New Releases on Sale
New Releases on Sale
  • A Field Guide to the Planets

    Professor Sabine Stanley, PhD

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    Now that we’ve explored every major world in our solar system with cutting-edge science, it’s a perfect time to get to know the neighbors. Your instructor, Sabine Stanley, Ph.D., a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University, guides you through this system on a thrilling ride of discovery, illustrated by the phenomenal images NASA has gathered through its telescopes, cameras, and laboratories on Earth; in low-Earth orbit; and throughout the solar system.
    View Lecture List (24)
    Now that we’ve explored every major world in our solar system with cutting-edge science, it’s a perfect time to get to know the neighbors. Your instructor, Sabine Stanley, Ph.D., a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University, guides you through this system on a thrilling ride of discovery, illustrated by the phenomenal images NASA has gathered through its telescopes, cameras, and laboratories on Earth; in low-Earth orbit; and throughout the solar system.
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  A Field Guide to the Planets
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      How the Solar System Family Is Organized
      Since 1962, robots have been exploring our solar system to help answer this most important question: Who are we? With fascinating data and images now in hand, explore this family album overview of our planets, dwarf planets, moons, asteroids, Kuiper Belt objects, and long-period comets-and fly through some of our solar system's most unique features! x
    • 2
      Mercury, the Extreme Little Planet
      Mercury is a planet of many solar system extremes-smallest planet, closest to the Sun, shortest year, most elliptical orbit, smallest axis tilt, and largest fraction of iron. Learn how these characteristics and others have resulted in a planet where the Sun sometimes moves backwards across the sky, where water ice has been found at the poles, and a magnetic field that offers more protection than Mars'. x
    • 3
      Venus, the Veiled Greenhouse Planet
      While the Venusian carbon dioxide atmosphere has resulted in a runaway greenhouse effect and the hottest surface temperature in the solar system, the Earth and Venus actually contain about the same amount of carbon. Explore the forces that resulted in the extreme atmospheric differences between these two otherwise-similar planets. x
    • 4
      Earth: How Plate Tectonics Sets Up Life
      Given the striking similarities between the four terrestrial planets, why is Earth the only one teeming with life? Proposed as a bold theory less than 70 years ago, could plate tectonics be a main driver of life on Earth? Explore the fascinating movement of our planet's surface and the many ways in which a geologically-active Earth has sustained our biologically-active planet. x
    • 5
      Orbiting Earth: Up through the Atmosphere
      Compared to Venus or the giant planets, Earth has a relatively thin atmosphere. And yet, without this single, fragile layer, life would not have evolved and thrived. Discover the unique properties of each atmospheric layer- and encounter specific ways we've explored each layer as a springboard to exploring the rest of our solar system. x
    • 6
      Exploring the Earth-Moon System
      Our Moon, formed from the Earth about 4.5 billion years ago, is by far the largest moon in the solar system relative to its planet's size. Explore the many ways in which this uniquely coupled system affects the tides on Earth and on the Moon, our rotation and revolution, the process of tidal locking, and even the planetary stability that has allowed for the development of life on Earth. x
    • 7
      Humans on the Moon: A Never-Ending Story
      Even before the invention of telescopes, humans were familiar with the dark lunar highlands and bright maria on the Moon's surface. But now, with knowledge gained from both robotic and crewed missions, you can also explore fascinating and complex lunar swirls, sinuous rilles, and the lava tubes that hold promise as ideal locations for future lunar bases. x
    • 8
      Exploring Mars from Space and the Ground
      Humanity's fascination with Mars is never-ending-from the days when we posited a planet covered in straight-line canals and vegetation to NASA's current Moon to Mars program. Learn how the intriguing similarities and differences between Earth and Mars have resulted in Mars' planet-wide dust storms, migrating polar ice caps, and 3.9-billion-year-old impact craters. x
    • 9
      Water on Mars and Prospects for Life
      Recent robotic exploration provides tantalizing evidence: Mars' barren landscape could have been much more Earth-like in the past. With warmer temperatures, a thicker atmosphere, and the possibility of water oceans and tsunamis, could Mars have an Earth sibling that supported life? Learn about the thrilling recent discoveries that will guide future exploration and scientific inquiry on the red planet. x
    • 10
      Near-Earth Asteroids and the Asteroid Belt
      Fans of science fiction, or the natural history of our planet, know that a collision with an asteroid has the potential to obliterate civilization as we know it. With 20,000 asteroids identified in near-Earth orbit, how can collision be avoided? Learn why these rocky bodies, and those in the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter, never accreted into planets and how we might harness their resources for future space travel. x
    • 11
      Mighty Jupiter, The Ruling Gas Giant
      Does Jupiter have a greater similarity to the Earth or to the Sun? It depends on which characteristics you consider. Explore the many ways in which Jupiter is unique among the planets and consider what our solar system would be like without it. This gas giant might seem too far away to make a difference in your daily life, but without Jupiter, life on Earth might never have had a chance. x
    • 12
      Jupiter's Planetlike System of Moons
      Today we know of 79 Jovian moons-the spherical Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, and dozens of other smaller, odd-shaped satellites. Learn why Jupiter's gravitational forces plus the orbital resonance of the three interior moons make these some of the most promising places to search for extraterrestrial life-and why scientists believe the Jovian system once included generations of other moons, now gone. x
    • 13
      Saturn and the Rings: Gravity's Masterpiece
      With its exquisitely complex ring system, NASA describes Saturn as the jewel of our solar system." Learn what decades of exploration have revealed about the origin and morphology of these ever-changing icy rings and how they interact with Saturn's closest moons. From the rings to propeller moonlets, a massive hexagonal polar storm, and the giant vortex, our fascination with Saturn never ends!" x
    • 14
      Saturn's Moons: Titan to Enceladus
      With a system of 62 moons located in and far beyond its ring system, Saturn has outer moons that are some of the most fascinating worlds in the solar system. Learn why Titan and Enceladus hold such promise in our search for extraterrestrial life-from global subsurface oceans of water on both moons, to Titan's Earth-like surface and organic molecules in its atmosphere. It's no wonder that NASA has announced its Dragonfly mission to Titan, scheduled to launch in 2026. x
    • 15
      Uranus: A Water World on Its Side
      What a fascinating world Voyager 2 revealed in 1986 during its short flyby of Uranus! Learn why Uranus seems to orbit on its side" surrounded by a delicate system of 13 rings and 27 moons, how we discovered its multi-polar magnetic field, and why scientists think Uranus might contain an ocean made of liquid diamond, with floating chunks of solid "diamond-bergs!"" x
    • 16
      Neptune: Windy with the Wildest Moon
      Neptune is the coldest, but also the stormiest, planet in the solar system and the only planet that cannot be seen with the naked eye from Earth. Its moon Triton is the only spherical moon in the solar system that's an irregular satellite that orbits opposite the direction of all the planets. Learn how tidal forces are not only changing that orbit, but also causing geologic activity on its surface-a surface that contains organic compounds. x
    • 17
      Pluto and Charon: The Binary Worlds
      Although Pluto is no longer categorized as a planet, Pluto the dwarf planet" and its "moon" Charon are considered the closest thing in the solar system to a binary planet system. Explore the fascinating revelations from the New Horizons mission, including Pluto's glacial flows, floating mountains, extreme seasons, unexpectedly complex atmosphere, and a surface that appears to be dusted in complex organic molecules." x
    • 18
      Comets, the Kuiper Belt, and the Oort Cloud
      Learn why scientists believe comets-the leftovers" of planet formation in the outer solar system-could be partially responsible for the flourishing of life on Earth, bringing both water and organic material to the inner solar system. And explore the more distant Oort Cloud, where billions of cometary objects orbit at the outermost boundary of the solar system." x
    • 19
      How Our Sun Defines Our Solar System
      Fly through the corona of what is by far the largest, most massive, and most significant object in the solar system: the Sun. In fact, at 99.9 percent of the total mass of the system, you could say the Sun IS the solar system. With its gravity, heat, light, magnetic fields, and plasma storms, learn how the Sun affects every object in the system-and how we are in a race to learn more about coronal mass ejections before one destroys trillions of dollar's worth of electronics on Earth. x
    • 20
      A Solar System Time Machine and Meteorites
      Today we see an orderly solar system with planets staying in their orbits around the sun, moons staying in their orbits around the planets, and comets coming and going in predictable fashion. But how did it all start? Learn how a molecular cloud gave rise to a proto-planetary disk in which our solar system developed step by step across time and space-and is developing still. x
    • 21
      What the Biggest Exoplanets Reveal
      Planets orbiting other stars used to be purely in the realm of science fiction. How did we begin discovering them by the thousands? Learn about the methods scientists have used to discover so many exoplanets so quickly. From hot Jupiters" to "mini-Neptunes" to planets whose clouds rain molten glass, these discoveries demonstrate that ours is not the only type of planetary system possible!" x
    • 22
      Closing in on Earthlike Exoplanets
      Beginning in 2009, the Kepler Space Telescope began staring intensively at a single patch of sky, about one quarter of one percent of the sky. After staring for four years straight, scientists had identified about 1,200 new planets. Sift through the Kepler discoveries for planets with a variety of Earth-like features, including presence in a habitable" zone, and learn why billions of Earthlike planets are estimated to exist in our galaxy." x
    • 23
      Planets Migrated in Our Early Solar System!
      The surprising detection of gas giant planets orbiting extremely close to other stars has led to the realization that planets can form in one part of a stellar system and then migrate to another part. Did that happen in our own solar system? Learn about the evidence for a Late Heavy Bombardment" on the Moon, Mars, and Mercury, how migration of one or more giant planets could have caused it, and how such migration could have affected the solar system we see today." x
    • 24
      Human Futures in the Solar System
      What are the next big ideas that will help us ask and answer the next big questions? Consider the fascinating future technologies of centimeter-sized satellites propelled by laser photons, liquid mirror telescopes on the Moon, a magnetic shield large enough to help terraform Mars, and more. Nourish your imagination, and experience the inspiration of space exploration! x
  • Learning German: A Journey through Language and Culture

    Professor James Pfrehm, PhD

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    Taught by Professor James Pfrehm of Ithaca College, this course teaches all the skills needed to understand and speak basic German. Focusing on major attractions in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, these lessons are perfect preparation for anyone who wants to experience German-speaking culture first-hand: from conversing with locals to reading signs and menus to navigating the railways and Autobahn.
    View Lecture List (30)
    Taught by Professor James Pfrehm of Ithaca College, this course teaches all the skills needed to understand and speak basic German. Focusing on major attractions in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, these lessons are perfect preparation for anyone who wants to experience German-speaking culture first-hand: from conversing with locals to reading signs and menus to navigating the railways and Autobahn.
    View Lecture List (30)
    30 Lectures  |  Learning German: A Journey through Language and Culture
    Lecture Titles (30)
    • 1
      Willkommen!
