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A Short History of the World relates the history of our world from the Big Bang to the present day. The book’s aim is not to come up with ground-breaking new theories on why things occurred but rather to give a broad overview of the generally accepted version of events so that non-historians will feel less embarrassed about their lack of historical knowledge when discussin A Short History of the World relates the history of our world from the Big Bang to the present day. The book’s aim is not to come up with ground-breaking new theories on why things occurred but rather to give a broad overview of the generally accepted version of events so that non-historians will feel less embarrassed about their lack of historical knowledge when discussing the past. The book starts at the beginning of time and after a brief synopsis on how the earth came about, how life developed and how man became master of his destiny, it begins in earnest with the first civilizations, teaching us how and why they came about and their importance for mankind. The author then chooses what he sees as the most important empires and events and tries to link them so that there is a flowing narrative, as opposed to a dry series of facts. Going through history, we learn how the Roman Empire came to an end when it was invaded by Barbarians, how and when nation states developed, how the major religions affected world history and the devastation they caused, how the Muslims and Chinese were far more advanced than the Europeans for many centuries, how the great explorers changed world history and how we finally came to understand the size of the planet on which we live. Lascelles accompanies his narrative with a description of the main historical characters we undoubtedly came across at school, from Marco Polo to Captain Cook. This allows us to put these characters into perspective and understand how their actions were important in the context of the time in which they lived. The book finishes with a gallop through the 20th century, in which we learn how tragic this century has actually been and how despite the inventions and development that occurred, we are still unable to prevent man’s inhumanity to man. The book is easy to read and assumes no prior knowledge of past events. It goes a step further by providing 32 clear maps especially drawn to accompany the text, in which we see everything from the Viking Invasions to the breadth of Japanese expansion in the second world war. An excellent place to start to bring your historical knowledge up to scratch. More information available here.


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A Short History of the World relates the history of our world from the Big Bang to the present day. The book’s aim is not to come up with ground-breaking new theories on why things occurred but rather to give a broad overview of the generally accepted version of events so that non-historians will feel less embarrassed about their lack of historical knowledge when discussin A Short History of the World relates the history of our world from the Big Bang to the present day. The book’s aim is not to come up with ground-breaking new theories on why things occurred but rather to give a broad overview of the generally accepted version of events so that non-historians will feel less embarrassed about their lack of historical knowledge when discussing the past. The book starts at the beginning of time and after a brief synopsis on how the earth came about, how life developed and how man became master of his destiny, it begins in earnest with the first civilizations, teaching us how and why they came about and their importance for mankind. The author then chooses what he sees as the most important empires and events and tries to link them so that there is a flowing narrative, as opposed to a dry series of facts. Going through history, we learn how the Roman Empire came to an end when it was invaded by Barbarians, how and when nation states developed, how the major religions affected world history and the devastation they caused, how the Muslims and Chinese were far more advanced than the Europeans for many centuries, how the great explorers changed world history and how we finally came to understand the size of the planet on which we live. Lascelles accompanies his narrative with a description of the main historical characters we undoubtedly came across at school, from Marco Polo to Captain Cook. This allows us to put these characters into perspective and understand how their actions were important in the context of the time in which they lived. The book finishes with a gallop through the 20th century, in which we learn how tragic this century has actually been and how despite the inventions and development that occurred, we are still unable to prevent man’s inhumanity to man. The book is easy to read and assumes no prior knowledge of past events. It goes a step further by providing 32 clear maps especially drawn to accompany the text, in which we see everything from the Viking Invasions to the breadth of Japanese expansion in the second world war. An excellent place to start to bring your historical knowledge up to scratch. More information available here.

30 review for A Short History of the World (ebook)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ron

    An interesting concept--condensing human history into 150 pages of readable prose--but unevenly executed. First, the positives. Lascelles correctly focused more space on recent history as that tends to be neglected in public schools and imperfectly understood by the populous. Also, his writing is readable, if opinionated, even sarcastic. Words like "unfortunately", "inevitable" and "needlessly" betray his approach. On the negative, Lascelles wasted space on pre-history, confused facts, and accent An interesting concept--condensing human history into 150 pages of readable prose--but unevenly executed. First, the positives. Lascelles correctly focused more space on recent history as that tends to be neglected in public schools and imperfectly understood by the populous. Also, his writing is readable, if opinionated, even sarcastic. Words like "unfortunately", "inevitable" and "needlessly" betray his approach. On the negative, Lascelles wasted space on pre-history, confused facts, and accentuated minor facts while ignoring major ones. Inserted quotes, like one by Voltaire, often did little to illuminate the topic. He uses undefined colloquialisms--"pole position" and "laissez-faire". He declares that tea and coffee consumption explained the seventeenth century world's increasing demand for sugar. He credits Pasteur for the invention of vaccines, even though they'd been used for a hundred years before. He decries the exploitation of women in "Africa, India and the Middle East" seeming to give the rest of Asia a bye. He discussed Marx and his theories but, even though he referred often to capitalism, he never defines it nor refers to Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations. Similarly, he focuses on Gorbachev's role in the collapse of the USSR, but credits neither the USA nor Reagan. He implies Kennedy softness solved the Cuban Missile crisis. His section on the micro-electronic revolution is out of place. He praised the "inspired leadership" of Nelson Mandela but reduced Gandhi to a "figurehead". His Anglophile bias showed. Finally, his closing "What's Next" is a subjective environmental screed. While I agreed with many his opinions, I simply found the book too opinionated to take as serious history. Looking at the footnotes for his quotes, his use heavy reliance on one source stands out. I realize that the norm for revisionist historians is to rewrite the record according to personal preference, but that doesn't mean the rest of us should condone it. (Yes, I majored in history.) Neat cover.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chris Steeden

    ‘…It aims to give a short and succinct yet broad overview of the key developments and events in the history of mankind in a way that is, I hope, enlightening and interesting’. Lascelles starts off with prehistory from the Big Bang to the rise of the Homo Sapiens. Then into civilization with Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt and Greece. The book then flits between the Romans, Europe, Middle East and China with the birth of Christianity and Islam. Onwards, chronologically we go. The difficulty, I presume, ‘…It aims to give a short and succinct yet broad overview of the key developments and events in the history of mankind in a way that is, I hope, enlightening and interesting’. Lascelles starts off with prehistory from the Big Bang to the rise of the Homo Sapiens. Then into civilization with Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt and Greece. The book then flits between the Romans, Europe, Middle East and China with the birth of Christianity and Islam. Onwards, chronologically we go. The difficulty, I presume, with writing any book like this is looking at it from a world perspective rather than a world perspective through English eyes and also trying to avoid too much British history. Does he succeed; not entirely. Not that it mattered to me. I lapped it up. My notebook was full of interesting stuff. It is not written in that awful academic language where you first have to decipher the sentence to even begin to understand what the author is going on about. It is a very easy read and, for that, I thank the author. It was nice, for me, that my understanding of a lot of historical events was backed up here as well. You have to remember that the title is a ‘A Short History..’ so, of course, there will be lots not in it but for a quick re-cap of world history it does the trick.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    This book doesn't quite deserve 4 stars but I think it's better than its current average goodreads rating of 3.52. It's a condensed history of world that attempts to hit all the major events and people and put them in context with each other. It's certainly not perfect: other reviews note some important missed topics and even with my only cursory knowledge of history I noticed a few inaccuracies (e.g., saying that Henry the VIII's roving eye fell on Anne Boleyn "soon" after his marriage to Cathe This book doesn't quite deserve 4 stars but I think it's better than its current average goodreads rating of 3.52. It's a condensed history of world that attempts to hit all the major events and people and put them in context with each other. It's certainly not perfect: other reviews note some important missed topics and even with my only cursory knowledge of history I noticed a few inaccuracies (e.g., saying that Henry the VIII's roving eye fell on Anne Boleyn "soon" after his marriage to Catherine of Aragon when in fact over 15 years elapsed and the real problem was that of their 6 pregnancies/children, most died at birth and only one daughter, Mary, survived). But overall I enjoyed the book and liked the connections it made for me. If I could only remember everything in this book, I would feel like I had a pretty solid grasp of the important events in world history. I clearly need a memory upgrade!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Katheryn

    Not bad. The book was quick and informative, with attempts to be truly global in its reach (although it did not reach my academic specialization, 20th-century Brazil). On the other hand, the book's historiography was far too Whig for my liking: the Protestant Reformation was portrayed as a Good Thing, for example. A good enough book for beginners if they realize that history can be interpreted a myriad of ways: Lascelles' version is far from being the only correct way to see world history. Not bad. The book was quick and informative, with attempts to be truly global in its reach (although it did not reach my academic specialization, 20th-century Brazil). On the other hand, the book's historiography was far too Whig for my liking: the Protestant Reformation was portrayed as a Good Thing, for example. A good enough book for beginners if they realize that history can be interpreted a myriad of ways: Lascelles' version is far from being the only correct way to see world history.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Full disclosure: I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads program. As someone with an interest in history and maybe a slightly better than average knowledge basis, I was excited and nervous to read this book. I was excited to fill in gaps in my knowledge but nervous that the book would gloss over or super-simplify things or not keep my interest. But the book really was everything it promised to be: "succinct yet broad." The book provided a good jumping off point for topics that Full disclosure: I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads program. As someone with an interest in history and maybe a slightly better than average knowledge basis, I was excited and nervous to read this book. I was excited to fill in gaps in my knowledge but nervous that the book would gloss over or super-simplify things or not keep my interest. But the book really was everything it promised to be: "succinct yet broad." The book provided a good jumping off point for topics that I wanted to learn more about and a basic understanding of things I was less interested in. The way it was written in short sections with a topic heading made it easy to put down and pick up if I didn't have a lot of time to read at any given point in my day. The timeline in the back really helped to tie everything together. The book did seem slightly western-centric but explained this by saying that there is just less information about those times and places (ie, Native American cultures before the Vikings). I would recommend this to anyone who wants to brush up on any part of their history. I've already recommended it to my mom and sister who are both excited to read it.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kat Fieler

    a world history lesson, but it's a short book: and in an amazingly small text Lascelles grabs historically significant people and places and tells you how they tie together. Very well written - surprisingly interesting - easy to read. My only complaint is that the maps were hard to see on my Kindle and couldn't be enlarged. But that's a function of my Kindle and not the author's fault. a world history lesson, but it's a short book: and in an amazingly small text Lascelles grabs historically significant people and places and tells you how they tie together. Very well written - surprisingly interesting - easy to read. My only complaint is that the maps were hard to see on my Kindle and couldn't be enlarged. But that's a function of my Kindle and not the author's fault.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melisende

    Wonderfully concise and yet still informative narrative of the key points in history. An excellent first read for all budding historians without all the lengthy hyperbole of some stodgy tomes. Highly recommended.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ali Hassan

    History is generally taught in an episodic, fragmentary fashion, leaving students with a lifelong lack of understanding as to how each part relates to the whole. We learn about the Fire of London, Christopher Columbus and the Second World War, but we are seldom given a coherent picture of how they all fit together. Those who wish they had a better general knowledge of world history often find themselves time-poor and caught up in information overload. The result is that not everyone has the time History is generally taught in an episodic, fragmentary fashion, leaving students with a lifelong lack of understanding as to how each part relates to the whole. We learn about the Fire of London, Christopher Columbus and the Second World War, but we are seldom given a coherent picture of how they all fit together. Those who wish they had a better general knowledge of world history often find themselves time-poor and caught up in information overload. The result is that not everyone has the time, or the focus, to read a long history book. This book is a response to all these problems. It aims to give a short and succinct yet broad overview of the key developments and events in the history of mankind in a way that is, I hope, enlightening and interesting. The inclusion of 32 different maps should allow readers to visualise where events occurred and how they relate to each other.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Hal

    This book on a short history of the world overall was well constructed and read easily. Though I am not a history buff per se I am always interested in how history impacts our lives today and maybe get some insight as to what is in store. Christopher Lascelles related this past in an interesting way and for me shed light on what seems to be constants in our past that will probably dictate our future. The themes seem to be power, war, religion, and economics. As the book moves right along being a This book on a short history of the world overall was well constructed and read easily. Though I am not a history buff per se I am always interested in how history impacts our lives today and maybe get some insight as to what is in store. Christopher Lascelles related this past in an interesting way and for me shed light on what seems to be constants in our past that will probably dictate our future. The themes seem to be power, war, religion, and economics. As the book moves right along being a short history one can readily see how these play out again and again. Lascelles intersperses maps throughout much of the book to give a visual tie in on how things looked geographically during the period at hand. Though they were helpful as a visual, on my electronic media they were a bit difficult to view as clarity of the type was not that great. Overall as a work giving a fast moving account on such a far reaching subject I would definitely recommend it. I found myself highlighting passages throughout that I had not known even though I am fairly well versed on world history. For those looking for a good overview on the subject without getting too bogged down in detail this would fit the bill. A concise and enjoyable read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    JulieLaLa

    This is THE history book everyone should read! It does exactly as its title implies, it's a brilliant, short history of the world and it is full of information. It touches on nearly all subjects, continents, peoples, leaders, events, etc... that everyone should know about, but it does so in an easy, likeable way, not like some stodgy, professor who has been teaching/droning history for years. This book is a great introduction to the world: it educates and entertains! This is THE history book everyone should read! It does exactly as its title implies, it's a brilliant, short history of the world and it is full of information. It touches on nearly all subjects, continents, peoples, leaders, events, etc... that everyone should know about, but it does so in an easy, likeable way, not like some stodgy, professor who has been teaching/droning history for years. This book is a great introduction to the world: it educates and entertains!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Paul

    The generous third star is awarded to the excellent narrator of the audio book version. I realize that Mr. Lascelles had to pick and choose his events to create a “short history” but he left out an entire continent and gave short shrift to others. This book would have been better titled “A short history of the world as told by a white man”. Disappointing.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Wilson

    Incredible book - very captivating, and the only history book I've read written in a sequential format making it easy to see where major events in history tie into one another. Incredible book - very captivating, and the only history book I've read written in a sequential format making it easy to see where major events in history tie into one another.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jessi Feltes

    For a book that claims to be a history of the WORLD it sure gives the majority of the book’s attention to Europe and about 5 sentences to Africa. Also weirdly judgey for a book that purports to be just a history. Also, the Bible got cited as a straight up historical document and that just... that just ain’t right. The author’s biases definitely showed and it seems like little was done to curtail them. Additionally, just so so many things left in the book that should have been caught in copy edit For a book that claims to be a history of the WORLD it sure gives the majority of the book’s attention to Europe and about 5 sentences to Africa. Also weirdly judgey for a book that purports to be just a history. Also, the Bible got cited as a straight up historical document and that just... that just ain’t right. The author’s biases definitely showed and it seems like little was done to curtail them. Additionally, just so so many things left in the book that should have been caught in copy edits. Yikes. That said, I did learn some interesting stuff I wasn’t aware of before.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Julissa Dantes-castillo

    Very well structured It covered most of human history in a short and concise way, very interesting to see where did humans turn their fate throughout the history.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Susan Ashcraft

    A Short History of the World is a very well written account of world history from the start of the planet (the Big Band theory) to the events of the 20th century and ending with what we can expect from the near future in terms of our natural resources and the world's population. The book flows easily and clearly through all phases of world history. It gives short, concise details and moves on to the next chapter. This is a history book that anyone, whether you're a history buff or someone just wa A Short History of the World is a very well written account of world history from the start of the planet (the Big Band theory) to the events of the 20th century and ending with what we can expect from the near future in terms of our natural resources and the world's population. The book flows easily and clearly through all phases of world history. It gives short, concise details and moves on to the next chapter. This is a history book that anyone, whether you're a history buff or someone just wanting a general overview, will enjoy reading. Included in the book are 33 maps which show the changing world and a easy to read and follow timeline which shows the changing continents, religions, key events and key people. This would be a great starting book for students, teachers and anyone with little knowledge of the world's history. I would recommend this book for everyone. I won this book through FirstRead GoodRead contest and my review is unsolicited

