A People's History of the World: From the Stone Age to the New Millennium [NOOK Book]

Overview

Chris Harman describes the shape and course of human history as a narrative of ordinary people forming and re-forming complex societies in pursuit of common human goals. Interacting with the forces of technological change as well as the impact of powerful individuals and revolutionary ideas, these societies have engendered events familiar to every schoolchild—from the empires of antiquity to the world wars of the twentieth century.

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A People's History of the World: From the Stone Age to the New Millennium

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Overview

Chris Harman describes the shape and course of human history as a narrative of ordinary people forming and re-forming complex societies in pursuit of common human goals. Interacting with the forces of technological change as well as the impact of powerful individuals and revolutionary ideas, these societies have engendered events familiar to every schoolchild—from the empires of antiquity to the world wars of the twentieth century.

In a bravura conclusion, Chris Harman exposes the reductive complacency of contemporary capitalism, and asks, in a world riven as never before by suffering and inequality, why we imagine that it can—or should—survive much longer. Ambitious, provocative and invigorating, A People’s History of the World delivers a vital corrective to traditional history, as well as a powerful sense of the deep currents of humanity which surge beneath the froth of government.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“I have had many people ask me if there is a book which does for world history what my book A People’s History of the United States does for this country. I always responded that I know of only one book that accomplishes this extremely difficult task, and that is Chris Harman’s A People’s History of the World. It is an indispensable volume on my reference bookshelf.”—Howard Zinn

“The left ... has few accounts which convey as well as this book does the broad sweep of human history.”—Robin Blackburn

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844674688
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 4/17/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 728
  • Sales rank: 327,133
  • File size: 843 KB

Meet the Author

Chris Harman (1942–2009) was the author of numerous books including A People’s History of the World, The Fire Last Time: 1968 and After and The Lost Revolution: Germany 1918–23. He was editor of International Socialism Journal and was previously the editor of Socialist Worker for over two decades—you can read his Guardian obituary here.
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 13, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    A Trotskyist, i.e. false, view of world history

    The late Chris Harman was the editor of the Socialist Workers Party¿s paper. In this book, he attempted to write a Marxist history of the world. His method was to rely on good Marxists who did the best studies of each period of history. So for the rise of class societies, he relied on V. Gordon Childe, for the ancient world, on Geoffrey De Ste Croix, for the Middle Ages, on Rodney Hilton, for the great transformation, on Christopher Hill and J. V. Polisensky, for the spread of the new order, on George Rudé, and for the world turned upside down, on Albert Soboul, Marx and Engels. Unfortunately, when it came to the 20th century, he relied only on Trotsky and Tony Cliff. How did Harman, this self-proclaimed revolutionary, deal with the 20th century¿s defining revolution, the great October revolution? He wrote that in 1926 Stalin adopted ¿a completely new doctrine known as ¿socialism in one country¿¿. This ignored Lenin¿s article The United States of Europe slogan, where he wrote, ¿Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence the victory of socialism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist country taken separately. The victorious proletariat of that country, having expropriated the capitalists and organised its own socialist production, would stand up against the rest of the world, the capitalist world.¿ Harman wrote that Stalin represented a ruling group whose ¿chief characteristic was inertia and complacency¿. Yet this inert and complacent group ¿did break the backbone of private capitalism in Russia, and later did the same in Eastern Europe and China.¿ Even Harman had to acknowledge ¿the economic success of the USSR¿ in the 1930s and its ¿rapid industrial advance¿ in the 1950s and early 1960s. Harman¿s account of World War Two is provably false (see Grover Furr¿s Khrushchev lied for details). Harman wrongly wrote that Stalin ignored the Nazi threat and the warnings of war, that the Red Army was ¿utterly unprepared¿, that Stalin ¿panicked¿ when the Nazis attacked, that he turned to ¿chauvinism¿, that he ¿deported whole peoples¿ for no good reason, and that he ordered Soviet forces to stand back from Warsaw when the Nazis crushed the rising. Harman denied that World War Two was a war between progress and reaction, between democracy and fascism, and even doubted that the Grand Alliance was anti-fascist. His analysis of revolution is fatally flawed by his embrace of the counter-revolutionary notion of state capitalism. Capitalist classes have used the state to develop the economy, but when a working class used the state to develop the economy, the SWP denounced it as practising capitalism. Any use of the state has, apparently, to be capitalist. This dogmatic opposition to the state is anarchism, the polar opposite of Marxism.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    Very necessay

    Well done but not always sufficiently comprehensive.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    History of the world

    Excellent history book written from people's perspecitive. Begins at the beginning, right up to modern times. Excellent sources for further reading, an extensive glossary, notes galore, and well indexed. A book you will want to read, and keep for future reference.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2008

    The Organic Intellectual's Handbook

    This is an excellent work of scholarship that is too often ignored in the American academy. Our teenagers and college undergrads should be assigned this text as 'required reading.' We have not reached the end of history. Re-humanize yourself and gird for battle. The struggle continues! My hat is off to you Mr. Harman! If I'm not Spartacus, surely you are!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2013

    Oh God, another socialist

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2010

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    Posted July 1, 2011

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    Posted April 20, 2011

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