      Guten Tag! Your first lesson in German introduces you to useful expressions and some of the distinctive sounds of the language. Professor Pfrehm shows how to turn u into u (u with an umlaut) and how to transform ch, spoken in the front part of the mouth (as in ich, meaning I"), into German's back-of-the-throat ch (as in the composer Bach). And, you'll discover why German is worth learning." x
    • 2
      Definite Articles, Gender, and Nouns
      Meet German's three definite articles-der, die, and das-which correspond to masculine, feminine, and neuter grammatical genders. Get tips on how to predict the gender of nouns. Learn the names of the letters of the alphabet and their pronunciations. Survey the countries where German is an official language. And add to your growing vocabulary-from der Arm (arm) to die Zeit (time). x
    • 3
      Personal Pronouns and the Verb sein
      Warm up with Zungenbrecher (literally, tongue-breakers"). These are phrases that add fun to learning German pronunciation. Then study the singular and plural forms of the personal pronouns. Practice conjugating the most important verb in the German language, sein (to be). Finally, discover how to make singular nouns plural, looking for patterns that will aid memorization." x
    • 4
      Regular Verbs in the Present Tense
      Begin with the greeting, Wie geht's? (more formally, Wie geht es Ihnen?) Rehearse responses, such as, Es geht mir gut and Es geht mir Ausgezeichnet. Practice conjugating present-tense regular verbs, and discover the wonderful utility of the indefinite pronoun man. Finally, learn the German names and nationalities for European countries. Along the way, encounter a new sound: the a-umlaut, a. x
    • 5
      Indefinite Articles and Numbers to 100
      Indulge your appetite for German by learning the protocol for ordering drinks in a pub and treats in a bakery. Dip into the relevant vocabulary, focusing on the indefinite articles and the numbers from 0 to 100, which are pleasingly like numbers in English. Get a taste of German's famous system of word endings, known as inflections, which are packed with useful grammatical information. x
    • 6
      Eine Reise nach Wien und Salzburg
      Travel to two cities in Austria, Vienna (called Wien) and Salzburg, to practice your fundamental skills in German. Learn useful expressions for giving directions. Then investigate the beautifully simple word gern, which expresses approval or enjoyment. Find out how to negate a statement with a well-placed nicht. And along the way, you'll drool over Vienna's multitude of delicious coffee libations! x
    • 7
      Asking Questions and Numbers above 100
      Start with another satisfying Zungenbrecher. Then get acquainted with the different ways of asking questions-both open-ended and close-ended questions. Survey the interrogative pronouns, focusing on the special uses of wo, wohin, and woher, which all mean where," but with distinct implications regarding motion and place. Finally, learn to count to a billion! (Without saying every single number on the way.)" x
    • 8
      The Nominative and Accusative Cases, and kein-
      Plunge into German's grammatical case system, covering the nominative and accusative cases, which correspond to the subject and direct object. View a declension table of nominative and accusative endings for articles, and practice them in a tour of a typical house, learning household words. And discover how to negate a noun phrase with kein, and the supreme utility of the expression, es gibt. x
    • 9
      Time in German and Possessive Pronouns
      Wie viel Uhr ist es? (What time is it?) Learn to tell time and how to read a railway timetable. Rehearse using the prepositions um, von, and bis in a temporal context. Also discover that German has three distinct words that cover our English term, time." Then dive into possessive pronouns-in singular and plural, as well as nominative and accusative-picking up new vocabulary along the way." x
    • 10
      Coordinating Conjunctions and der- Words
      Coordinating conjunctions-such as aber, denn, oder, sondern, and und-allow you to link two dependent clauses in expressive ways. Get the hang of these simple words that let you say complex things. Then unlock the secret of German syntax with the Word Position Model. Finally, study a handy class of noun modifiers, called der-words, that have endings patterned after the definite article. x
    • 11
      Modal Verbs and More Accusative
      Use the public service messages on German Bierdeckeln (beer coasters) to launch into modal verbs-a two-part verb construction that expresses desire, necessity, or possibility, as in Ich mochte Deutsch lernen (I would like to learn German). Review the months, seasons, and days of the week. Also, see how the accusative case is used with certain expressions of time and after specific prepositions. x
