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你一定爱读的极简欧洲史

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  3,203 ratings  ·  360 reviews
《你一定爱读的极简欧洲史》是一部“最短”的欧洲史。它以极简练的文字,却从不同的角度,把欧洲历史的精要述说透彻!雅典的民主、罗马的共和,差别在哪里?蛮族入侵是如何发生?中古时期的政教之争到底争什么东西?罗伯斯庇尔时期的法国为什么叫“美德共和国”?——所有这些问题的答案,《你一定爱读的极简欧洲史》将以非常轻松的方式告诉你。为我们梳理出欧洲文明所以能改变全世界的各种特质。作者从三大元素:古希腊罗马文化、基督教教义以及日耳曼战士文化开篇,描述了这三大元素如何彼此强化,又相互对立,最终形塑为欧洲文明的内核;继而在诸多世纪以来催生帝国与城邦,激发征服与十字军东侵,造就出许多性格截然分明的人物──如仁慈的皇帝、好斗的教皇、侠义的骑士,乃至世上第一批享受繁荣和启蒙果实的公民。《你一定爱读的极简欧洲史》以清晰、幽默、发人深省的笔调,杂以活泼的插图,叙述了一个 ...more
Kindle Edition, 248 pages
Published January 1st 2011 by 广西师范大学出版社 (first published 2009)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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Matt
Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book for a very high-level overview of the history of Europe. Mostly focused on the Roman Empire and its aftermath, up until the Industrial Revolution.

Below are my reading notes.

# Chapter 1
Europe is a mix of people:

- the Greeks, who thought the world was simple, logical, and mathematical
- the Christians, who thought the world was evil with only Jesus to save them
- and the Germans, who thought waging war was the greatest

What happened when these groups came together?

At first the Christians w
...more
Joash Loh
Great summary

but i can't help but be annoyed by the flippant Euro-centrism by Hirst. On Feminism: "it was because women had this degree of respect in European culture that feminism was fairly readily accepted. It is a different story in other cultures." What other cultures? By how much? Such casual condescension served no purpose other than to make the reader demand qualification, which this book does not provide.
Claire
Aug 03, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When I marked "read" for this book, I only meant read in so far as it only took me about 20 pages to discover this book is biased and in some cases kind of offensive. I would read "Europe: A History" instead. It may be the longest history of Europe, but it's informative, well-written, and much less biased (and when biased mostly tends to be honest about it).
Quân Khuê
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very helpful introduction into European history
Wayne
Aug 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants to know in a nutshell how it ALL happened.
Recommended to Wayne by: Alfonso
Shelves: history

DURING READING:

John Hirst has been called "Australia's most innovative and penetrating historian" and the first thing I have learned from reading this book is that whoever said that is bloody well RIGHT!!!

What a relief to be reading the SHORTEST history of Europe - and at around 140 pages,( plus 10 maps and 22 illustrations ),that is exactly what it is.
What is MORE, he is putting IN what all those BIG HEAVY LENGTHY TOMES on European history LEAVE OUT!!!!
It's the BEST thing on European History I
...more
Yousra Serry
3.5

A very good introduction for those who really do not know much about Europe as it gives you a quick overview of the main events that shaped Europe and its people. Their ethnic and cultural backgrounds, their languages, the political changes and the revolutions that made Europe what it is today.
However, its was oversimplified at times and the author let his own opinions, which weren't always clever, get into his stories sometimes.
Also, it mostly just focused on Britain, Germany, France, and
...more
Jozef
Mar 21, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
True to the title, this book covers a very substantial period of history very quickly. While most history books (especially the door-stoppers dedicated to only a significant event) tend to be richly detailed and illuminate how much you *didn't* actually know or took for granted, this lies on the other end of the spectrum.

In all fairness, it's easy to feel a little guilty about glossing so much over, but the result is also surprisingly refreshing and concise, and offers a lot of insights that cou
...more
Rubal
May 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
we were only taught some fragmented topics ( industrial revolution, french revolution, and world wars) from european history in school. but i have always wanted to read more about it especially about the ancient europe. the size and scope of history books about these eras always intimidated me so this book seemed perfect on that front. and it does deliver on the mandate of being concise. i now have an overview of (mostly western) european history and feel slightly confident about reading more ab ...more
Ijlal
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Precise, explicit, provocative and a palpable show of brevity. It's a modern retelling of European history from a bird's eye view and acts as a junction, connecting all the dots and bridging all the gaps between the narratives of the past that the masses by and large recognize in bits and pieces. What makes this book prodigiously attractive is the sheer density of knowledge, it holds in such a compact size. Consequently, this artful chronicle could be regarded as an immaculately and meticulously ...more
Al Bità
Oct 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved reading this book. Indeed it does supply what could be considered the shortest history of Europe; but then it also supplies a further six short histories of Europe, but each based on a different core subject — and all this in less than 150 pages! Strangely enough, the combined effect of this is to provide a richer, more incisive awareness of the complexities involved in European history.

