You updated your password.

Reset Password

Enter the email address you used to create your account. We will email you instructions on how to reset your password.

Forgot Your Email Address? Contact Us

Reset Your Password

SHOW
SHOW

The Skeptic's Guide to American History

An award-winning scholar and professor examines commonly held myths and half-truths about American history and invites you to think about what really happened in the nation's past--as opposed to what many believe happened.
The Skeptic's Guide to American History is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 178.
  • y_2022, m_7, d_4, h_21
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_3.0.32
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasreviews, tv_11, tr_167
  • loc_en_CA, sid_8588, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_teachco
  • bvseo_sdk, p_sdk, 3.2.1
  • CLOUD, getAggregateRating, 25.52ms
  • REVIEWS, PRODUCT
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Course is misnamed Coverage of historical material is generally satisfactory, though the lecturer is often opinionated and overplays his iconoclasm. Many of the "myths" he debunks are not really standard history, and I'm not sure what he is claiming to be skeptical about. Those with a very limited knowledge of U.S. history will find it informative.
Date published: 2022-06-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Enlightening Presentation I thoroughly enjoy Dr. Stoler's presentation style. He's easy to follow along and keeps you engaged. His lessons give you lots to think about, which was not the case with my high school teachers who just taught dates and 'facts'!
Date published: 2022-06-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting! These presentations were very interesting and informative.
Date published: 2022-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Refreshing My family and I thoroughly enjoyed this course. We all have advanced degrees and mine is in history. The only annoying issue was his constant hand gestures. Once you get past that, you will be fine. I find it refreshing to watch/listen all the history courses and learn different perspectives. Even though events and people have passed, how we interpret the past is always under review. It is always interesting to hear different historians perspectives on people and events. I am not sure I understand what people want to hear when they complain of revisionist history. History is not always easy to hear and of course there are people who want to believe what they heard or experienced years ago as the gospel. We have to be up for hearing different perspectives. If we find ourselves in disagreement, then do more research on our own, but please use a variety of credible academic resources.
Date published: 2022-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great review of American history I have probably a better knowledge of American history than many people. While I am aware of many things this course talks about, I found it interesting to get a more nuanced perspective.
Date published: 2022-05-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Failures of Ideology and lack of Empathy in Contem Failures of Ideology and lack of Empathy in Contemporary History I do not know enough of American [USA] history to evaluate Professor Soler's scepticism, I do not know enough to evaluate his critiques of Jefferson, Hamilton, or Madison however I was interested in his comments about the origins of the 'rebellion' of the Colonists and it does dispose me to agree that the quarrel of the Conlonies was with the government {parliament] and not with George III, and I know enough of the politics of Europe to know that the American perpetuation of the 'Cold War' had more to do with domestic aversion of 'Communism' because the USA public opinion persistently conflated Communism with the USSR without understanding the history of Russia and without knowing the anterior events leading to the Second World War. I was in some measure surprised that Professor Soler, in dealing with this issue did not discuss the 'Appeasement' policy as it would be seen by the USSR, before the war. Stalin had his faults, not least colossal paranoia but this paranoia did not extend beyond his fear of his colleagues and associates, but his assessment of the Allies [Britain and France] was realistic enough. Once he apprehended the intentions of Hitler he changed is attitude and policy towards the 'West' and he came round to Wilson;s 'Collective Security and to that end he appointed Litvinov as his foreign secretary and he appointed Ivan Maiski as ambassador to England. He also came to the point of recognising the United Nations. Given this policy he sought to prevent Hitler from annexing Czechoslovakia by offering to the French and the British the encouragement of offering armed intervention providing that the French moved first. When the rather negotiated the destruction of Czechoslovakia with Hitler he decided that the allies were not seriously interested in preventing Hitler, and were content that his aburd 'Lebensraum' should follow the logic of expansion eastwards at the expense of Russia/Communist Russia. Nothing the allies did during the War suggested that Russia was more than a useful ally to protect the West. The Death of Roosevelt was a serious blow to Stalin and to the USA abd that Trueman should succeed was not reassuring and accrdingly he decided that Russia needed a glacis against future incursions int Russia and the Iron Curtain was [as the German-Soviet Pact] a defensive measure for Russia and not an aggressive expansion of Communism. Our conflation of defence of Russia with the expansion of Communism in the light of our earlier appeasement and then the paranoia of the USA about Communism and the suspicions of the western powers signalled the advent of the Iron Curtain with the death of Roosevelt, who Stalin trusted more than the French and the British This is less a review than an attempt to provide a caveat to Professor Soler's excellent and illuminating course, from which I learned much of value and dismantled some of my own inchoate prejudices I also subscribe to his view of George Marshall ; the British Prime Miniser Clement Attlee had a high regard for Marshall and one suspectcs that had Roosevelt lived for the peace the Marshall Plan would have been accepted by Russia. It was the hostile stance of the allies after the war that culminated in the Iron Curtain which occurred because of the refusal of the west to understand Russian [rather than Communist] fears and suspicions, not unreasonably in view of their recent experience of German aggression and pre-war insouciance in respect to Hitler BaruchVII
Date published: 2022-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from very informative amazing little known facts that made a big difference in the flow of American history. Dr. Stoler makes the lessons really come alive and keeps the student's attention. This has been one of my favorite courses of the 50 or so that I have purchased. Highly recommended
Date published: 2022-03-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The title captures the spirit of the course This course was excellent and should be must viewing for anyone who wants to understand the turbulent times we are living though. So many of the ideas that get hurled back and forth like weapons are the most recent manifestation of positions that have been debated since the beginning of our country. As Ilistened to the lectures, I realized just how my simplistic my understanding of American history has been. I learned little know facts and gained a deeper appreciation for positions that I might not agree with. This course is a great antidote to zealous thinking. That we have survived as a country is truly remarkable and I have more hope that we can weather today's controversies as a result of having a more nuanced view of our history.
Date published: 2022-01-24
  • y_2022, m_7, d_4, h_21
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_3.0.32
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasreviews, tv_11, tr_167
  • loc_en_CA, sid_8588, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_teachco
  • bvseo_sdk, p_sdk, 3.2.1
  • CLOUD, getReviews, 6.64ms
  • REVIEWS, PRODUCT

