Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History: An Online Class You Can Actually Enjoy
Let’s be honest, most people who sign up for an online class do it for the convenience, flexible study time, and cost. But what if the main criteria for deciding what class to take was how enjoyable the class was?
Dan Carlin’s series of talks and lectures titled “Hardcore History” makes the cut in my book for being as interesting and even more thought provoking than any of my own college history professors from the big university. Carlin’s history lectures and podcasts are more engaging than most present online courses because he takes certain steps to eliminate some of the inherent barriers in an online lecture. Carlin’s talks are dynamic narratives in which he relates personal accounts and stories about friends and an seeming unending flow of interesting and humorous historical anecdotes – and these are qualities that are not even being appreciated amongst faculty in even the top universities. Carlin tells you about what he was doing 30 minutes before the podcast, what books he is reading, and he even answers questions all the time on his own website and forums. And most importantly, Carlin teaches you history like you’re a fellow contemporary human being living in 2013. Carlin is hip, knows what is interesting to a modern audience, and is finally an all-around great storyteller.
I want to point out one series in particular that captured my attention – “Apache Indian Wars.” I was stunned (but not surprised) by experience of the Apache in the American Southwest and the inability of their chiefs to do anything against the Americans who were armed with guns and their racist policy of manifest destiny. Carlin not only aims to teach, but to entertain with his dramatic voices, readings, and dramatizations of period documents. I would recommend any one of Carlin’s courses to high school students, college students, and adults of all ages. You don’t even need a background in history to be able to get into these classes, but you don’t have to take my word it!
Check out more of Dan Carlin’s courses and podcasts here: http://www.dancarlin.com