    • 12
      Eine Reise nach Munchen und Rothenburg ob der Tauber
      Prost! Open with toasting customs at Oktoberfest in Munchen (Munich). Your visit to this vibrant city and to charming Rothenburg ob der Tauber introduce you to stem-vowel changing irregular verbs-those that undergo a simple vowel change in the present tense, second-person familiar, and third-person forms. These verbs are generally so common that the irregular forms are quickly memorized. x
    • 13
      Present Perfect and da- and wo- Compounds
      Learn to form compounds with da- and wo- plus a preposition, as in dahin (to there) and wohin (to where?). Then leave the present tense to meet your first past-tense form, confusingly called the present perfect. Concentrating on verbs classified as weak, discover that their present perfect forms are satisfyingly regular. Finally, practice getting these syntactic elements in the right order. x
    • 14
      Ich hab' mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren
      Via a love story, encounter irregular strong verbs in the present perfect tense. Along the way, find out where the terms weak and strong come from (hint: the same scholar who compiled a famous collection of German fairy tales). Then explore vowel changes, known as ablaut, which characterize strong verbs. Cover all seven ablaut classes. Also, learn about model verbs and mixed-class verbs. x
    • 15
      Separable-Prefix Verbs
      Open with a tutorial on the refuse recycling system in Germany, leading to final pointers on the present perfect, which for native speakers is the most widely used tense for expressing past events in everyday speech. Then tackle another widely used grammatical feature, separable-prefix verbs, seeing how they fit into the Word Position Model introduced in Lesson 10. Finally, go clothes shopping! x
    • 16
      Subordinate and Infinitive Clauses
      Meet two German superstars-singers Herbert Gronemeyer and Annemarie Eilfeld-in a dialogue that covers subordinate and infinitive clauses. Together with indirect questions, which are formed just like subordinate clauses, these constructions take your German fluency to a new level. Then, use the Word Position Model, plus fresh insights into word order, to build a classic long sentence in German. x
    • 17
      More Infinitive Clauses and the Dative Case
      Sankt Nikolaus (Father Christmas) sings a holiday song and introduces the useful dependent clause, um...zu + infinitive. Also learn how to deal with the dative-the case used for indirect objects and that answers the question, to whom or for whom?" Practice fitting this form between the subject and direct object, and see how it relates to the case forms you've already learned." x
    • 18
      Eine Reise nach Zurich und Zermatt
      Visit two attractions in German-speaking Switzerland: the charming city Zurich and the Alpine resort Zermatt. Featuring a chocolate factory and other delights, the dialogue brings up the dative forms of possessive pronouns, which follow the pattern of ein-words. Next, learn the dative endings for der-words. Finally, discover an interesting exception to word order rules presented earlier. x
    • 19
      Reflexive Verbs and Pronouns
      Learn parts of the human body from two unusual experts: male and female Schaufensterpuppen (mannequins). Then, visit a German doctor in a dialogue that introduces reflexive verbs and pronouns. These verbs involve actions that refer back to the subject of the clause, such as sich fuhlen (to feel; or literally, to feel oneself). The examples you cover take pronouns in the accusative case. x
    • 20
      More Dative and Subordinating Conjunctions
      Continue your study of reflexive verbs and pronouns by looking at constructions that require the pronoun in the dative case. One example is the very useful sentence Das ist mir egal (I don't care). Then step back and consider the four major uses of the dative. Also learn how "The Blue Danube" waltz by Johann Strauss II is the key to learning some of the most common prepositions with dative objects. x
    • 21
      The Simple Past
      Delve into the checkered past of Professor Pfrehm as you learn about ... the past-the simple past, that is. This tense is different in form from the present perfect you learned in Lessons 13-15, but its meaning is the same, though it is mostly used in formal writing. Cover the simple past forms of the verbs sein, haben, and geben, and the modal verbs mussen, konnen, mogen, durfen, wollen, and sollen. x
    • 22
      Bauerin Barbel und die drei rotbartigen Zwerge
