Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Human Story: Our History, from the Stone Age to Today” as Want to Read:
The Human Story: Our History, from the Stone Age to Today
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Human Story: Our History, from the Stone Age to Today

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  376 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Has there ever been a history of the world as readable as this?

In The Human Story, James C. Davis takes us on a journey to ancient times, telling how peoples of the world settled down and founded cities, conquered neighbors, and established religions, and continues over the course of history, when they fought two nearly global wars and journeyed into space.

Davis's account
ebook, 480 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published January 1st 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 The Human Story, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Human Story

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Kamara Duruaku
The Human Story is an ok book. The only problem is that the majority of the book focuses on Eurocentric ideas and the expansion of Europe over the years. Don't read if you enjoy history because this quite frankly doesn't focus on all (or even most) nations, and continents history. Its not bad, but its not good either.
Jan 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who want to have a basic understanding of world history
Shelves: history
What a nice read. It covers world history from the Homo Erectus to the Hubble Space Telescope. Of course, it's a fast paced approach, often skipping details in order to compress everything into 440 pages. If anyone has trouble remembering the important events, this book is great at explaining in simple terms how the major events took place and why, with bits of humor and curious anecdotes here and there. Overall, a very easy and informative read. It follows a logical sequence, and is comfortably ...more
Dec 09, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This would be a great book for a teen, or someone without any knowledge of human history. It lacks detailed historical information and has no real depth...which is someways is understandable, he is after all , covering a very large subject. I just wish he would have taken time to delve a little deeper in at least a few areas...stil, that being said, it is not a bad book, just thin.
Sep 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5. I enjoyed this book a lot, even though it took me a lot longer to read than I thought it would. The author does a nice job of keeping the book from being dull and boring, like a lot of historical books can be. I thought the first half was better than the second half though.
Feb 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A great little history book that spans the Stone Age until today. Books like this are my bag, but this one moves quickly and was entertaining as well as informative. Highly recommended.
Cem Yüksel
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Taş devrinde Afrika'dan yola çıkıştan başlayıp , Lascaux mağazalarındaki resimlere,Mezopotomya'dan , Büyük okyanus adalarına insanın yola çıkışı ve ritüelleri ile başlayan kitap, Sümer ve Mısır mitlerine ,İbrahim dönemine Yahudi tarihine uzanıyor. Sonrasında Grek medeniyeti, mitlerinin bugüne uzanan izlerine bakıp, genelde dünya tarihi kitaplarında geride bırakılan Çin tarihine , kültürüne, yönetimine, o çağların büyük bir ekonomik gücünün önünü kendilerinin nasıl kestiğine değiniyor. Cihan impa ...more
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Son derece sürükleyici ve rahat okunan bir dünya tarihi kitabı. Milyon yıllık dünya tarihini tüm detaylarıyla 478 sayfaya sığdırmak tabii ki mümkün değil ama bu kitap düzgün bir özet ve ana fikir sunmayı başarıyor. Çeviri çok başarılı, bu da okuma zevkini artırıyor. Tabii ki kitap Avrupa ve Amerika tarihine ağırlık veriyor ve Batıcı bir bakışa sahip. Dünya tarihine dair derli toplu bir kitap okumak isterseniz iyi bir seçenek.
Nazife Korkmaz
It's fine and easy to understand. Basicly reminds and gives some details of human's story. It gives more details in some events and some nations although a very few mention from Ottoman Empire, Turkey and Turkish people. It s possible the author dont know much about Turkish people, anyway I waited more words about Turkey , as other nations in the book!
It's okay. Good for introduction into history. But don't expect anything deep.
Amouri Edwards
Very Eurocentric, therefore, not "The Human Story: Our History, from the Stone Age Today" but "The Average History of European Males from Some of the Stone Age and Maybe A Little About Today"
Sep 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, Mr. Davis is really going to tell you the history of humankind in 440 pages. This seems like an absurd task, but he does a good job of fast-forwarding through history, then going to slo-mo for key moments. This book was great for somebody, like me, who has always had trouble fitting the whole puzzle of civilization together. Sure the image that comes together at the end is sketchy but the impression is overwhelming and the scope is HUGE.

I went to this book hoping for a lot more info about
Santhosh Totiger
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
He (James) tells our story in an active manner. I know how difficult it would be to select appropriate subjects of our history in a book of about 400 pages, but, Davis has done it efficiently. He sometimes vomits many important things, for example, while explaining greek and roman civilizations, he just refers to great of that times just by mentioning their names, trying to explain their ideas just by one line or two, that was not sufficient for a reader like me, who is interested in learning at ...more
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
A single book with the full history of humanity is an ambitious undertaking in any event. Davis does not do a bad job, but definitely manages to glance over many important events, persons and even cultures.