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anna Berendzen

    This is an amazing history book. It is very concise but keeps you well informed about what was going on from the start of the world to today, including minor sections for explaining the religions going on through the times. I was amazed about how it connected past events to what was going in the next section and showed the relationships of the different countries in each era making a good flowing read. I've read history textbooks for school before and often they give a lot of "fluff" details and This is an amazing history book. It is very concise but keeps you well informed about what was going on from the start of the world to today, including minor sections for explaining the religions going on through the times. I was amazed about how it connected past events to what was going in the next section and showed the relationships of the different countries in each era making a good flowing read. I've read history textbooks for school before and often they give a lot of "fluff" details and aren't written very well but I found that it was the opposite for this book. The book is pretty engaging, there are many helpful maps (33 to be exact), footnotes, and mini sections to explain an idea or religion that was mentioned. I would recommend this book for anyone! I'm glad I received it through the first reads program. It gives a way to brush up on history of the world in an easy, fun (but complete) way!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ashutosh Mehndiratta

    A Short History of the World delivers its stated objective. The author has successfully managed to condense world history into less than 200 pages, which makes it a unique book. The only comparable book that comes to mind is Geoffrey Blainey's with the same title. The Preface was only a one pager, so the author got down to business quickly. Without using unnecessary jargon or the thesaurus, the book moves at a rapid pace in a logical manner in seven chapters in a chronological order. It's a grea A Short History of the World delivers its stated objective. The author has successfully managed to condense world history into less than 200 pages, which makes it a unique book. The only comparable book that comes to mind is Geoffrey Blainey's with the same title. The Preface was only a one pager, so the author got down to business quickly. Without using unnecessary jargon or the thesaurus, the book moves at a rapid pace in a logical manner in seven chapters in a chronological order. It's a great book if you looking for a quick overview or to refresh your knowledge of world history. Every now and then you will stumble upon useful insights, which indicates the author's research and attention to detail. Highly recommended.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mike Sternad

    Excellent, brief history of the WHOLE world While dubious at first of the author's ability to describe even the highlights of the entire planet, I ended up being very impressed of how he identified the critical path events and do it in a concise manner. While there is much that got left behind, this discourse provides an excellent overview from which the reader can decide where to delve into grater depths. I would recommend to all to help develop a better understanding of what was going on in dif Excellent, brief history of the WHOLE world While dubious at first of the author's ability to describe even the highlights of the entire planet, I ended up being very impressed of how he identified the critical path events and do it in a concise manner. While there is much that got left behind, this discourse provides an excellent overview from which the reader can decide where to delve into grater depths. I would recommend to all to help develop a better understanding of what was going on in different parts of the globe that may not have been highlighted in each of our national perspectives of the world.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Hunter

    A short history of the world must pick and choose what is important. The author does try and move outside the European-centric history which is all the history education I ever received in school. I appreciate trying to get a more balanced view of the world but to me there seemed to be a marked Anglophile bias in the presentation. Major events are missing, inaccuracies show up. I thought it was a good overview, the writing was straightforward. I thought it was an okay book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bettie

    Wanda says: "There are maps - 32 of them! I am swooning. Click on Read Book and read it on your computer, iPhone or tablet. Fun! " Who can resist that? Wanda says: "There are maps - 32 of them! I am swooning. Click on Read Book and read it on your computer, iPhone or tablet. Fun! " Who can resist that?

