Modern Scholar series (part IV)

Being “between courses” has afforded me the opportunity to dip back into Recorded Books’ Modern Scholar series of lectures on audio CD. I started listening to these a couple years ago, finding the entries by Thomas Madden to be especially worthwhile listening. Aside from Madden’s, I have to admit that I’ve found the rest of the series hit or miss, but I wanted to give a shout-out to Professor Fred E. Baumann for his entry, Visions of Utopia: Philosophy and the Perfect Society. This might come across as a backhanded compliment, but I was impressed by the...

Modern Scholar series (part III)

I’ve listened to a couple more volumes in the Modern Scholar series over the past month. The first was A History of Ancient Rome, by Utah State University professor Frances Titchener. This set of lectures was not among the best of those I’ve listened to in this series, though I’ve also heard worse. Covering 1,500 or so years of complex history in 14 half-hour lectures is not an easy task, and she certainly deserves some freedom to present it as she sees fit, but I found the presentation overly idiosyncratic, nonetheless. Professor Titch...

Constantinople’s Last Night

Yesterday, I wrote that I’ve been spending some of my commute time listening to the Modern Scholar series from Recorded Books – specifically the volumes from Thomas F Madden, a Medievalist and chair of the History department at Saint Louis University. The lecture set I probably learned the most from was Empire of Gold: A History of the Byzantine Empire. I knew very little about this culture, and the lectures helped me to piece quite a few things together – in both the political and religious spheres. As the lectures wound down, I must c...

Modern Scholar series (part I)

In the spirit of always trying to look on the bright side of things… One of the advantages to spending two hours or so each weekday commuting to and from work is the opportunity it affords me to listen to audio books. I was in the local public library over the weekend, and noticed that they had a new title from Thomas F. Madden in Recorded Books’ Modern Scholar series. Unsurprisingly, the series overall is a bit of a mixed bag, but, having listened to all of Madden’s volumes so far, I can vouch for the quality of all of them. These are ...