I’ve been marching through the Yale Open history survey courses for the last couple months, and John Merriman’s “European Civilization” is, so far, the greatest delight. Lots of righteous Brechtian anger about the tyrants ravaging across the centuries, but he never serves up the thin alternative gruel of the tediously Correct – this guy is passionately devoted to a good narrative, and lets the kids have it in full color. They’re all good, but Zack Snyder might think about buying these 45 minutes on Peter the Great.
yes please. i’m reading a preview on amazon and ALJGLsjg;lja also whoa 16 bucks that is a steal.
That’s why I took it, man. The amazon price of 45 bucks for the kindle edition really??? There was no way I was gonna pay that.
This is basically the book I’ve dreamed of for years and years… All my attempts at researching the police and I never actually found this book prior to tumblr discussions. Sharply applies palm to forehead.
Victorian Britons in particular embraced household possessions with a passion that verged on obsession. Leaving the simplicity of decoration behind, they began to fill up their residences with china, carpets, mantelpieces, statues, and garishly decorated fire screens and teapots. … Some of these novelties – such as antiques of fairly dubious origin or copies of colonial items purchased in curiosity shops – may seem to us in hindsight to be remarkable for their bad taste. But they enabled their owners to defy the trend of mass manufactured items, and try to reflect their status in Victorian society.
the Spanish nobility joined their old allies, the clergy, in opposition to the invaders. French forces were easy targets for the small, mobile groups of Spanish guerrillas, who attacked then quickly disappeared into the Spanish landscape.
Merriman, History of Modern Europe, 500.
Strangely enough, I was not under the impression that most Spanish guerrillas were priests and aristocrats. I was disheartened last week that none of my students had read the Bernard Cornwell books or watched the Sharpe series.
Society cannot exist without some being richer than others, and this inequality cannot exist without religion. When one man is dying of hunger next door to another who is stuffing himself with food, the poor man simply cannot accept the disparity unless some authority tells him, ‘God wishes it so … in heaven things will be different.’
Napoleon Bonaparte, quoted in Merriman, History of Modern Europe, 483-84
an exploration of narrative intent (except not really, that just sounds suitably pretentious)
During my recent reread of The Dark is Rising, I finally put a name to something that had been nagging at me since the first time I read the Sequence years ago. Though most of the fandom seems to accept that Will is the one who goes alone in five will return and one go alone, when I first read the series, I interpreted it as Merriman, and thinking about it, they both have equal claim to the title.
My brain kindly provided the name post-fulfillment prophetic ambiguity for this phenomenon.
(liveblog posts where I first discussed the topic: x and x)
European Civilization, 1648-1945 - Video
Genre: European History
Publish Date: October 28, 2009
(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.