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A Very Short History Of The World
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A Very Short History Of The World

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  173 ratings  ·  23 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)
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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
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
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!
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
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
Sep 22, 2007 Neglectedbooks rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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?
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.
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!
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.
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!
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 4 of 5 stars
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.
A little dry and very simple, but a nice overview of history and how the progress of different civilizations relate through time.
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 ^^
Very interesting. Mr Blainey makes the tit bits of histoty a great read. Wish I had just bought the original version.
Elisabeth Neale
Check out my blog for a review, and a GIVEAWAY of this book for Australian residents!
um, yeah. anyone interested in history should pick this one up. very well written, "very" being the key word.
Was not what I thought it would be. Its a bit fictionally written, but still interesting.
Mar 27, 2008 Tgibson02 rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Tgibson02 by: Carly
I just love history, so I just loved reading this book...
Grant Shade
Nice and concise but leaves you wanting more.
Ricardo TF
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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
More about Geoffrey Blainey...
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