Customer Reviews for

A Short History of the World

Average Rating 4
( 154 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(57)

4 Star

(45)

3 Star

(40)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(8)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

75 out of 86 people found this review helpful.

As someone who is more than a few years out of university and in

As someone who is more than a few years out of university and increasingly dependent on Google, my recollection of major historical events is a bit dusty and fragmented, if not altogether forgotten, so “A Short History of the World” was the ideal refresher.
...
As someone who is more than a few years out of university and increasingly dependent on Google, my recollection of major historical events is a bit dusty and fragmented, if not altogether forgotten, so “A Short History of the World” was the ideal refresher.

Lascelles may not unearth any new theories on world history, but he succeeds in providing a big picture view on the world and making connections which are really useful and interesting, as are the maps that are embedded throughout the text.

It's a breezy and worthwhile read that sparked my curiosity to delve deeper into several of the topics covered in the book. I really enjoyed it.

posted by Anonymous on June 12, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

69 out of 87 people found this review helpful.

Interesting but uneven

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" an...
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. He praised the "inspired leadership" of Nelson Mandela but reduced Gandhi to a "figurehead". His Anglophile bias showed.
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 as 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.

posted by 10014165 on September 14, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 4 review with 2 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    Interesting but uneven

    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. He praised the "inspired leadership" of Nelson Mandela but reduced Gandhi to a "figurehead". His Anglophile bias showed.
    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 as 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.

    69 out of 87 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2012

    easy to read

    For me, history books are usually boring to read. However, I enjoyed reading this one which enabled me to learn more about world history. I liked how easy it was to read. I would have given it a higher rating but it was very apparent to me when reading this book that the author had a general dislike for the (Catholic) Church. He could have easily, and should have, kept his dislike of the Church from this otherwise well written book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 19, 2012

    Some Good Information

    I was disappointed with the generalities the authro made. I think he misrepresented Christianity. I might use the book for minor reference but I would rather find a more reliable source.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 review with 2 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 1