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Classics of American Literature (The Great Courses)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  70 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
To truly understand the United States of America, you must explore its literary tradition. Works by Melville, Whitman, Faulkner, Hemingway, and others are more than just masterpieces of Western literature - they’re powerful windows into America’s spirit.

According to Professor Arnold Weinstein, “American classics are wonderfully rich fare. America is a mythic land, a place
Audio CD
Published 1998 by The Great Courses
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Jul 04, 2016 Perry rated it really liked it
Incomparable AudiOverview of American Literature With Ivy League Professor of Literature

If you wish you had taken that American Lit course at university or that you'd paid attention when you did, or if you just love reading and learning more about the great pieces of lit you've been reading, this is an excellent opportunity to explore and learn in 48 lectures (over 43 hours) in a conversational look, with Ivy League (Brown) professor Arnold Weinstein, at American literature going back to Ben Fra
Jon Stout
Feb 17, 2010 Jon Stout rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: autodidacts, time travelers
Shelves: audio
My biggest taped lecture undertaking yet, this series consists of 84 lectures covering authors from Benjamin Franklin to Toni Morrison. Arnold Weinstein is thorough, intelligent, fatherly and prone to Freudian interpretations which work. Although I valued covering the standard figures which everyone knows, and many of which I have read, I most enjoyed Weinstein’s detours into lesser known works, or at least lesser known to me:

A short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, entitled Wakefield, tells of a m
Very enjoyable and educating listen. Was introduced to some new authors (well new for me anyway) and minor works by well-known authors as well as convinced to retry others, such as William Faulkner, who have stumped me up 'til now. This series is well-worth the considerable investment of time it takes to complete. Although some of Professor Weinstein's insights seemed far-fetched, much in recent literature and indeed the perspective/style of modern writers on the whole often seem excessive to me ...more
Feb 22, 2013 Dayla rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literature
This series contains the BEST interpretation ever written about Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn character. To paraphrase Mr. Weinstein, one can't teach Huckleberry Finn, unless one connects the level of bravery of Huck, when he lets Jim go. Huck says, "I might go to hell for letting you go Jim, but I am willing to go to hell for you."

Very few people are willing to challenge themselves with their own sense of moral integrity. For everyone at that time felt that slavery was mandated from God and wr
Mar 20, 2016 Janet marked it as to-read
This became due at the library when I was about 50% done. Very enjoyable....I'm going to put it on hold again.
Scott Lee
Sep 22, 2016 Scott Lee rated it really liked it
This is a an enjoyable survey of American History. It is, in general a positive history, although I think it hits us where we deserve it, and refuses to kowtow to mythologies, preferred fictions, or blurry-edge pleasantries.

The course makes a case in the end for American exceptionalism, but not in the sense of any superiority, or moral greatness. Instead it is a more literal definition of exceptionalism--the manners in which America is the exception to the rule where its times, contemporaries,
Mary Anne
Man, this thing is 84 lectures and something over 40 hours. But I'm nearly a quarter of the way through, and so far I feel I can make some comments about it. (I may or may not be done with the book by June. Who can tell?)

I am exceptionally fond of The Great Courses. I started listening to them using the audiobooks available at my library, and now I get most of them through Audible. (Alas, the library doesn't have that many of them, and there's no way I'd be done with this lecture in two weeks an
Jun 27, 2016 Alex rated it it was ok
I was really looking forward to listening to Classics of American Literature yet I find myself rather disappointed. The content is interesting but I feel that the lecturer spent too many lectures on individual authors and texts. For example, I love Poe but I did not really feel having three lectures over him and his works was needed. The same goes for Hemingway and Steinbeck who earned five and six lectures respectively. I enjoy these authors but feel there were many authors and works left out ...more
Mar 09, 2016 Larry rated it did not like it
I'm 80% done with Classics of American : This is a series of lectures on American literature. For me, it is slow going. I had not realized how boring and inappropriate some authors are. The lecturer has sort of a windy or raspy voice which makes it hard to hear sometimes. If there is the least bit of a hint that the author is including some sort of sexual connotation, he is sure to report that. — 7 minutes ago — update status
Aug 20, 2011 Grant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am so enjoying this lecture series. Mr Weinstein is very interesting and has a great way of describing how the authors of these classics have developed over the 200 years plus of our nation.
It has given me a greater desire to go back and read the authors that I was forced to read while in school.
Mar 01, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Thank you, Professor Weinstein, for 84 amazing lectures. I listened to these during my commute and was captivated by them. It takes an incredible lecturer to do that, and he did. If you love literature, you'll love it even more when you finish this course.
Hank Pharis
Apr 19, 2016 Hank Pharis rated it liked it
This was a great series of lectures surveying the history of American literature. I very much enjoyed it.
Dec 22, 2009 Karen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: listened-to
lectures about some of my favorite books: The Sun Also Rises, The Yellow Wallpaper (short story) and The Great Gatsby, also Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald. Heaven!
Monica rated it it was amazing
Aug 25, 2008
Lance Eaton
Lance Eaton rated it it was amazing
May 08, 2009
Tyler rated it did not like it
Feb 22, 2012
Michał Moniak
Michał Moniak rated it really liked it
Oct 13, 2015
John Holsenbeck
John Holsenbeck rated it liked it
Jun 12, 2015
JP Charter
JP Charter rated it really liked it
Apr 09, 2016
Kevin Beary
Mar 05, 2009 Kevin Beary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I`m only thru part 3 out of i think 7 which all have appx 6-7 cd`s per -
Intense car course
Barb rated it it was amazing
Feb 22, 2015
Paul Ewing
Paul Ewing rated it it was amazing
Mar 01, 2014
Chris rated it it was amazing
Jun 03, 2016
Dan Ust
Dan Ust rated it really liked it
Aug 01, 2016
Adam Lund
Adam Lund rated it really liked it
Oct 22, 2012
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Aug 15, 2013
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Aug 17, 2010
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Mar 14, 2012
Steven rated it it was amazing
Jun 01, 2014
Debra Hennessey
Debra Hennessey rated it really liked it
Feb 05, 2012
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Dr. Arnold Weinstein is the Edna and Richard Salomon Distinguished Professor at Brown University, where he has been teaching for over 35 years. He earned his undergraduate degree in Romance Languages from Princeton University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. Among his many academic honors, research grants, and fellowships is the Younger Humanist Award from ...more
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