A Short History of the World [NOOK Book]

Overview

A Short History of the World is a short and easy-to-read history book that relates the history of our world from the Big Bang to the present day. It assumes no prior knowledge of past events and 32 maps have been especially drawn to give the reader a better understanding of where events occurred.

The author chooses what he sees as the most important empires and events and links them to make a flowing narrative as opposed to a dry series of ...
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A Short History of the World

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Overview

A Short History of the World is a short and easy-to-read history book that relates the history of our world from the Big Bang to the present day. It assumes no prior knowledge of past events and 32 maps have been especially drawn to give the reader a better understanding of where events occurred.

The author chooses what he sees as the most important empires and events and links them to make a flowing narrative as opposed to a dry series of facts. Going through history, we learn how and when empires and nation states developed, how the major religions affected world history and the devastation they caused, how the Muslims and Chinese led development 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.

The book's purpose is not to come up with any ground-breaking new historical theories. Instead it aims to give a broad overview of the key events so that non- historians will feel less embarrassed about their lack of historical knowledge when discussing the past. The result is a history book that is reassuringly epic in scope but refreshingly short in length - an excellent place to start to bring your knowledge of world history up to scratch!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780957111615
  • Publisher: Crux Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/27/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 26,566
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Born in 1971, Christopher Lascelles studied modern languages and history at St Andrews University in Scotland. After graduating, he spent four years living in Russia, working for a publishing house in a period of unrest during which he saw Moscow surrounded by army tanks. Leaving Russia just before the new millennium, he studied business at INSEAD Business School in France before returning to England where he became involved in the world of climate change and start up businesses. A keen story-teller from an early age, Lascelles has always had an interest in the history of revolutions and how these have affected the world in which we live.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 157 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(57)

4 Star

(46)

3 Star

(41)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 158 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2012

    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.

    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.

    75 out of 86 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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.

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  • Posted May 21, 2012

    CHECK IT OUT History Boffins

    Easy informative read - 1st piece I've read from this author and not disappointed. Have recommended to my daughters as well.

    35 out of 43 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2012

    A Good Overview

    Anyone expecting a thorough review of world history will be bitterly disappointed. This book is just what it says: a short history. Major historical events and movements are presented clearly, and in an entertaining fashion. The suggestions for further reading (online, not in the book) are especially good for learning more about something that has piqued your interest.
    My complaints about the book are minor. First, the editing was a little uneven (for example, the Chinese General's last name was not "Kai Shek," it was "Chiang"). Second, I did notice a few factual errors that, while small in the context, stood out in my mind (heroin was not synthesized until after the Opium Wars). Aside from those two points, I enjoyed the book immensely and think it was well worth my time spent reading it.

    23 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2012

    World History in a Nutshell

    This book condenses the history of the world so nicely. A great memory jogger for those who may have forgotten the basic history lessons. This book was not overwhelmingly detailed, but provided enough information to give a nice timeline.

    15 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Nice Review!

    I enjoy history, and there's a lot of it! The joy is in the details, the stories of people's lives. Sometimes, though, it's nice to have a view on the grand scale - a quick run-through.

    A Short History of the World is a ten thousand feet view of the entirety of history. As the book promises, it is short (195 pages). As the book's title implies, it is the history of the world. It's a great overview, giving you the rundown on cultures all over the world. It avoids too much spin on topics such as religion and politics, though there is a little. It gave me the chance to see some interesting historical topics I might want to pick up in the future.

    For a high school student, I think it would be beneficial to read this book before beginning history classes. It would give the big picture, allowing the student to recognize the subject when it comes up. To me, having an inkling of knowledge about a topic before it comes up in class helps.

    Whether a student or a spectator of history, this short book is a great overview of human history.

    15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2012

    Glad to have

    First, all the people whining about an educational book need to chill. No one is MAKING you get it.

    It is nice to see at least a few decent academic titles after weeks of lesser books. Even if it is not a rigorous text, it is intersting and an easy read.

    13 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2012

    Full of facts, but boring!

    This book is certainly full of many historical facts, however, it is a boring read. It just runs on and on. Very little is expounded upon; it just seems like a running dialog without any real meat to it. It is a chronological history but never gives enough detail to engage the reader or to help the reader actually remember anything they have read. I was disappointed.

    10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2012

    Interesting and to the point

    The author has a sense of humor and links historical information together well. This book might not appeal to everyone.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2012

    Good short look

    I have enjoyed the book. Will use it occasionaly to check dates, who, etc. ex. The history behind the Old Testament,
    Not of academic quality

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2012

    I loved this book. All the names, dates and events that were th

    I loved this book. All the names, dates and events that were thrown at us in school all make sense and come together in these few pages. Wish it had been around years ago! Highly recommend!

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    Highly recommend

    I was pleasantly surprised with the concept of being able to visualize where things happened in the past via the maps.
    This was a good read -- to bad something like this is not used as a basic text book in our schooles

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    Not Bad.

    Highlights some interesting events with a humorous and lively tone, not very in depth, but can definitely whet your appetite for further research.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    A very easy read

    This was a great book and an easy read. The author did a very good job of uniting world events in a cohesive manner and explaining how one act overlapped another and would often cause a string of events. Highly recommended.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2012

    This book is a great flyover of our history and reads like a nov

    This book is a great flyover of our history and reads like a novel, loved it.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 14, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Yes, its short. But it helped me really understand why some thing are like they are and how things happened. I now really know what the Holy Roman Empire is (and it wasn't what I thought it was.) I truely enjoyed this book and I really do highly recommend it!!

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2012

    Revise on Perspective~

    Seeing how I can not delete/edit my prior post, I'd like to say my first 'impression' of the book was correct - however, I do see later that Christianity is addressed. I took it as a personal opinion from the author - stating that's the way it is. I see now, both are presented to a certain degree. I appreciate that.

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2012

    Very good primer on history

    While I may have disagreed with the epilogue describing the author's thoughts on the biggest threats to the world's future, I nonetheless found the rest of the book to be fascinating. If you're one who likes to point out special events thst the author may miss along the way, this book may not be for you; however, I felt that the crux of our world's meta-narrative was succinctly and impressively conveyed through the book's easy read and connecting macro-trends that bridged geographical regions.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2012

    Review

    Although the author freely admits there is nothing new, it is a quick reference of historical events done as a timeline. It would be a helpful guide for high school (and college) students to keep handy.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2012

    Informative

    Excellent book for learning about soup to nuts history! I recogni"s"ed a lot of names and places but his really brought it all together. I just had a small chuckle every time he spells with an "s" where i would have used a "z". Loved the book and the author!

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 158 Customer Reviews

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