      Enter the world of fantasy with a Marchen (fairy tale) designed especially for this course to present verbs in the simple past tense. Featuring a widow in distress, strange little men with red beards, and a gruesome plot twist, the story is so thrilling that the seven classes of simple past endings for strong verbs, plus the much less complicated paradigms for weak verbs, will go down like candy. x
    • 23
      More Simple Past and Relative Pronouns
      Reach the exciting conclusion of the fairy tale from the previous lesson, while finishing your exploration of the simple past. Then turn to vocabulary for professions and the workplace, using it to construct sentences that present a new grammatical element: relative pronouns. Learn 12 of the 16 relative pronouns, which happen to be identical to the definite articles (with one exception). x
    • 24
      Eine Reise nach Hamburg und Cuxhaven
      Travel to two more intriguing destinations in the German-speaking world: the bustling German port of Hamburg and the quaint seaside town of Cuxhaven. Hear about die Wattwanderung, a remarkable walk across an extensive mudflat near Cuxhaven. Meanwhile, learn to form the imperative mood, which is used to issue commands, and practice constructing relative clauses with prepositions. x
    • 25
      Two-Way Prepositions and Verbs That Use Them
      So far, you have studied prepositions that always take the dative case (bei, mit, von, etc.) or the accusative (durch, bis, fur, etc.). Now, look at those that can take either case, depending on the context. These two-way" prepositions include an, auf, and in. Study the verbs that often accompany them, expressing either location (and, therefore, dative) or placement/destination (hence accusative)." x
    • 26
      Comparative/Superlative and Adjective Endings
      Professor Pfrehm introduces his three favorite German-language movies-a war film, a spy drama, and a sci-fi thriller-giving tips on the best way to watch them to improve your German comprehension, all while being entertained! His goal is not film criticism, but rather teaching you how to construct comparative and superlative sentences. After that, he tackles the three sets of adjectival endings. x
    • 27
      The Genitive Case and the Passive Voice
      Practice your first joke in German. Then meet the fourth and final German case-the genitive-completing your study of the case system. See how von + a dative construction performs the same function as the genitive. Then turn to prepositions that take the genitive, such as wegen, trotz, and laut. Finally, plunge into the passive voice, learning how to turn the object of a sentence into the subject. x
    • 28
      The Subjunctive Mood
      So far, you have been using mostly the indicative mood-the verbal form used to express reality and facts-with a brief foray into the imperative mood used to express commands (in Lesson 24). Now, learn the mood for expressing contrary-to-fact or hypothetical situations: the subjunctive. The dialogue centers around the frustrations and second thoughts attending the purchase of a new smartphone. x
    • 29
      Eine Reise nach Wittenberg und Berlin
      Dig deeper into the subjunctive by learning to express hypotheticals in the past tense. The dialogue takes you through eastern Germany via the famous Autobahn: first to Wittenberg, site of Martin Luther's historic challenge to the Catholic Church, and then on to Berlin, where you survey some of the many monuments and museums, including sites commemorating the Berlin Wall and the Holocaust. x
    • 30
      Our Journey: The End or Just the Beginning?
      Finish with a series of unaided dialogues of increasing difficulty, covering grammar you have studied in the course. You'll be surprised at how much you understand! Looking ahead, Professor Pfrehm offers tips and strategies for improving your German, from getting a German-speaking, video-chat pal to subscribing to German language podcasts. And so, viel Gluck, auf Wiedersehen, und bis gleich! x
  • The Rise of Communism: From Marx to Lenin

    Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    In the 12 lectures of The Rise of Communism: From Marx to Lenin, investigate communism’s journey from a theory to a movement that rocked the world. You’ll meet thinkers and revolutionaries like Rosa Luxemburg and Leon Trotsky; unpack the meaning of texts like Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto; and experience the shock and awe of the Paris Commune, Lenin’s October Revolution, and other events.
    View Lecture List (12)
    In the 12 lectures of The Rise of Communism: From Marx to Lenin, investigate communism’s journey from a theory to a movement that rocked the world. You’ll meet thinkers and revolutionaries like Rosa Luxemburg and Leon Trotsky; unpack the meaning of texts like Das Kapital and The Communist Manifesto; and experience the shock and awe of the Paris Commune, Lenin’s October Revolution, and other events.
