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Susan Wise Bauer

Story of the World, Volume 4: The Modern Age Audiobook CD: From Victoria's Empire to the End of the USSR (11 CDs) (The Story of the World #4)

Title: Story of the World, Volume 4: The Modern Age Audiobook CD: From Victoria's Empire to the End of the USSR (11 CDs) (The Story of the World #4)

Author: Susan Wise Bauer

Format: Audio CD


Pages: 0

Publisher: , 0

ISBN: 1933339039

Format: PDF / Kindle / ePub

Size: 7.3 MB

Download: allowed


This spirited reading of the first in Susan Wise Bauer's Story of the World history series brings to life the stories and records of the peoples of ancient times. Now more than ever, other countries and customs affect our everyday lives-and our children need to learn about the people who live all around the globe. Susan Wise Bauer has provided a captivating guide to the history of the ancient world. Written in an engaging, straightforward manner, The Story of the World weaves world history into a storybook format. This volume covers the major historical events of the years 1850 to the late 1990s, from the reign of England's Queen Victoria to the collapse of the Berlin Wall. This Story of the World audiobook is a collaboration between Jim Weiss, whose voice has been described as liquid gold (CNN-TV), and Susan Wise Bauer, whose writing has been described as timeless and intelligent (Publishers Weekly). It may be used along with the print books (The Story of the World Volume 4 Text Book, Activity Book, and Tests; each sold separately), as a supplement to a traditional history curriculum, or independently. Approximately 12 hours on 11 CDs.

Insightful reviews

Ebookwormy: It all started with the introduction. Susan Wise Bauer starts this work with an introduction (like she does with the others) and I was disturbed. It's just a page or two, but it bothered me. The tone of the introduction is such that it communicates that it was written at the end of a long, difficult project (which I am sure this was). Perhaps she was too rushed. But after I got over her strong exhortation not to expose a child younger than 4th grade to this material, this is what bothered me:

1) What she said was historically incorrect.
She references a revolution-despotism cycle as inevitable. Yet, the American Revolution did not lead (at least not immediately) to a dictatorial form of government. Is it the exception? Perhaps. Seeing as the audience is primarily North American and we are coming to this introduction having just studied the American Revolution, her assertion struck me as odd at best, inaccurate at worst. Of course, we also hear of the revolution of Canada and it's quest to govern itself within the commonwealth early in this volume. Again, no tyranny there either. Hmmm....

2) What she said was theologically shallow.
The tone of the introduction reflected a despair common to post-modern times. Was Bauer that discouraged, wearied, and despondent about what she had written? And if so, do we want to read/ listen to it? Here the lack of Church History in her coverage of the world is notable. For the only true hope of the world is Jesus himself. Her thoughts reminded me of Ecclesiastes 12:12b-14
"... Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing,whether it is good or evil."

And it just got worse from there. Capitalism is an exploitative system in Bauer's world, and investors are particularly predatory, not to mention philanthropists who all made their money through oppression. While an all-glory-to-the-USDollar approach would have been equally disturbing, the lack of acknowledgment of how a free market system has contributed to the prosperity of individual Americans as well as our international influence was disturbing - especially when so many other communist, socialist states are covered. Nor does she include the massive innovations in technology that the free market system fostered. And FDRs New Deal is far to favorably endorsed-to the point of erroneously being credited with pulling the country out of the Depression, an assertion few believe. I found the chapter on Kennedy concerning. The author rhapsodizes about his idyllic image and how his assassination forced people to face America's challenges. In order to further the prospect of a Kennedy America at peace, chapters preceding the assassination are upbeat (especially for this installment!), and rather negative after - even though many of these topical matters (such as the civil rights movement) predated Kennedy and continued beyond his presidency. I find it hard to believe American's didn't feel the tension of segregation and Jim Crow laws prior to Kennedy's unexpected death -- or that people were oblivious to the Cold War! Speaking of the Cold War. Bauer didn't seem to ever clarify that the Soviets violated their agreements with the US after WWII and instead of retreating to liberate countries, they annexed them. Instead, she spends a lot of time talking about how Americans were 'afraid' of the Soviets as if this was a mere emotional perception. And the Soviet's didn't seem to be as 'fightened' of the Americans. I found myself wanted to tally these terms to get a count. I also thought events in the Middle East were a bit lopsided. It's good to get the Arab point of view on Palestine across, but the Bauer never questions WHY a Palestinian state wasn't formed by Arabs when they had the chance?

