. Ranging from slaves, to women (sometimes one and the same, sadly more often then sometimes), to citizens, soldiers and merchants. It was interesting to hear about what their day to day lives were like, who they married and what they did when they had a day off.

I have no complaints about this Great Course, and definitely no complaints about the professor. The only thing is I did wish it had more with other cultures, but that is because I knew a lot of the information from my other studies. However, that isn’t a problem because of the Course.

This was definitely 24 hours worth of instruction that was worth it. I am going to pick up my next set of lessons from the Great Courses immediately.
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The Skeptic’s Guide to American History

The Skeptic's Guide to American HistoryThe Skeptic’s Guide to American History by Mark A. Stoler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Book Type: Audible Book
Length: 12h 1m

This was much better than I had hoped.

This is my first of the “Great Courses” I have listened to, and it was definitely worth it. It is a brief retelling of history without our myths or outright lies about the origins of America. What we have been taught in school is at the least propaganda, and in many cases outright falsehood.

Even with the conservative viewpoint of Dr Stoler, it was eye opening to see the realities behind previous presidents, and historical events. He especially eradicated the myths of our “defense only” military history.

There is nothing I can fault on this course. It is 12 hours of information I may have heard bits about, but never the full story. I cannot recommend this enough.

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