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    I'm not the type that generally enjoys history. I'd say it was my least favorite subject in school, or maybe tied with English (I hated to read, and even now have a on again/off again relationship with reading which I'm trying to keep "on again"). So, a history book needs to more than meet me halfway to capture my interest and this one mostly did not. The book does do what it says, for the most part. It captures history from the beginning (i.e. big bang) to as current as it could be, and does it I'm not the type that generally enjoys history. I'd say it was my least favorite subject in school, or maybe tied with English (I hated to read, and even now have a on again/off again relationship with reading which I'm trying to keep "on again"). So, a history book needs to more than meet me halfway to capture my interest and this one mostly did not. The book does do what it says, for the most part. It captures history from the beginning (i.e. big bang) to as current as it could be, and does it in less than 200 pages. Given 13 billion years of universe history, 4 billion years of earth history, and something like 2 million years of human history packed into so few pages, things are bound to be missed or glanced over. Adding or expanding one event means removing or shortening another event, or adding to the length of the book. So, yeah, perhaps he missed some events, but I doubt if any book of this length would satisfy everyone and I think the intent was to keep the history of the world short. In many cases, he does try to link events, so you get a "meanwhile in this area of the world". There is some attempt at trying to connect the dots. For me, what didn't work is the book is so dense and switches from event to event so quickly and covers such major events in a sentence or a couple paragraphs. I think someone who has an adequate knowledge of history as a whole and general interest would find this book most beneficial. History buffs probably can speak more to where the book failed in its explanation. But for someone like me, who is largely ignorant and generally uninterested in history, but interested in wanting to be interested, the book just seems like a collection of facts that I mostly forgot. Is that the fault of the author? I don't think so. But from my perspective, it just didn't pull me in. I did find the non-white historical events of the 1000s-1700s interesting and something I didn't realize, learning a largely European/American history in school. It's interesting to see how much Asian and Islamic influences contributed to the progress of humans.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor Carson

    This book does well to sample major events across 13 billion years of development. I appreciated the inclusion of Asian history, particularly relating to the Tigris and Euphrates and Middle Eastern events, and the little he included of North and South American history, but wished for more. As he says in the beginning, history can get overwhelming without also providing a context, such as where in the world events took place and events that preceded major historical events, and he did attempt to This book does well to sample major events across 13 billion years of development. I appreciated the inclusion of Asian history, particularly relating to the Tigris and Euphrates and Middle Eastern events, and the little he included of North and South American history, but wished for more. As he says in the beginning, history can get overwhelming without also providing a context, such as where in the world events took place and events that preceded major historical events, and he did attempt to provide some of this contextualizing. I was interested in the context of history and also in cross-references to historical events taking place at the same time but in vastly different areas of the world. However, most of this book focused on European and later American history towards the end. Furthermore, much of his narrative includes such judgemental language and questionable quotations as to be distracting and sometimes annoying, and possibly misleading. I`d recommend it for people who are looking for a quick taste of history from which they can choose to follow up with further reading on events that piqued their interest.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Scott Jones

    Not a bad overview for the general reader, but he does skip around quite a bit. It makes it harder to follow the progression. He writes well, but usually history is easier to read if things are a bit more linear. (-1 star) Also, he takes every opportunity to push some kind of agenda for environmentalism (bad fossil fuels, global warming, etc.). That would be fine in other contexts but I don't prefer that in what is a very brief 'history' book. (-1 star) Also, while there are some errors and errone Not a bad overview for the general reader, but he does skip around quite a bit. It makes it harder to follow the progression. He writes well, but usually history is easier to read if things are a bit more linear. (-1 star) Also, he takes every opportunity to push some kind of agenda for environmentalism (bad fossil fuels, global warming, etc.). That would be fine in other contexts but I don't prefer that in what is a very brief 'history' book. (-1 star) Also, while there are some errors and erroneous conclusions in the book, I didn't deduct any stars for them because it is supposed to be a very concise book. Plus, he does give some nice little tidbits along the way that are interesting. (+1 star) If you need a broad brush of world history it is a nice book to read. I would recommend it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dale

    A Review of the Audiobook Published by Tantor Audio in 2016. Read by Guy Bethell. Duration: 7 hours, 20 minutes. Unabridged. The entire history of the world is less than 7 and 1/2 hours? Yep, that's what Christopher Lascelles purports to offer in his A Short History of the World . He acknowledges that this is not a complete history - he never intended it to be. Instead, his aim is to connect some of the dots that the average reader may have picked up in history class, movies and History Channel do A Review of the Audiobook Published by Tantor Audio in 2016. Read by Guy Bethell. Duration: 7 hours, 20 minutes. Unabridged. The entire history of the world is less than 7 and 1/2 hours? Yep, that's what Christopher Lascelles purports to offer in his A Short History of the World . He acknowledges that this is not a complete history - he never intended it to be. Instead, his aim is to connect some of the dots that the average reader may have picked up in history class, movies and History Channel documentaries (and hopefully spark a bit more interest). Lascelles does succeed in hitting many of the high points and certainly does a better job at not being as Eurocentric as other short world histories have been, such as... Read more at: http://dwdsreviews.blogspot.com/2018/...

