History's Great Plagues: How Germs Shaped Civilization

Written by:
Christopher R. Fee
Narrated by:
Christopher R. Fee

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
August 2020
4 hours 57 minutes
Plague has terrified and fascinated humanity for all of recorded history. Now, in the current moment of COVID-19, people around the globe are again struggling to learn how to navigate life during a pandemic. As in times of uncertainty throughout history, we seek the insights of the great minds who have lived through and reflected on similar historical moments.

Your guide for this fascinating 12-lecture audio course is medieval literature expert Chris Fee, a presenter beloved for his evocative delivery by Learn25 listeners and his own students at Gettysburg College.

You'll begin by examining literary attempts to understand and to interpret pestilence and plagues, starting with the Bible and Ancient poets, playwrights, and historians. You'll then move on to some of the greatest works of the Middle Ages and Renaissance that were inspired by or reflect aspects of the infamous Black Death.

Entering the Modern Age, you'll explore works by authors that employ plague as a metaphor. Along the way, you will also delve into popular books and movies, such as "12 Monkeys," that take plague as their subject or subtext. You'll conclude by discovering that the literature of plague has much to teach us, not just about the current moment, but about the very nature of being human.

This course is part of the Learn25 collection.
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Marc B.

This book is neither timely or fascinating as the description says. The author examines literature and more recently media through the ages with a very thin thread of disease, primarily the plague, running through all of it. I would advise the listener to stop early in this book. It absolutely is not any better in the last chapter then it was in the first.

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Timely and fascinating look at plagues in history and lit. The professor covers the roles of plagues and disease in Home, Chaucer, and Shakespeare. The last couple of topics cover modern plagues in modern pop culture, with some commentary on Covid. The professor is extremely knowledge and likable. Highly recommend this one.

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