    View Lecture List (12)
    12 Lectures  |  The Rise of Communism: From Marx to Lenin
    Lecture Titles (12)
    • 1
      The Locomotive of History
      Come to see Lenin's arrival at Petrograd's Finland Station in April 1917 as one of the most important turning points in modern history: the establishment of a communist regime after decades of theory. Also, preview the themes you'll explore in these lectures, and get solid definitions of terms such as communism and socialism. x
    • 2
      Marx and Engels: An Intellectual Partnership
      The revolutionary ideas of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels would rock society-and soon affect the lives of millions of people. Here, explore their body of theory (known as dialectical materialism") and learn how Marxism offered something different: a tableau of history with starring roles played by the toiling masses and economic forces." x
    • 3
      The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital
      First, unpack the meaning of the revolutionary messages in The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital. Then, use a basic vocabulary of Marxist concepts to better understand Marx's model of history and economics. Last, examine how the revolutionary lives of Marx and Engels sought to unify theory with practice. x
    • 4
      The 1871 Paris Commune as a Model of Revolt
      Investigate the violent upheaval of the Paris Commune in 1871: a political experiment that lasted a mere 10 weeks. The Paris Commune would make Marx one of the most feared and hated men in the world; although it failed, Marx considered it a living example of the dictatorship of the proletariat."" x
    • 5
      Marxism after Marx
      In the decades following the death of Marx in 1883, the socialist movement grew-but also became highly factional over arguments about theory and organizational tactics. In this lecture, learn about the rise of political parties in Germany and America, the establishment of the Second International, and the struggle over revisionism."" x
    • 6
      Revolutionary Russias
      Why did a Marxist regime come to power in Russia of all places-especially when Marx considered it an unpromising place for a proletarian revolution? Professor Liulevicius tackles this question and also probes Russia's revolutionary tradition and the ideas of Georgi Plekhanov, the figure who did the most to bring Marx's teachings to Russia. x
    • 7
      The Making of Lenin
      Take a detailed look at the life of Lenin, whose ideas and actions propelled him to become the first man to bring communist theory into power in 1917. Here, focus on Lenin's hardness in the face of the 1891-1892 famine, his manifesto What Is to Be Done?, and the Bolshevik and Menshevik factions. x
    • 8
      World War I as a Revolutionary Opportunity
      With the outbreak of the First World War, Lenin-who called war an accelerator of history"-had the world crisis he could turn to his advantage. Topics here include Marxist debates over the philosophies of defensism vs. defeatism, the arrival of Leon Trotsky and his theory of "permanent revolution," and the widening rift between socialists and communists." x
    • 9
      Red October: How the Bolsheviks Seized Power
      The Bolsheviks seized power in October 1917, a moment that would be celebrated afterward as Red October, or the Great October Socialist Revolution. Here, examine the formula for success behind the Bolshevik takeover, the mythologizing of Red October in film and music, and the dawn of a new secret police force: the Cheka. x
    • 10
      Rosa Luxemburg: A Revolutionary Martyr
      Spend time with one of the most famous women radicals in history: the Polish-German socialist Rosa Luxemburg. Follow her revolutionary activities throughout Switzerland, Poland, and Germany; her support of spontaneous revolt over centralized conspiracy; her struggles with the ambiguities of revolutionary devotion; and her ultimate martyrdom. x
    • 11
      The Red Bridge to World Revolution
      How does a revolutionary regime build a bridge to world revolution? After a look at the Third International, or Comintern," created in 1919 to spread the message of global revolution, explore failed attempts at sovietizing Hungary and Bavaria and the Soviet-Polish War of 1920, which dashed remaining hopes for linking up with Germany." x
    • 12
      Toward a New Communist Civilization
      Follow the trajectory of Bolshevik social experiments to inaugurate a new civilization up through the death of Lenin in 1924. You'll learn about Lenin's monumental propaganda" plan, which changed the appearance of Russia; the nationalist program of "putting down roots"; party recruitment drives and purges; and even the mummification of Lenin's body." x
  • The Instant Sommelier: Choosing Your Best Wine

    Instructor Paul Wagner, Wine Author and Lecturer

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    With nearly 150,000 wines for sale in the U.S. market, the world of wine can seem needlessly complex. Cut through the clutter with eight down-to-earth, practical, and accessible lessons that will take the intimidation factor out of choosing, drinking, and enjoying wines, led by Professor Paul Wagner, who has dedicated his career to what he calls, “democratizing wine appreciation.” From swirl to finish, he’ll introduce you to the vocabulary you need to speak intelligently about wine and to understand what each term means when it comes to finding wines you’ll love.