  25. 5 out of 5

    Matt Cromartie

    I picked this book up because I've been listening to a lot of history podcasts lately (Hardcore History FTW!) which tend to focus on one period/era or one event and I want to know how they fit into the context of world history. How long before WWI were the Napoleonic wars? When was the Roman Empire spreading across Europe? Where does the Biblical narrative fit in with history of ancient Babylon and the Achaemenid Persian Empire? This book doesn't go very deep into any one time period, but it giv I picked this book up because I've been listening to a lot of history podcasts lately (Hardcore History FTW!) which tend to focus on one period/era or one event and I want to know how they fit into the context of world history. How long before WWI were the Napoleonic wars? When was the Roman Empire spreading across Europe? Where does the Biblical narrative fit in with history of ancient Babylon and the Achaemenid Persian Empire? This book doesn't go very deep into any one time period, but it gives you the survey of history and helps you put a timeline together so that you will have a place to file everything in your mind.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Othniel

    An ambitious, but useful and brisk read, taking us from pre-history to the 2010s. The story is inevitably told in broad strokes; of constant wars of conquest between monarchistic empires and regional power-blocs. As the tale moves towards the present day, one is reminded, however, that any historian is dealing with interpretation and opinion as much as with objective fact. Still, one comes away with the reassuring idea that repressive regimes inevitably doom themselves (even if it takes a century An ambitious, but useful and brisk read, taking us from pre-history to the 2010s. The story is inevitably told in broad strokes; of constant wars of conquest between monarchistic empires and regional power-blocs. As the tale moves towards the present day, one is reminded, however, that any historian is dealing with interpretation and opinion as much as with objective fact. Still, one comes away with the reassuring idea that repressive regimes inevitably doom themselves (even if it takes a century or two); and in the European context, that co-operation tends to have replaced mass slaughter. And it always helps to have those pesky gaps in one's general knowledge filled in.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rexbuck

    This little book delivered exactly what I wanted - a synopsis of the history of man. Good read and easy to follow. I disagree with other reviewers that the author needed to add more depth. Given the book touches on every part of human existence, trying to add detail would have made the book long, tedious and boring. I knocked a star off as the author decided at the end to swerve from history to contemporary political rhetoric. I care about the author's view of history but I don't care about his c This little book delivered exactly what I wanted - a synopsis of the history of man. Good read and easy to follow. I disagree with other reviewers that the author needed to add more depth. Given the book touches on every part of human existence, trying to add detail would have made the book long, tedious and boring. I knocked a star off as the author decided at the end to swerve from history to contemporary political rhetoric. I care about the author's view of history but I don't care about his current political opinions and would have preferred he leave that part out.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chuck Miller

    I found Lascelles' abbreviated world history an enjoyable read and a good refresher on all the history classes I sat through as a child and young adult. I didn't agree with everything in the book, especially as it relates to some of his opinions and the final "What's Next" segment on how the climate may affect future history. Overall, however, it's a great "shortened account" of man's past up through current events. It's definitely a recommended read for anyone seeking to know more about the eve I found Lascelles' abbreviated world history an enjoyable read and a good refresher on all the history classes I sat through as a child and young adult. I didn't agree with everything in the book, especially as it relates to some of his opinions and the final "What's Next" segment on how the climate may affect future history. Overall, however, it's a great "shortened account" of man's past up through current events. It's definitely a recommended read for anyone seeking to know more about the events that lead us to where we are today and those who simply want a great refresher course on world history.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cjones

    A succinct history of a vast subject The author leads the reader step by step through the history of the world and into a better understanding of why and how things happened and why we are where we are today. There are many things that finally fit into place. The book is educational without being pedantic. I recommend it as a great review of history or a level overview. A very good read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    V. William Turkus

    You get what you pay for It Was indeed as advertised. A short history of the world. Unfortunately the world history is but one stupid event after another. Lust for power and domination of each other and it will never be any different. Mankind will always be inhuman to mankind for personal gain.

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