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Patrick N. Allitt – The History of the United States, 5-7

Title: The History of the United States, 2nd Edition, 5-7
Lecturer: Patrick N. Allitt
The Teaching Company
Duration: 36 x 30 minutes
Media: Audio only

Patrick N. Allitt concludes this 84-part lecture series on the history of the United States (see the first and second review), beginning with the industrialisation of America and concluding with a few lectures on the 1990s, terrorism and Bill Clinton. It has been a long journey and in this review I will focus mainly on Allitt’s contribution, but I will also say something on the subject of the series as a whole.

To start with, it should be mentioned that it must be one hopeless task to summarise the entire history of the United States into such a small span of time. I think Allitt succeeds in choosing relevant topics and he spends an adequate time on each. However, I still think his contribution inferior to his earlier performance in connection with his lecture series on Victorian Britain. I do not know if it is due to my wider experience of lecturers, to the fact that I found the subject matter more interesting or simply to the fact that he has to cover way too much in too brief a period of time. Regardless of the reason, I still did not enjoy the last three parts of this series as much as those prior to them.

Regarding the series as a whole, my impression is positive (The Teaching Company has never let me down before) and I recommend the series if you feel (like I do) ignorant about the subject. For more serious people, the series is much too shallow to be of great interest. However, I still recommend part four, concerning the American Civil War to everyone.

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