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Ideas That Shaped Mankind: A Concise History of Human Thought

3.16  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Since before the dawn of human civilization, the ability to reason, to conceptualize the world and to theorize about the forces that shape it, has defined mankind's existence. From agriculture and art to religion and science, from cannibalism to chaos theory, big ideas have always been powerful agents of change, capable of drastically altering the trajectory of history. In ...more
CD-ROM, 88 pages
Published October 14th 1990 by Barnes & Noble Audio (first published 1990)
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Petra-X
I tried this years ago in print and despite Civilizations: Culture, Ambition, and the Transformation of Nature being one of my favourite history books, I couldn't get through it. I've just listened to Felipe Fernandez-Armesto's lectures closely based on this book, and once I got past his even-more-Stephen-Fry-than-Stephen-Fry voice and awful delivery, it was interesting.

But I do take issue with some points that he really hadn't checked as he views everything from the point of view of a Christian
...more
Mike
Sep 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-history
I enjoyed this lecture series, despite the professor's voice which unfortunately might be described as "upper class British twit". His inflection ranges from whisperingly quiet and quick to blasts of volume after he takes a breath, making the lectures a bit hard to listen to. However, the intellectual content was outstanding, starting from how archeological evidence from pre-history can be used to infer the flourishing of new ideas - such as reverence for elders, cannibalism, and supernatural ex ...more
Reg
Feb 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoy the way he structured his lectures and how he followed ideas from their origin. I learned a lot and although listening to him on audiotape is rather ridiculous you'll get used to him. The coursebook provided with the modern scholar series are well written but, they are soo poorly designed i've given the task to myself to help these people out. Because great words should only be accompanied by great images and should be set on a page to better show their power.
Matt
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Extremely thought-provoking. Ties together advances in politics, science, anthropology, and medicine to show how ideas led to massive changes.
Don
Dec 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
How change starts in mind, when mind fertile for said exp, most productive era for ideas 1000BC, pontificates, history over physics as intellectual, history as interpreted, confused on faith and reason with poor sources, speculation abounds. Socialism is more like a religion. Darwin stating minorities as sub-species and interest in eugenics, wonder why people still worship, mexico rev of early 20th C stripped religious of priviledges vs liberty, love uncertainty-closest to truth.
Terry
Mar 19, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: will-not-finish
I only got to lecture two before I couldn't take anymore. Sorry, but the "idea" of cannibalism isn't what I was looking for.
Melinda
Apr 21, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I couldnt get through this - not because of the topic, but the mans voice. It was beyond irritating and totally distracting...
Joshout
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I could not help being irritated by the high brow English tongue.
Mike
Sep 17, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sociology
Couldn't handle it although I've enjoyed most lectures in this series. Could have been Armesto's voice that bugged the crap out of me.
Eric
Feb 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
This is one of the few among the portable professor series that I really did NOT like. It just wasn't particularly interesting to me.
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Born in 1950, Felipe Fernández-Armesto was raised in London by his Spanish born father and British born mother both active journalists. As a historian, he has written numerous books on a variety of subject from American History to the Spanish Armada. He currently serves as the Principe de Asturias Chair in Spanish Culture and Civilization at Tufts University and Professor of Global Environmental H ...more

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