The Torch

The Great Courses Podcast

THE TORCH introduces you to the fascinating professors and experts who create the Great Courses. Each episode showcases several of our top professors in a fresh light, spotlights the great work they are doing, and gives you an opportunity to learn from their incredible insights.

Finding Fun in Grammar, Economics, and Machiavelli

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Finding Fun in Grammar, Economics, and Machiavelli

Episode 51
August, 2016
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Discover fascinating, intriguing, and enlightening insights about three rewarding topics - grammar, economics, and Machiavelli.

No matter how proficient at grammar you are, you'll benefit from joining Professor Anne Curzan, a professor of English at the University of Michigan, to reveal the rules of words, to study the structure of sentences, and to explore how the elegance of English has evolved.

They say money makes the world go round and nowhere is that more evident than when you look at history through a financial lens. Professor Donald Harreld, Chair in the Department of History at Brigham Young University, shares how a majority of the world-changing moments were a reaction to financially-driven motivations.

Whether you read The Prince in school, or for your own interest, you'll discover a new perspective about the intention and messages of this controversial and influential work as discussed by Professor William Landon, professor of history at Northern Kentucky University.

Join Ed Leon, Chief Brand Officer of The Great Courses, as he talks to these three expert professors to uncover little known secrets and unpack the nuances behind each of these subjects.

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In This Podcast Listen To:

  • Professor Anne Curzan admit her grammar pet peeves, discuss the impact of slang on modern English, and provide you with some simple rules to help you converse, write, and communicate more effectively (even if it’s not always the "right" way).
  • Professor Donald Harreld explain how trade routes such as the Silk Road were created for commerce but essentially tied the world together, scrutinize the impact of war on economies, and dissect the impact of major financial milestones such as the Industrial Revolution on changing the world.
  • Professor William Landon introduce you to Machiavelli's life and times, discuss the circumstances and the characters in play when The Prince was written, and reveals how Machiavelli failed at being Machiavellian.
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