A Short History of the World (Illustrated & chapter navigation)

A Short History of the World (Illustrated & chapter navigation)

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by H. G. Wells
     
 

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THE story of our world is a story that is still very imperfectly known. A couple of hundred years ago men possessed the history of little more than the last three thousand years. What happened before that time was a matter of legend and speculation. Over a large part of the civilized world it was believed and taught that the world had been created suddenly in 4004 B.C

Overview

THE story of our world is a story that is still very imperfectly known. A couple of hundred years ago men possessed the history of little more than the last three thousand years. What happened before that time was a matter of legend and speculation. Over a large part of the civilized world it was believed and taught that the world had been created suddenly in 4004 B.C., though authorities differed as to whether this had occurred in the spring or autumn of that year. This fantastically precise misconception was based upon a too literal interpretation of the Hebrew Bible, and upon rather arbitrary theological assumptions connected therewith. Such ideas have long since been abandoned by religious teachers, and it is universally recognized that the universe in which we live has to all appearances existed for an enormous period of time and possibly for endless time. Of course there may be deception in these appearances, as a room may be made to seem endless by putting mirrors facing each other at either end. But that the universe in which we live has existed only for six or seven thousand years may be regarded as an altogether exploded idea.

The earth, as everybody knows nowadays, is a spheroid, a sphere slightly compressed, orange fashion, with a diameter of nearly 8,000 miles. Its spherical shape has been known at least to a limited number of intelligent people for nearly 2,500 years, but before that time it was supposed to be flat, and various ideas which now seem fantastic were entertained about its relations to the sky and the stars and planets. We know now that it rotates upon its axis (which is about 24 miles shorter than its equatorial diameter) every twenty-four hours, and that this is the cause of the alternations of day and night, that it circles about the sun in a slightly distorted and slowly variable oval path in a year. Its distance from the sun varies between ninety-one and a half millions at its nearest and ninety-four and a half million miles.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940013628359
Publisher:
Unforgotten Classics
Publication date:
11/26/2012
Series:
Unforgotten Classics , #1
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
9 MB

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A Short History of the World 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Greatest Story Ever Told! Along with The Outline of History, this Short History of the World is the best and most underrated book by H. G. Wells, the master of science fiction, much better than all his scientific romances combined since it is actually a true story. It tells the epic adventure of the history of the world, life, and mankind according to the sciences of astronomy, biology, geology, anthropology, and world history. This is the modern worldview expounded by Wells in the early twentieth century. The book spans from the origins of the solar system to the outbreak of World War 1, with footnotes covering later history like World War 2 and the Space Race. Before the Big Bang theory, Wells speculates that the universe has existed for billions of years or has existed for an infinite amount of time. After dealing with the origin and evolution of our planet, the story covers the origin of life in the first seas and the evolution of life towards dry land, the sky, and beyond. The geological ages covered include the Ages of Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, Mammals and Birds, Apes and Submen, and finally Mankind. Despite the subsequent progressive ages, the Paleolithic Age, the Neolithic Age, the Industrial Age, and the various imperial ages of the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Mongols, Arabs, and later Europeans, the many wars detailed in the book and the Darwinian struggle for existence prove that history is more nature red in tooth and claw and more about the march of armies than the march of progress and enlightenment. The book likewise covers the history of religion, including paganism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, giving interesting biographies of the major founders of these great but outworn faiths. Despite the sufferings and tragedies of world history, life moves on and slowly progresses, perpetually dying as the old generation and being reborn as the new generation, and the range of life widens until the modern era when life has left our little planet and started to explore the wider universe. Thus, humanity finds itself on the path either to self-imposed destruction by modern global warfare or to further social and biological evolution in the formation of a world state and the colonization of space. It appears despite the sheer length of this epic story, we are merely at the twilight of the dawn and future history will be far longer and greater than all the history already recorded, if we don’t blow ourselves up first of course. I’d recommend this book as a good swift prelude before one reads the larger and better Outline of History, also by Wells, and the modern version of Mr. Wells’ History, Big History by David Christian. This story is clearly the greatest story ever told!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unecspected
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Completely boring. DO NOT READ!!! REPEAT:DO NOT READ!!!! I literally would have given it zero stars. Its too....... just not my type of reading. But seriously, i wouldnt buy this book if it was required for class. Dont even think about reading it. Not once, and dont even go to twice.