Overview

Sorting through misconceptions, myths, and half-truths about America's past is a chance to revisit some of the country's greatest episodes, figures, and themes from a fresh perspective and an opportunity to hone the way you think about and interpret the past, the present, and even the future. The Skeptic's Guide to American History examines many commonly held myths and half-truths about American history and prompts you to think about what really happened in the nation's past-as opposed to what many believe happened.

About

Mark A. Stoler

History is an interpretive discipline in which we try to understand not only the past, but also the present by looking into the past.

INSTITUTION

The University of Vermont

Dr. Mark Stoler, who holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Wisconsin, is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Vermont. An expert in U.S. foreign relations and military history, as well as the origins of the cold war, Professor Stoler has also held teaching positions at the United States Military Academy, the Army Military History Institute, the Naval War College, and-as a Fulbright Professor-the University of Haifa, Israel. He is the recipient of the University of Vermont's Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award, the George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award, and the University Scholar Award, as well as the Dean's Lecture Award for Outstanding Scholarship and Teaching, awarded by the university's College of Arts and Sciences. Professor Stoler also has been honored as an author when his Allies and Adversaries: The Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Grand Alliance, and U.S. Strategy in World War II received the Society for Military History's Distinguished Book Award for 2002. The book is one of several he has written or cowritten, including Allies in War: Britain and America Against the Axis Powers, 1940-1945; Debating Franklin D. Roosevelt's Foreign Policies, 1933-1945; Major Problems in the History of World War II; George C. Marshall: Soldier-Statesman of the American Century; and The Politics of the Second Front: American Military Planning and Diplomacy in Coalition Warfare, 1941-1943.

By This Professor

The Skeptic's Guide to American History
854
The Skeptic's Guide to American History

Trailer

Religious Toleration in Colonial America?

01: Religious Toleration in Colonial America?

Learn the key elements of a broadened approach to the study of history with this fast-moving examination of the origins of religious and racial tolerance in America. Grasp how the assumptions you've long held can differ dramatically from historical reality....

31 min
Neither American nor Revolutionary?

02: Neither American nor Revolutionary?

Continue this new approach to understanding history with a look at efforts of the colonists to defend their "rights as Englishmen" and the ironic role played by European tyrannies in helping establish the nation that would forever change the definition of liberty....

30 min
The Constitution Did Not Create a Democracy

03: The Constitution Did Not Create a Democracy

Gain a nuanced understanding of what the Founders' "original intent" really was and how so many of the questions they grappled with divided them for their entire lives-ultimately being bequeathed to their successors and persisting even to this day....

32 min
Washington-Failures and Real Accomplishments

04: Washington-Failures and Real Accomplishments

Set aside the hagiography that helped shape George Washington's image and undertake a balanced examination that measures his military and presidential failings against his numerous successes. See how some of the least known of those successes may have been his most important contributions to American history....

28 min
Confusions about Jefferson and Hamilton

05: Confusions about Jefferson and Hamilton

Jefferson and Hamilton held sharply differing views on policy and constitutional interpretation. Learn how their conflict-often thought of in terms of our contemporary understanding of liberalism and conservatism-is actually relevant to us in very different ways from those we imagine....

29 min
Andrew Jackson-An Odd Symbol of Democracy

06: Andrew Jackson-An Odd Symbol of Democracy

Andrew Jackson's election ushered in an era marked by much democratic reform. Ironically, as you'll learn, the man who would be seen as the symbol of such reform actually opposed much of it and championed many policies that few today would call democratic....

31 min
The Second Great Awakening-Enduring Impacts

07: The Second Great Awakening-Enduring Impacts

Grasp how the links between religion and politics that today inspire such powerful positive and negative emotions are nothing new. See how issues born out of the 19th-century's evangelical upheaval-from prison reform to women's suffrage-still engage us today....

