Monday, July 02, 2007

Fired Up for History

I have heard nothing but rave reviews from those who have taken Scott Powell's history courses (including this online review by Teller of the comedic duo Penn & Teller and Showtime's brilliant "Bullshit!") so I am genuinely excited that I will be taking Powell's upcoming offering on European history. Unlike most historians, who simply bore you to death with contextless concretes, Powell presents history as a causally integrated narrative--the method which I find is the most rewarding way to learn new knowledge. Needless to say, I'm very excited about starting class this summer.

What I also like about Powell's courses (especially given my post last week on things that drive me nuts) is that his lectures are available via the Internet, are downloadable as mp3's (which for me means I don't need to be anchored to my computer in order to take the course), and are remarkably affordable when compared to many other Objectivist offerings.

For example, Powell's upcoming History of Europe course is a twenty-lecture, thirty-hour course, yet tuition is only $349 (or $279 for students). I think that's a pretty good deal, especially considering how expensive (in both time and money) attending the live conferences can be.


Boaz Simovici said...


Can you elaborate a little (from what you've heard) on the virtue of Powell's approach? Everything I've heard would describe the essence of any good course in history, especially as guided by a philosophical orientation. That's not to say that most history courses are good -- and I don't doubt that Powell's course is valuable -- but I wonder if there's enough there for people who already have a strong background in the field.

Nicholas Provenzo said...

The anecdotal stories that I have heard from people who have taken Powell's course is that is a "discover history for the first time" type experience. I was told that Powell's presentation is so thoughtful and integrated, the contrast between his classes and most other classes that one comes across is simply the difference between night and day.

Needless to say, I'm looking forward to seeing this all for myself.

Scott Powell said...

Nick, thanks for the plug, and Boaz, thanks for the question. I refer you to a recent post on my blog, "Powell History Recommends" concerning the value of the course to those who are already familiar with history: