New Releases From The Great Courses Offer Deep Insights on the Nature of Matter, Examine Infectious diseases, and Chronicle a Controversial Period in American History

Three new shows from the lifelong learning leader span the subject of physical chemistry, a survey of infectious diseases and the 19th century America’s dramatic crossroads

CHANTILLY, Va.--()--The Great Courses, now celebrating its 25th year as the leading global media brand for lifelong learning, has released three new series this month:

  • The Nature of Matter: Understanding the Physical World,
  • An Introduction to Infectious Diseases, and
  • America in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era.

“This month’s additions to The Great Courses library of over 500 subjects offer exciting opportunities to learn about a variety of fascinating topics,” said Ed Leon, chief brand officer of The Great Courses. "These new shows provide lifelong learners with, first, a historical review of Gilded Age – a time in American history worth examining because it closely resembles our current era. Second, a fascinating introduction to the world of infectious diseases. And, last but not least, the opportunity to examine the very fabric of reality – how the physical world works from subatomic particles to the everyday materials that surround us.”

The Great Courses is reaching milestones this year, its 25th, with more than 15 million courses sold to a worldwide community of ardent lifelong learners including longtime fan Bill Gates – who has touted his favorite great courses in The New York Times, Fast Company and on “60 Minutes.” The company has ongoing partnerships with premier content brands The Culinary Institute of America, National Geographic and the Smithsonian.

Courses are available in multiple audio and video formats, including digital streaming, downloads, DVDs and CDs.

Descriptions of New Courses:

America in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era
Professor Edward T. O’Donnell
College of the Holy Cross

Welcome to one of the most colorful, tumultuous, raucous and profoundly pivotal periods in American history. Edward O’Donnell’s 24 lectures span the end of the Civil War in 1865 through roughly 1920 to unfold the birth of the United States as we and the world at large now know it. Witness America’s historical progression over six innovative decades through lectures including: The Industrial Age and the Rise of Big Business, Revolutionary Technologies and Social Culture, The Dark Side of Progress and The Many Faces of Reform.

An Introduction to Infectious Diseases
Dr. Barry Fox
University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health

Infectious diseases touch the lives of everyone on the planet. Renowned physician and award-winning professor Dr. Barry Fox zooms into the microscopic world over 24 lectures that provide a comprehensive overview of diseases from the mundane to the fatal. Experience the ancient world of medicine as scientists and doctors of the time and then journey into the modern world with a solidly scientific guide to keeping yourself and your loved ones as protected as possible from pathogens.

The Nature of Matter: Understanding the Physical World
Professor David W. Ball
Cleveland State University

Matter is the raw material of the universe. Our complex world is generated by a limited number of chemical elements that combine in simple, well-defined ways. Geared toward anyone with a curious mind, David Ball’s 24 lectures start with the fundamentals of matter, energy and entropy, then move on to the crucial mission of chemistry, explaining how matter behaves including why salt melts ice, whether car wax is necessary and, of course, why matter matters.

About The Great Courses

The Great Courses is the nation’s leading developer and marketer of premium-quality media for lifelong learning and personal enrichment. Delivered in engaging, expertly produced video and audio (in convenient online, digital and disc formats), these carefully crafted courses provide access to a world of knowledge from the most accomplished professors and experts. The content-rich, proprietary library spans more than 530 titles with more than 7,000 hours and 14,000 lectures designed to expand horizons, deepen understanding and foster epiphanies in the arts, science, literature, self-improvement, history, music, philosophy, theology, economics, mathematics, business, professional advancement, personal growth and high school curriculum. Creating unique learning experiences since 1990, The Great Courses is the premier brand of The Teaching Company of Chantilly, Virginia, which is owned by Los Angeles-based Brentwood Associates. More information can be found at


for The Great Courses
Roxanna Eke, 310.824.9000

Release Summary

Three new shows from the lifelong learning leader span the subject of physical chemistry, a survey of infectious diseases and the 19th century America’s dramatic crossroads.


for The Great Courses
Roxanna Eke, 310.824.9000