Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Very Short History Of The World” as Want to Read:
A Very Short History Of The World
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Very Short History Of The World

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  215 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Tells the story of the world's people. It begins before human beings moved out of Africa to explore and settle the other continents. It is a story of the inhabited world being pulled apart, and of it coming together again in centuries. It recreates human experience in varied forms, describing human life at both its grandest and domestic levels.
492 pages
Published (first published 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Very Short History Of The World, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Very Short History Of The World

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 510)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
C.
I'm going to be meeting Geoffrey Blainey in a few weeks, supposedly to discuss this book. I don't know how well known he is outside Australia (if at all), but for better or for worse, he's pretty much the foremost historian in this country.

To the general public, he's mainly well known for writing A Short History of the World (of which this is, I think, an abridged version) and A Short History of the Twenty-First Century, both of which I have read and enjoyed.

So anyway, all this begs the questi
...more
Zarish Fatima
Now this book was a pure and complete disappointment.
As far a history books are concerned this did not even came close to a good read. Of course it was informative but it was more biased then informative. For someone who has some prior knowledge would be completely enraged like i was the reason i even finished this book was to see how far would the writer take this or would he try to d some justice he did not.
The book has 3 parts. This book starts from the theory of Darwinism. Understandable b
...more
Kristine Morris
Every high school student should have to read this. Gives a great understanding of the history of the different cultures and gives you a good foundation to explore in more detail some of the topics he covers.



Because this is an abridgement I did find some references to things that he had not explained (obviously those section were cut out), but that was rare.



Enjoyed reading the book very much!
Noodles
Dec 17, 2012 Noodles rated it liked it
Shelves: history
This book is very nicely written. It seems an almost impossible task - to condense the entire history of the world into one small book of less than 450 pages (not including the references and index). It is a good attempt, but didn't quite work for me. It focusses very much on general concepts and trying to give a picture of how life was for people at different stages of human history. I had the feeling of a real expert, who was telling me what he thought I (as a relative history novice) need to ...more
Rebecca
Jul 05, 2015 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
This book does exactly as Blainey states it will: it gives a very broad overview of human history, told in a very engaging narrative. Of course it cannot touch on every event that has occurred, or even come close to that in 450 pages, but it is a very interesting read and provides a good stepping stone towards having a greater understanding of why the world is the way it is today, and to further reading on the topics that interest the reader the most.
Gus
Feb 01, 2016 Gus rated it really liked it
Great novel, I had put this off for a while but Blainey it all very interesting, a few personal

stories and with enough pace to cover most of the topics with out getting boring. Really

pieced together world history for me and now I can focus on particular instances that I

would like to learn more on.
Jessica
Oct 07, 2013 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book does what it says it does: provides a very brief overview of the history of the human race and its most ardent endeavours. Of course, being so general, many topics are barely touched upon or not even mentioned, but that is to be expected considering the utter vastness of human history, and the limit of 500 pages.

This is an excellent and gripping text, and is a good starting point for novices to world history, and even those (like myself) who know tid bits but seek to join the dots. Alt
...more
Neglectedbooks
Sep 22, 2007 Neglectedbooks rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone even slightly interested in history
Shelves: featuredbook
Condensed from his already brief Short History of the World, this is a terrific book, one of the most consistently interesting and entertaining I’ve read in years. Blainey does an amazing job of squeezing the history of human life on this planet into 450 small pages.

Faced with a task of condensation on this scale, Blainey tends to focus on trends instead of events, but he succeeded in keeping my interest where others (e.g., William McNeill) have failed. He manages to shift from the specific to t
...more
Eoin
Aug 18, 2013 Eoin rated it it was ok
I can forgive the author his somewhat questionable prioritisation over the course of the book - squeezing the entirety of human history into less than 500 pages is a challenge. What I can't forgive are the regular factual inaccuracies. The dates of Augustus Caesar's reign, Constantine's father's name, Sputnik 3's payload - if I recognised these mistakes from my limited historical knowledge, how could I trust any other facts this book stated?
Mindy
Nov 22, 2011 Mindy rated it it was amazing
This is not a typical book I would read but it was really cool especially for someone like me who can't remember anything she learned in history class. Totally recommend it except for those who already know all their history (I'm thinking of you, Ann). Some of the facts blew me away and some just made me remember what I learned in third grade which are cooler to know now.
Tony Hollingsworth
This book is a great introduction to the history of the world - from prehistoric times through to the 21st century, Professor Blainey explains how we have evolved and made our way in the world. It provides a great starting point for further research, as most areas of world history are only briefly touched on, but well researched.
Sara K
Dec 10, 2015 Sara K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to know a broad history. It moves geographically very well, taking you from one side of the world to another without huge jumps.