29 min
Did Slavery Really Cause the Civil War?

08: Did Slavery Really Cause the Civil War?

By analyzing this question and the different answers posed by generations of historians, you begin to understand "historiography"-the study of the writing of history-and take a key step in your understanding of history itself....

30 min
The Civil War's Actual Turning Points

09: The Civil War's Actual Turning Points

Discover how perceptions of Gettysburg as the Civil War's "turning point" are inaccurate. Here, examine three battles that were arguably more important and gain new insights into what determines-in any war-how meaningful a battle really was....

29 min
The Myth of Laissez-Faire

10: The Myth of Laissez-Faire

The great age of post-Civil War industrialization and the enormous levels of national and personal wealth it generated (for some) have often been attributed to a governmental attitude of "hands-off" toward business. Discover that such an attitude did not exist in the United States and that, in fact, it never had....

29 min
Misconceptions about the Original Populists

11: Misconceptions about the Original Populists

Is a reference to someone as a "populist" praise or criticism? Does it have any reference to where a person stands on the political spectrum? This lecture analyzes the nation's original populist movement and what links-if any-it has to contemporary namesakes....

31 min
Labor in America-A Strange History

12: Labor in America-A Strange History

Although often seen as a dramatic reversal of historical government support for labor, today's efforts to scale back collective bargaining rights are actually a reassertion of policy with a long precedent. Learn that the pro-union policies of the New Deal represent the real break with the past....

30 min
Myths about American Isolation and Empire

13: Myths about American Isolation and Empire

Was the United States ever as isolationist and opposed to imperialism as is commonly believed? Explore the myth and reality surrounding our historical self-image and learn how America's expansionist history might appear from the perspectives of other nations....

28 min
Early Progressives Were Not Liberals

14: Early Progressives Were Not Liberals

Many liberals see the roots of their philosophy in progressivism, but this is misleading. Learn how progressivism also included many ideas-such as eugenics, limits on free speech, and restrictions on immigration-that would have outraged modern liberals....

27 min
Woodrow Wilson and the Rating of Presidents

15: Woodrow Wilson and the Rating of Presidents

How, exactly, should past presidents be judged? A provocative examination of Woodrow Wilson's presidency-judged a great success by some and a profound failure by others-provides an opportunity to explore the broader issues of presidential ratings in general....

29 min
The Roaring Twenties Reconsidered

16: The Roaring Twenties Reconsidered

Were the 1920s really a return to isolationism and the values of the late 19th century? Uncover a decade far more complex than is generally believed, as you learn how much of the change begun during the progressive era continued-in many ways setting the stage for contemporary America....

30 min
Hoover and the Great Depression Revisited

17: Hoover and the Great Depression Revisited

Herbert Hoover came to the White House regarded as both a skilled manager and great humanitarian, yet left the presidency perceived as just the opposite. Gain an understanding of how this could happen through a detailed examination of both his forgotten accomplishments and his often misunderstood failures....

30 min
What Did Roosevelt's New Deal Really Do?

18: What Did Roosevelt's New Deal Really Do?

FDR was simultaneously one of the most beloved and most hated of U.S. presidents. Explore what the New Deal attempted and accomplished-as well as its intended and unintended consequences-as you grasp its role in creating the economic and political systems of today's America....

33 min
World War II Misconceptions and Myths

19: World War II Misconceptions and Myths

Is our understanding of "the Good War" correct? Grasp how our reliance on a national mythology makes for not only inaccurate history but a misconceived future because of the long-term effects that myths about the war have had on American policy since 1945....

30 min
Was the Cold War Inevitable?

20: Was the Cold War Inevitable?

Professor Stoler holds that the cold war was not necessarily destined to happen. In this lecture, he leads you in an analysis of why it took place and lasted so long, with examination along the way of several additional myths regarding this long and dangerous Soviet-Amer...

33 min
The Real Blunders of the Vietnam War

21: The Real Blunders of the Vietnam War

Why did America fail in Vietnam? Was it flawed military strategy? Political micromanagement? America's domestic antiwar movement? You not only learn the answer to this fundamental question, but you also gain a more nuanced understanding of why the debate has raged to this day....

31 min
Myths about American Wars

22: Myths about American Wars

Vietnam is far from America's only misunderstood war. This lecture delves into the common myths and misunderstandings shared by many Americans about why the nation's wars have been fought and how the results have been judged....

30 min
Who Matters in American History?

23: Who Matters in American History?

Who in history do we choose to remember, and why? Take in the extraordinary accomplishments of several Americans-including John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and George C. Marshall-whose achievements and influence may well have exceeded those of many of the great figures more vividly remembered....

30 min
History Did Not Begin with Us

24: History Did Not Begin with Us

Conclude the course with an appreciation that history did not begin with the events of our own lifetime. Explore the antecedents of the civil rights, antiwar, and women's rights movements and the tendency to pronounce any era's major technological advances as the most important in history....

36 min