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Extended Audio Sample How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization Audiobook, by Thomas E. Woods Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.0021186440678 out of 54.0021186440678 out of 54.0021186440678 out of 54.0021186440678 out of 54.0021186440678 out of 5 4.00 (472 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas E. Woods Narrator: Barrett Whitener Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455182862
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Ask a college student today what he knows about the Catholic Church and his answer might come down to one word: “corruption.” But that one word should be “civilization.”

Western civilization has given us modern science, the wealth of free-market economics, the security of law, a sense of human rights and freedom, charity as a virtue, splendid art and music, philosophy grounded in reason, and innumerable other gifts we take for granted. But what is the ultimate source of these gifts? Bestselling author and professor Thomas E. Woods, Jr., provides the answer: the Catholic Church.

No institution has done more to shape Western civilization than the two-thousand-year-old Catholic Church and in ways that many of us have forgotten or never known. Woods’ book is essential reading for recovering this lost truth.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Engaging and engrossing…A mine of information and a stimulus for reflection on the debt we owe Catholic life and thought.”

    Michael P. Foley, PhD, Baylor University

  • “Superb and scholarly…Highly recommended.”

    Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, professor emeritus, City University of New York

  • “Puts the Church back where it should be: at the center of values, science, laws, and institutions of Western civilization.”

    Dr. Paul Legutko, Stanford University

  • “[Whitener’s] deep voice further adds to the pleasure of learning how popular prejudice has deceived us by ignoring the facts.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dario | 12/8/2016

    " excellent treatise on the reality of Christianity "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chad Kulas | 2/15/2014

    " Lot of interesting history. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Teremarie | 1/20/2014

    " I couldn't finish it. I read up until Chapter 5. Until that moment it was nothing that I didn't know. Besides, his vocabulary is a bit over the top, in terms of being biased. In chapter 5, dedicated to science, he writes a sentence in which he states that while many people believe that the industrial revolution worsened working conditions, it actually improved them; and then he goes to put his other book as a reference, about the Catholic Church and free market. He's completely forgetting the encyclica Rerum Novarum, which Pope Leo XIII wrote at the end of the 19th century precisely to address working conditions. If he's attempting to defend the Church, and is forgetting that wonderful piece of writing, I can't read any further. And I'm catholic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellis | 1/4/2014

    " This book was pretty interesting and taught me a lot about the influence, over time, of the catholic church. I was surprised to hear Woods' take on the contributions of the church to science, etc, and its openmindedness to the findings of research. We so typically think of the Catholic church as having been the "bad guy" in this area. Really though, think of all the work that monks, like Gregor Mendel, did. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lindsey Reyes | 1/2/2014

    " Dr. Woods has (in my humble, undergraduate opinion) studied from the very beginning already having made judgment calls on the Catholic church and fails to look at the opposing viewpoints except when he discredits them for not taking fair shots at his opinions. The book runs in circles and is exerting biased viewpoints on every page (that I've read). I doubt I will be able to finish this book, as I prefer academic, un-biased works so I can arrive at my own conclusions. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hevel Cava | 12/31/2013

    " Excellent, thought-provoking, lucid... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erik | 12/6/2013

    " I always suspected the "Dark Ages" and "corrupt Church" labels were overdone, but this book was a real eye opener. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dolly | 12/4/2013

    " It sheds light on the role various churchmen (alas, where were the women)played in developing several branches of science. Well-documented challenge to the traditional notion of a religion-science conflict. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thomas | 11/27/2013

    " Not just politically incorrect, this book also displays a deep bias that makes its findings hard to swallow. Furthermore, serious medievalists will not be surprised by most of its claims. However, it is likely to be of interest to readers who have not read much history or theology. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melanie | 3/16/2013

    " History is so fascinating to me. I missed so much when I was in school, and I love learning about ancient history, and following the paths to our present day culture. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathleen | 12/7/2012

    " Every history teacher should read this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanna Mounce | 9/17/2012

    " Really helped me understand Catholic's contribution to history, especially to modern science. Very applicable for the evolution "debate" going on in the world today. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robin Damgaard | 8/30/2012

    " This is a good book for those who have to contend with constant criticism that the Church hampered the development of arts and sciences. The author's faith is evident, and his writing is clear and easy to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 M4rc0 | 4/24/2012

    " Very interesting themes, but the author shows his faithful side too much and it looses a bit of the impact, because sometims it seems like he's preaching. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chuck | 3/7/2012

    " not very detailed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellen | 2/19/2012

    " Very learned and a good defense of the Catholic Church with proofs! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie | 2/2/2012

    " Must read for Catholics and Christians. Understanding the history and contributions to one's faith is uplifting. This book helps equip one to stand up to those who blame religion for everything and deny the good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Edric Micallef Figallo | 9/22/2011

    " An excellent book, truly enlightening unlike the anti-Catholic drivel of prejudiced leftist and "progressivist" authors and (fallacious) thinkers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 7/20/2011

    " The Church's positive influence on science, law, human rights... Very worth reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thomas | 4/13/2011

    " Not just politically incorrect, this book also displays a deep bias that makes its findings hard to swallow. Furthermore, serious medievalists will not be surprised by most of its claims. However, it is likely to be of interest to readers who have not read much history or theology. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melanie | 9/27/2010

    " History is so fascinating to me. I missed so much when I was in school, and I love learning about ancient history, and following the paths to our present day culture. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ellen | 2/18/2010

    " Very learned and a good defense of the Catholic Church with proofs! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dolly | 12/31/2009

    " It sheds light on the role various churchmen (alas, where were the women)played in developing several branches of science. Well-documented challenge to the traditional notion of a religion-science conflict. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erik | 12/31/2009

    " I always suspected the "Dark Ages" and "corrupt Church" labels were overdone, but this book was a real eye opener. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 10/7/2009

    " The Church's positive influence on science, law, human rights... Very worth reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Richard | 8/12/2009

    " Very informative. I got the feeling, though, that the author (a Roman Catholic himself) was SO positive about the Catholic Church that he must have skipped or glossed over some history. Also, he tries to argue that Socialism is a result of Protestantism. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara | 4/12/2009

    " Had to read for a religion course in college. It's an interesting history of the Catholic church, although it is somewhat biased. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike | 2/20/2009

    " Fantasic book. I went to Catholic schools and had not heard some (most) of this info.
    Really cool stuff to know. "

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About the Author

Professor Thomas E. Woods Jr. is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, as well as The Church Confronts Modernity: Catholic Intellectuals and the Progressive Era and The Church and the Market: A Catholic Defense of the Free Economy. He holds four Ivy League degrees, including an AB from Harvard and a PhD from Columbia. He teaches courses in Western civilization, is the associate editor of the Latin Mass magazine, and is a prolific essayist on historical subjects. He lives with his family in Coram, New York. 

About the Narrator

Barrett Whitener has been narrating audiobooks since 1992. His recordings have won several awards, including the prestigious Audie and seven Earphones Awards. AudioFile magazine has named him one of the Best Voices of the Century. He lives in Washington, DC.