Minus one star because I feel like in some parts, there were things that were missing and the last chapter feels stuck on.
Treena Sengupta
Sep 03, 2015 Treena Sengupta rated it it was amazing
A brief yet comprehensive shot to the entire mankind history. A difficult task. But author used few dimensions and lens which so aptly fits this story telling. If history interests u, this is certainly your book!
Gemma
Jun 26, 2010 Gemma rated it it was ok
Shelves:
It skips the vast majority of geological time.

But a good few chapters dedicated to the emergence of the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic faiths and how they've become what they are today.

Given up on this. Will try reading it again some time soon!
Mark
Nov 11, 2012 Mark rated it really liked it
Quick and entertaining read. Gives a lot of useful historical information that may help explain the problems of the world right now, particularly when examining the origins of the major religions.
Gina
Aug 28, 2013 Gina rated it really liked it
Very good- enjoyed the main characters perspective and the language -it actually seemed as though Salinger was writing exactly as he thought. Easy read, good settings- thoroughly enjoyed!
Shamsh
Jul 05, 2009 Shamsh rated it liked it
Although facts and phases are developed awfully fast, this book brings some interesting historical information. People who don't know much about history should love this.
Tony Goriainoff
Oct 08, 2007 Tony Goriainoff rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Thought provoking and yet easy to read. A lot of concepts verbalised in a very straightforward way.

A joy to read if you like books which make you think a little bit.
Portholio
Aug 19, 2009 Portholio rated it it was ok
A little dry and very simple, but a nice overview of history and how the progress of different civilizations relate through time.
Maria
An enjoyable read. I appreciated the commonalities he drew amongst the different cultures. Makes you want to delve deeper.
Thu Trang
With this book, the lengthy story of the earth seems much more enjoyable :) It feels like reading bed-time stories to me ^^
Andrew
Sep 26, 2011 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting. Mr Blainey makes the tit bits of histoty a great read. Wish I had just bought the original version.
Elisabeth Neale
Apr 20, 2013 Elisabeth Neale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Check out my blog for a review, and a GIVEAWAY of this book for Australian residents! elisabethanera.blogspot.com
Kirstin
Jun 14, 2008 Kirstin rated it really liked it
um, yeah. anyone interested in history should pick this one up. very well written, "very" being the key word.
Gabitere
May 11, 2015 Gabitere rated it really liked it
Great way to get a full idea of the history of the world and understand the order of events.
Emily
Sep 01, 2011 Emily rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Was not what I thought it would be. Its a bit fictionally written, but still interesting.
Tgibson02
Mar 27, 2008 Tgibson02 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Tgibson02 by: Carly
I just love history, so I just loved reading this book...
Grant Shade
Jul 30, 2011 Grant Shade rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nice and concise but leaves you wanting more.
Yaroslav
Yaroslav rated it really liked it
Jun 29, 2016
Tony Sunderland
Tony Sunderland rated it it was amazing
Jun 26, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 16 17 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Book History Reader
  • The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community
  • The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire
  • History in Three Keys: The Boxers as Event, Experience, and Myth
  • The Wisdom of Crocodiles
  • The European Philosophers from Descartes to Nietzsche
  • Australians: Origins to Eureka (Australians, #1)
  • The Spinster and Her Enemies: Feminism and Sexuality 1880-1930
  • Bones of Contention: A Creationist Assessment of the Human Fossils
  • The Quantum Ten:  A Story Of Passion, Tragedy, Ambition And Science
  • The Use and Abuse of Literature
  • Essential Shakespeare Handbook
  • The Most Reluctant Convert: C. S. Lewis's Journey to Faith
  • From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Caribbean, 1492-1969
  • A History of Illuminated Manuscripts
  • At the Hands of Persons Unknown: The Lynching of Black America
  • Popular Magic: Cunning-folk in English History
  • A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers from Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx
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
More about Geoffrey Blainey...

Share This Book