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A Short History of the World

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  763 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
Here is a masterly account of the grand adventure of human history, brilliantly narrated by a distinguished historian. It is the story of the world s people during the last four million years, beginning before the human race moved out of Africa to explore and settle the other continents. Geoffrey Blainey explores the development of technology and skills, the rise of major ...more
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published February 11th 2002 by Ivan R. Dee Publisher (first published October 1st 2000)
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Fungus Gnat
Aug 27, 2011 Fungus Gnat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blainey seeks to cover the history of the human species, including its prehistory, in the space of little more than 400 pages. Necessarily, this is not a history in the conventional sense—persons and places and dates, the actions of great men (and a few great women;). No, this is more a broad-brush cultural history: Where people lived, where they moved to (and from), the religions they followed, their view of the world (constrained, most of the time), the technologies (broadly speaking) they use ...more
Jul 07, 2016 Alexandre rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: portuguese, usa
Excelente! É uma espécie de resumo sim, não se aprofundando em cansativas análises de cada evento ou império, mas se preocupando com as conexões entre os vários agrupamentos humanos e o contínuo movimento rumo a globalização (em todos os sentidos). Leitura obrigatória para estudantes e para quem simplesmente gosta de aprender sobre história.
Dec 18, 2013 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Interesting and readable. Blainey follows social, cultural, religious and technological themes rather than the political or military. He attempts to tell the story of human experience rather than to recount a sequence of significant historical events, Thus, political and military developments are often unexpectedly relegated to supporting evidence for whichever larger theme he is developing. This approach enables him to move through large swathes of history quite quickly while still developing a ...more
João Henrique
Nice book but there are others with the same subject and more interesting.
Jun 04, 2008 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not very well-written, but interesting nevertheless. Good progression through the ages, covers many of the factors that have shaped human existence.
Chris Waterguy
Aug 14, 2011 Chris Waterguy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great and very readable introduction to the big picture of world history - a good starting point that will help make sense of more focused books of history.
Bendick Ong
Oct 30, 2013 Bendick Ong rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humanities
This is the second book i have recently on human history as a whole. My first was e.h.gombrich’s a little history of the world which i read 2-3 years ago and was actually a very good read. And this is the second - inspired by again a good post-lunch small-talk on world history, presidents, charisma and space expeditions with cb, e and k in one of those freer afternoons; and which later inspired further discussions with j on egyptian pharaohs, garden of eden and noah’s ark, and e’s recommendation ...more
Well, I enjoyed this book, though I've been meaning to look more closely into the historiography of it all. Geoffrey Blainey, I think though I might be wrong, is a fairly conservative historian, one of those who leaned towards John Howard's side in the history wars. Since I most definitely did not support that side, I suspect this means I should read it again with a critical eye.

Historiography aside, my main complaint with this book was that it spent rather too long discussing the less interesti
Toby Chapman
Dec 28, 2016 Toby Chapman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Concise history of humankind from prehistory. Very readable, covering a variety of geographies, areas and empires.

Any world history of this size will inevitably have omissions however the focus on technology and technological advances provides for a logical focus.

At point the author does digress from point somewhat but I personally found these events relatively few and mostly relevant.