As beneficiaries (or victims) of European ideas we may find ourselves too close to the subject to be o
...more
Tarek
Jul 22, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A very biased and the most ridiculous book I've read regarding history. It is shocking me that this kind of books would be even published. This man described the knowledge and science as a European making? Like things like just happened, naming the kingdoms of the east as an extreme totalitarian regimes, and no matter what the European model was democratic and never have been barbaric or extreme as "those" of the east. Ignoring that science is based on different factors, one of them is COMMUNICA ...more
Camelia Rose
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This book has only 160 pages but it covers European history from ancient Greek to industry revolution. It is short and dense but very readable, a great introduction for someone who has no time for big, detailed, elaborate history books.

I took one star off because there is not a single footnote or backnote in the book, nor a list of references. Only one other historian, Patricia Crone's name was mentioned at the end of the book. Some end-of-chapter conclusions seemed rushed or a little out-of-con
...more
AnnaG
This is an excellent primer on European history with a good overview of major trends in civic life. It won't add much new to a history buff, but provides a succinct and accessible narrative for a more casual reader.
헌용 김
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked the author's succinct, compressive view of the European history. But what I liked most about this book was John's sense of humour. It was an essential element. Good job, John.
João
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short review of the main highlights of European History. Very helpful for people who, like me, are not very knowledgeable about it and want to have an overview that helps linking and making sense of the many phases Europe has gone through. It will tell you not just what happened, but why and how did major events influence one another.
Luís
Dec 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5/4 really.

Very enjoyable, succinct and compelling collection of lectures on the evolution of European civilisation and the successive mutations that led to the present. It opens up quite a few threads for readers to follow depending on their own interests, too.
Sylvia
Jul 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A concise review of the European history, a unique angle has been adopted through the writing. The author explains the dreary story with profundity and an easy-to-understand approach.

In The Shortest History of Europe, John Hirst takes us on a fascinating journey through antiquity, the Middle Ages and beyond, bringing European civilisation to life in all its peculiarity and exuberance. Beginning with Greek and Roman learning, Judeo-Christian religion and a Germanic warrior culture, it discusses h
...more
Mohamed Omar
An interesting and clever approach to tell the history of Europe through different topics/contexts instead of listing events based on chronological order.

However, the author falls into contradictions in different chapters. Mainly because he provides  a very traditional Euro(ego)centric version of human history:

First, he forced a strong connection between Modern(Western) Europe and the Greco-Roman world(which was more Mediterranean/middle eastern than anything else!) and then by assuming the gr
...more
Saila1
Nov 06, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very nice summary of Europe history, generally I liked it. As it is a summary, the author has chosen to focus on some aspects, topics, countries and jump or quickly go through some others. I liked for example his overview of European languages evolution, of the battle between popes and emperors and its several consequences. I cannot agree to some assumptions or interpretations such as a prevalent only negative view of religion during the Middle Age or some simplistic conclusions. A funny examp ...more
Alex
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a good book if one wants to remember some stuff about european history. makes one wanting to read more about stuff. And so I will. The first part very good because a bit easy. The second part, starting with 1700 is quite complicated, because the world of course became more complicated. A lot of infos. as I said, makes one wanting know more.
Millie Yule
This is the second time I’ve read the book; the first time I would have given it 4 stars. On re-reading (and after reading a few other history books in between) I realised that it’s over simplified. However, I would recommend it as an introductory book - a jumping off point - but when reading it I think it’s important not to take it as gospel.
Jane
Oct 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australian
Why bother with a longer history? It's all in here. No, not names and dates and stuff; themes, the reasons why it matters, how it's affected the way that you think and live. Plus, the 'Common People' chapter is funny.
Lina
Apr 05, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a nice overview of the major events in central and western Europe (specifically modern Italy, France, Spain, Germany and England).
Describing multiple centuries in such approachable and concise way is a hard task and I think the author coped with it remarkably well!
Even I, a person who always struggled with history, was able to finally understand what the hell happened to the Roman Empire and why it was so important! :)
Illustrations, diagrams and timelines were very helpful, as well as
...more
Jen
Aug 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable read and one that is full of interesting, and sometimes surprising, information. I thought I knew all about European history but after reading this book it turns out I only knew tiny parts of it.

Well worth a read if you like your history in bitesize chunks.
Jen Lavery
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really easy to read and packs loads of interesting information into less than 200 pages
Nick
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty awesome history book! I suck at history but this book is easy to read and helped me connect all the dots.
Jamila Geronimo
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very concise and entertaining.
Nathan Baseley
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is this the first history book I've ever read (finished)? I think so. As a history noob it was sufficiently pacey and light. It's central thesis emerged gradually but once revealed was super clear and left me with a takeaway for life. Not sure if it was a good idea to read in the middle of the Brexit turmoil.
Nofal Ali
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, the book is well written and to the point. John Hirst has beautifully avoided trivial details that usually make the history books boring. So, The Shortest History of Europe is recommended by me for everyone.
Seth Benzell
Very decent version of what it says on the tin. I would definitely recommend it to someone from Asia who is interested in a short history focused on political, intellectual and social history. It does less well as economic history. Some thoughts:

1) The book subtly does a great job of presenting ideas in threes. I think the framing of Europe's ideological inheritance being Christian + Greco-Roman + Germanic as helpful and illuminating. I also like how the successor movements: i.e. the reformation
...more
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