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The 20th century transformed the political, social, and economic structures of the world in ways no one could have imagined as the 1800s came to a close. It was a time of intense and rapid change that stretches the capacity of the imagination: first flight and space flight, the Manhattan Project and the Welfare State, Nietzsche and Freud, the Great Depression and inflation The 20th century transformed the political, social, and economic structures of the world in ways no one could have imagined as the 1800s came to a close. It was a time of intense and rapid change that stretches the capacity of the imagination: first flight and space flight, the Manhattan Project and the Welfare State, Nietzsche and Freud, the Great Depression and inflation, moving pictures and home computers, the Cold War and terrorism—and war and peace.


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The 20th century transformed the political, social, and economic structures of the world in ways no one could have imagined as the 1800s came to a close. It was a time of intense and rapid change that stretches the capacity of the imagination: first flight and space flight, the Manhattan Project and the Welfare State, Nietzsche and Freud, the Great Depression and inflation The 20th century transformed the political, social, and economic structures of the world in ways no one could have imagined as the 1800s came to a close. It was a time of intense and rapid change that stretches the capacity of the imagination: first flight and space flight, the Manhattan Project and the Welfare State, Nietzsche and Freud, the Great Depression and inflation, moving pictures and home computers, the Cold War and terrorism—and war and peace.

30 review for Interpreting the 20th Century: The Struggle Over Democracy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alli

    I really wanted to like this particular Great Courses lecture series. However, the lecturer was very dry to listen to, especially in the first half of the series. The latter half was much better. I did appreciate that the focus of the series was not just on the political and military actions in the 20th century, and included an introduction of the philosophical, sociological, and economic theories that shaped those political and military interventions throughout the century. I highlight this in t I really wanted to like this particular Great Courses lecture series. However, the lecturer was very dry to listen to, especially in the first half of the series. The latter half was much better. I did appreciate that the focus of the series was not just on the political and military actions in the 20th century, and included an introduction of the philosophical, sociological, and economic theories that shaped those political and military interventions throughout the century. I highlight this in this review mainly because I have seen other reviews that disliked this shift in focus, and while I agree it takes away from more "exciting" events, I find it particularly helpful in understanding the context within which these events occur.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tyler

    Radcliff goes over a lot of info that I already knew but from a fresh perspective. She tied in a lot of 20th century events that are fairly familiar to each other in some ways I had never dwelt upon. She included some interesting insight on the contrasts of the US and Europe in their political development during the century. She gave me some things to think about for the future of world politics.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Freeson

    This was a very comprehensive course covering the rise, descent, and rise again of democracy and liberal capitalism during the 20th century from a global perspective. I appreciated the inclusion of a world perspective - especially Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Note that this particular course was created in the early 2000s, as the Iraq War was happening. Although this course is not current, it is interesting from a retrospective sense to see what, even historians, were going to be the definin This was a very comprehensive course covering the rise, descent, and rise again of democracy and liberal capitalism during the 20th century from a global perspective. I appreciated the inclusion of a world perspective - especially Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Note that this particular course was created in the early 2000s, as the Iraq War was happening. Although this course is not current, it is interesting from a retrospective sense to see what, even historians, were going to be the defining issues of the 21st century at its outset. Terrorism was obviously a big challenge for democracy, but I would argue there are other more pressing issues right now! Another drawback of this course, like other historical courses I've gone through, is that the pace of information speeds up after WWII. I wish Radcliff had dwelled longer in the decades after WWII.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas

    Overall very interesting and informative. However, "democracy" was used to mean liberal capitalism, so in my mind the title would have been more apt as the struggle over liberal capitalism. I also found it a little annoying how the Radcliff avoided taking a stand--giving her position. Lastly certain speaking habits ("in other words") got to feel repetitive over time. Overall very interesting and informative. However, "democracy" was used to mean liberal capitalism, so in my mind the title would have been more apt as the struggle over liberal capitalism. I also found it a little annoying how the Radcliff avoided taking a stand--giving her position. Lastly certain speaking habits ("in other words") got to feel repetitive over time.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Joshout

    Great meta view of the developments in the 20th century. Verry eloquent.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Paulette

    This is lectures on CDs. I'm on part 3 of 4. Way interesting. So much of history was lost on me in HS and college. Now it all seems much more relevant. This is lectures on CDs. I'm on part 3 of 4. Way interesting. So much of history was lost on me in HS and college. Now it all seems much more relevant.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Carter

  8. 4 out of 5

    Andrew McKee

  9. 4 out of 5

    Fredrik

  10. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Cunningham

  11. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  12. 4 out of 5

    Anders Brabaek

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mario Y

  14. 5 out of 5

    Argun Akcakanat

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bernard

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bulent Oktem

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dusty Jones

  18. 4 out of 5

    Emma

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sergiu

  20. 5 out of 5

    David Gilson

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tawnya

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ranran

  23. 4 out of 5

    Theresa Porter

  24. 5 out of 5

    Stelian

  25. 5 out of 5

    Eric Mortensen

  26. 5 out of 5

    William Egger

  27. 5 out of 5

    Todd Judice

  28. 4 out of 5

    Trevor

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dylan Hardy

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