All together a good 4* read for me.
Giuliano Filippini
Uma maneira interessante de se ligar os diversos fatos históricos que ocorreram na humanidade.
A leitura é bastante simples e agradável.
O ponto negativo é que o livro é bastante superficial por se tratar de um período muito amplo da história da humanidade. Porém vale a leitura para quem gosta desse tipo de assunto.
Darryl Hall
Jan 09, 2012 Darryl Hall rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the reason I read it, it was a perfect choice. My only critique would be the sections that make reference to Biblical writings as historical fact when some of those references we know today as part legend/part myth. But the general approach and the focus on the events or advancements that made huge changes in civilizations made it good.
Aug 30, 2012 Elaine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non_fiction
Interesting reading, with non-biased comments and opinions. This book does exactly what it said it would: tell a very short history of the world as if the author was there, feeling what a typical person from the several times, continents, cultures, civilizations and religions felt. I missed a time line and mention to the Internet, though.
Jul 20, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure. Mr. Blainey isn't the most eloquent of writers. His transitions a bit awkward, there were some weird contradictions, and very often I felt like I'd been promised more information than I actually got. But I learned a little, which, I suppose is the point.
Arisio Costa
Uma visão geral da história do mundo escrita de forma agradável de ser lida. Em diversas situações o autor cogita como a história poderia ter evoluido se algum evento específico não tivesse ocorrido. Muito bom!
João Victor
Mar 17, 2016 João Victor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
O mais interessante no livro é o entrelaçamento que o autor faz entre os diferentes povos abordados ao longo do tempo. Lembra um pouco a série do History Channel, "A Grande História", abordando a história da humanidade não como uma linha contínua, mas como uma rede. Vale a pena a leitura.
Really brilliant broad scale work on the evolution of human culture; it is truly fascinating to think how much we owe as a people to the simple food production and how easily we take it for granted. I would highly recommend this book if you are at all interested in history and humanity.
Mar 16, 2010 Suellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned about the history of the world. A very easy read.
Jan 25, 2009 Aguiar rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
indicaçao da talita
Herbert Hotzendorf
Fantastic!!! Gives you a brief but complete view on the evolution of mankind. It makes you understand who we are and how we got to where we are now.
Chee Chee
I feel like this is a good book. Just not my type.
Very short indeed.
Saul Abbad
Mar 15, 2011 Saul Abbad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is interesting to have a good perespective of western history evolution
Sep 26, 2010 Cinara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finished at last! Excelent coverage of facts, but it was as boring as a History class textbook... I guess I was expecting a less didactic style of writing. But it was worth it nevertheless.
Greg Tred
Nov 27, 2010 Greg Tred rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Makes me wish I did history at school - took a long time to read, not a page turner but a lot of info there that I just didn't know and other stuff I learnt a lot more about.
Jun 21, 2012 Rodrigo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
É um livro que mostra a história de alguns milhões de anos em pouco mais de 300 páginas. Interessante e, de fato, muito "breve".
Mar 05, 2010 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Really good.
Aug 01, 2011 Juan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buen libro de divulgación que explica todo lo que se conoce hasta hoy día de la raza humana.
Antonio Luís
Jun 17, 2010 Antonio Luís rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Geoffrey Blainey was very assertive in his approach in order to hold the reader's attention. The book is really very informative.
May 28, 2009 Jenifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
phenomenal, i didn't really learn that much new information, but this book put so much of what i already knew into it's proper prosepective
Jul 27, 2016 FranklinTV rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Good read, almost like a personal view or story telling - - probably time to re-read it.
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Geoffrey Norman Blainey AC is a prominent Australian historian. He attended Wesley College and the University of Melbourne. He was appointed to a teaching post at the University of Melbourne in 1962, becoming Professor of Economic History in 1968, Professor of History in 1977, and then Dean of Melbourne's Faculty of Arts in 1982. From 1994 to 1998 Blainey was foundation Chancellor at the Universit ...more
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“The magnitude of these shattering changes can perhaps be grasped by imagining that the invasion had been in the reverse direction and that the Aztecs or Incas had arrived suddenly in Europe, imposed their culture and calendar, outlawed Christianity, set up sacrificial altars for thousands of victims in Madrid and Amsterdam, unwittingly spread disease on a scale that virtually matched the Black Death, melted down the golden images of Christ and the saints, threw stones at the stained-glass windows and converted the cathedral aisles into arms or food warehouses, toppled unfamiliar Greek statues and Roman columns, and carried home to the Mexican and Peruvian highlands their loot in precious metals along with slaves, indentured servants and other human trophies.” 2 likes
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