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Extended Audio Sample How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization, by Thomas E. Woods Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (471 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas E. Woods Narrator: Barrett Whitene Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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.

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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.”


Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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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.