The book is extremely easy to read as is claimed, but sometimes the writing style which seems to be geared towards readers that don't have education beyond the primary school starts to rub a bit. The quality definitely suffers by the endeavor to keep the writing style simple.

This book is def
Todd Stockslager
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Really high-level view of human history in 450 pages has the benefit witih its telescopic view of bringing together events that at the naked-eye or microscopic level of most histories are centuries and continents apart.

One strength is the wry humor of Davis' writing style ("Babbage didn't have the cabbage" to carry his calculating machine ideas to fruition). One drawback is very short sentences and sometimes simple vocabulary that make the book read like a middle school textbook, even though the
Michael Klein
Thus far, the book is a broad overview of our cultures as they developed and intersected; naturally, this includes the usual civilizations of the Fertile Crescent and Mesopotamia. All in all, nothing particularly new or innovative.

It falls flat against "Guns, Germs, and Steel," which is the modern archetypal form of this subject. At the very least, read this BEFORE Jared Diamond's book. The third star comes from the slightly superior timescale. Unlike Diamond, Davis actually takes us INTO moder
Feb 16, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition is what it says it is. A short, concise history. I think Davis does a good job with this though. It flows well, hits major points, and tells the tell. Don't expect to learn much from this if you have already had world history classes. This book is a good tool for review, and as a teacher of world history it gave me the broad picture in a way that made me think about what content I should include in my courses. Not a classic, but not a total dud that some have thought it was.
Nay Lin Soe
Apr 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
If one is looking for a general introduction of the journey of human civilisation, this is one of the books I would recommend. Definitely not a book for scholars. Easy to follow and doesn't drive a general reader with dates or records. A more earnest reader (still non-scholar) might wish to see a bit more details at parts.
Sep 14, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book makes the cardinal sin of any history book--missing the forest for the trees (individual people and states) or, at least, the groves (individual regions and time periods). To put it another way, the author connects individual sets of dots, without connecting the sets into a coherent whole. It's a shame, since the author's writing style is clear and concise.
Jan 23, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Good as a very general overview of history. It is readable and not intimidating. I would have liked to be able to give it three stars but there was enough bias, generalization, and arguable inaccuracies for me to be comfortable giving it more than two stars.
Mar 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very easy to follow and giving a concise explanation of the human history.
Besides, it depicts the big picture well enough so that you do not find yourself lost in the very details of the history.

I would recommend this book.
Jun 25, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very educational and it gave me a good general overview of history. It's under 500 pages and is easy to read. I would definately reccomend this to anyone who feels like their knowledge of world history is deficient.
Alon Gutman
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the human history, from the end of the last ice age, the beginning of agriculture, to the global economy of today.

It is very engaging and easy to read, and gives a very good overview of the entire history of mankind.
Michael Patton
"Has there ever been a history of the world as readable as this?" asks the promo advert. Well, I haven't found one. I usually don't like to backtrack, when I'm walking on new ground, but I may have to go back and read this book again.
Jan 17, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
You simply cannot compile everything humans have accomplished in the past 5,000 years. What you get when you do is a dry, stuffy, read, lacking important details.
Po Thèm Ăn chè
Jun 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent read for someone interested in an overview of the history of humanity. It is easy to pick up and enjoyable to read.
Aug 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great overview of human history. Not too many names or dates. It gave me a really good idea of which events happened in relation to others. Easy to read and engaging.
Jun 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book began like a history book, but towards the end it became more like a story with no definite plot. It was tole with sarcasm and bias that most history books avoid.
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great gift book for friends who lack a basic understanding of human history.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Civilization: A New History of the Western World
  • Love For Sale: A World History of Prostitution
  • A History of Knowledge: Past, Present, and Future
  • America: A Narrative History
  • Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics, and Society
  • Women's Life in Greece and Rome: A Source Book in Translation
  • Classical Mythology: A Very Short Introduction
  • The Romantic Revolution
  • Elizabeth: Virgin Queen?
  • Hitler and Nazi Germany: A History
  • The Hellenistic Age: A Short History (Modern Library Chronicles)
  • Pleasure Bound: Victorian Sex Rebels and the New Eroticism
  • Born in Africa: The Quest for the Origins of Human Life
  • Sexual Anarchy: Gender and Culture at the Fin de Siecle
  • Origins Reconsidered: In Search of What Makes Us Human
  • City of Dreadful Delight: Narratives of Sexual Danger in Late-Victorian London
  • Cleopatra the Great: The Woman Behind the Legend
  • Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy: From Thales to Aristotle