    View Lecture List (8)
    With nearly 150,000 wines for sale in the U.S. market, the world of wine can seem needlessly complex. Cut through the clutter with eight down-to-earth, practical, and accessible lessons that will take the intimidation factor out of choosing, drinking, and enjoying wines, led by Professor Paul Wagner, who has dedicated his career to what he calls, “democratizing wine appreciation.” From swirl to finish, he’ll introduce you to the vocabulary you need to speak intelligently about wine and to understand what each term means when it comes to finding wines you’ll love.
    View Lecture List (8)
    8 Lectures  |  The Instant Sommelier: Choosing Your Best Wine
    Lecture Titles (8)
    • 1
      How to Explore Your Glass of Wine
      In this lesson, we explore how to use four of our five senses to explore a glass of wine, and what these senses can tell us not only about the wine, but also about our own taste profiles and sensitivities. This is the first step toward determining which wines we really like the best. x
    • 2
      Key Elements in Wine and How to Taste Them
      When sommeliers talk about wine, they focus on a few key elements that define wine style and character. Now that you know how to use your senses to taste wine, let's use those tools to identify these elements and help you understand them. And in the meantime, this will also let you speak to those crazy sommeliers in their own language! x
    • 3
      Choosing White Wines
      What kind of white wines do you like? In this lesson, we'll explore the best-known white wines and get a basic idea of what each one tastes like. Once you are familiar with these, you'll be able to talk to a sommelier in a restaurant without fear, and you'll be able to use these examples to understand thousands of other wines in the world. x
    • 4
      Choosing Red Wines
      Now that you have a firm grip on white wines, let's tackle red wines using the same basic techniques. And since there are even more styles of red wine than white, this one will be even more fun-and more helpful in your visits to a restaurant or wine shop. x
    • 5
      Choosing Sparkling and Dessert Wines
      While 90 percent of the world's wines fall into the categories of red and white, here is where we discover the rest, from sparkling wines and roses to legendary dessert wines and aperitifs. Sure, sparkling wine may be perfect for celebrations, but by the time we are done with this lesson, you'll use it for far more than that. And you'll have a lot of other wines that will serve just as well. x
    • 6
      The History of Wine: From Babylon to James Bond
      Since the beginning of recorded history, wine has enjoyed a special place in social celebrations around the world. In this lesson, we follow the course of wine's role in society and how it affects the way we enjoy wine today. x
    • 7
      The Wine Service Ritual in Restaurants
      There are few things that cause as much anxiety as ordering wine at a fine dining restaurant. And yet, it doesn't have to be this way. This lesson explains each step of formal wine service, gives tips on the best way to proceed, and focuses on how you can you best use this moment to make sure that your wine, and your dinner, are a success. x
    • 8
      Having Fun with Wine
      Wine isn't just another drink. It's part of a meal, part of a celebration, or maybe just a celebration in itself. This lesson will lead you through the ways that wine can add joy to lots of different occasions and guide you to find the ones that might be best for you or for your guests to enjoy in any situation. x