This is not to say their weren't high points. I liked the coverage of the decay of the Ottoman Empire and how it affected the balance of power throughout Europe, the transformation of the Belgian Congo to Zaire, the Iranian rebellion, the intricate failures of country partitions, and the discussion of nuclear power.

I consider this series a good supplement but not a main event. Sometimes I think Bauer, like many who have spent much time in books, is too smart in the worldly pursuits for her own good. She loses theological footing and needs to be drawn away from world history to Biblical Study, to reorientated, reset, and try to approach the material from a Biblical perspective, to seek to perceive how God is moving in the midst of man's foibles and horrors. Without this, we are in danger of teaching ourselves and our children to despair, just like the world around us.

This despair is hard to miss in light of the change in style. Throughout the series, Bauer has used story to engage us with the historical account, and while there are some glimmers of her whimsical style coming through, by her own admission, she had to eliminate much of that type of content due to the graphic nature of modern time destruction and cruelty. This gives the account a more rigid feeling than previous installments.

Finally, I have noticed that the closer you get to modern times, the more difficult it is to agree with another person's perception of the historical record. While we have enough perspective to declare authoritatively that the Peloponnesian War weakened the Greek city states, we are still debating the merits of a free market economy, nuclear power and whether or not American influence in the world is positive. And, our personal connection to these events renders us far more opinionated about recent Presidents, or even FDR or JFK, than we are about Alexander the Great. In previous installments, I was content with Bauer's presentation as "good enough," but in Volume III: The Early Modern Age, we started to diverge and now in Volume IV, I find our journey together uncomfortable at best and can no longer recommend her path to others. In fact, I was relieved when we were finished.

Ultimately, I have discovered Story of the World to be a secular series for Christians. It won't attack your faith or demean it like many secular history accounts will, and that has value to educating our children. However, it also will not particularly strengthen your faith or inspire you with God's movement through history or the lives of the saints who have gone before. I am in pursuit of a world history for children that both respects and inspires....

Stephen Cruver: I read this series to my children and they gave them two enthusiastic thumbs up!

Kyumin Lee: The history from 1821 to 2001 is full of corruption and people fighting back oppressive governments. When people think that a government isn't acting appropriately, they rebel and fight back. A good example of this is Mexico around 1900. The president of Mexico, Porfirio Díaz, had run for 30 years, which was defying their constitution. The constitution stated that any president could only hold office for four years. Díaz abused his power and didn't allow anyone to run against him. Whenever someone came up with the idea, Díaz's supporters scared them out of it. After 40 years of this persecution, Díaz allowed a man named Francisco Madero to run against him. But when it came time for the election, Díaz rigged the election and said that Mexico had voted for him again. Madero brought up an army of rebels and started fighting back. "All over Mexico, rebels were fighting against government forces, taking over villages, and driving away government officials. The Mexican Revolution was in full swing. Soon, Porfirio Díaz realized that he would not be able to hold on to power very much longer(214)." After years of persistence and fighting back, Mexico was able to remove corrupt leaders from power and start fresh with a new leader.

Malea: i believe as though i'm consuming in wisdom and realizing as I learn this history. It sheds mild on what's going at the present time and the relationships among international locations and people. i believe ever so enlightened.

Heather: the sooner volumes are higher "stories." This one is extra violent, and subject of fact. wouldn't suggest to somebody lower than age 10.

Heather: learn my different experiences of this sequence if you'd like my precise opinion. or simply examine it truly is terrible child star.That being said, many of us do like and use those books. test it out from a library earlier than procuring your individual copy.

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