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European Civilization, 1648-1945 - Audio

By John Merriman

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(HIST 202) This course offers a broad survey of modern European history, from the end of the Thirty Years' War to the aftermath of World War II. Along with the consideration of major events and figures such as the French Revolution and Napoleon, attention will be paid to the experience of ordinary people in times of upheaval and transition. The period will thus be viewed neither in terms of historical inevitability nor as a procession of great men, but rather through the lens of the complex interrelations between demographic change, political revolution, and cultural development. Textbook accounts will be accompanied by the study of exemplary works of art, literature, and cinema. This course was recorded in Fall 2008.

Customer Reviews

What Makes iTunes U brilliant.

Mr. Merriman opens doors, windows and an entire universe of thought. I found him engaging, brilliant, rambling, evocative and interestingly emotional (not boring). He enabled me to conceptualize a society of thought no other professor has done. A real treasure and MUST HAVE to anyone remotely interested in how we ended up here. Thank you John!


Other reviewers are correct that Merriman is brilliant. I only wish that his manner of speaking were more fluent. Numerous word whiskers (uh) make these lectures almost impossible to enjoy once you pick up on them. Like the adage of having a face for radio, this speaker has a voice suited for print.

Popcorn History

Merriman's a pretty good speaker, apart from a few minor tics. The class isn't bad by any means, but after listening I sort of have the same sensation I'd get from watching a survey show on The History Channel. There isn't a sense of a connected narrative in Merriman's lectures - the course has more of the feel of 24 bullet point topics from three hundred years of European history arranged in rough chronological order. And like a TV show, each episode ends, and it's on to the next grouping of anecdotes.

Good for a bullet point view but sort of just skimming the surface. Perhaps the depth would be apparent if you were reading the coursework alongside the lectures.