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你一定爱读的极简欧洲史

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  2,272 ratings  ·  245 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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4.11  · 
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 ·  2,272 ratings  ·  245 reviews


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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
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
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).
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
Jeremy Steinberg
Nov 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Fantastic little book, 200 pages long, based off a series of lectures that the author delivers at a University, that is a bird's eye view of the history of Europe. He managed to pack in a surprising amount of detail however and I think this helped make it a real page turner. I read it in one day while waiting at the airport for a delayed flight. I have already done a big history course but it still helped fill in some gaps I had (e.g. I had some large gaps in Modern European history) and helped ...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.
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
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.
Bigboss
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ourstory
People in John Hirst’s classes must feel super lucky to hear him teaching the history of Europe! You may not usually associate “fun” with history reading, but Hirst made this possible with this book.

However, I do find strong personal views on historical events, and not so “academical” language used. Maybe Hirst didn’t intend to make it another boring / research type history book.

Love this book so much, I will have to come back and read it again next year.
Misty
Mar 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who is studying European history at school or even first year un
This was a great read. I know my European history pretty well already but this book put everything into perspective. It's also a great read for people don't know their history. My mum is reading it now and she is surprised just how interesting she's finding it. I think this is because the book doesn't just describe the events but puts everything into context so that the reader can relate. John is an Australian, so he describes everything with an Australian perspective, which is really good, espe ...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
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.
Simon Duan
Short is good, 1) but did not cover the most important information of Europe. 2) some opinion of author is too naive like fast food. I do not think it good for teenage as educational book. But for adult, it is too simple.
Siyuan Liu
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very short history telling book.
Laura Fearnley
Jun 09, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Following the debate on Jesus birth and geometry in the first few pages I binned it off.
A W
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A history of Europe from the retreat of the Roman Empire to the expansion of the European Union in the first decade of the twenty first century sounds intimidating and fascinating in equal measure. The mind conjures up an image of several fat volumes sat on a shelf in a university library scaring prospective scholars away from its undoubted treasures with a thicket of impenetrable footnotes.

It is massively to the credit of the late Australian historian John Hirst that he manages to retain the fa
...more
Mark
This book is less a history and more a sort of primer of West European cultural literacy: if you only had 193 pages for this subject, would you use about 10 pages (more than 5% of your allotment) explaining in detail the basics of geometry, Plato’s concept syllogisms, and the core ideas of Newtonian physics? I didn’t think so. Still, this book is a pleasure to read, and it would be good if the average person were familiar with European history in at least this level of detail. (I’m pretty confid ...more
Putu Sita Witari
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The idea of writing history of a continent could overwhelm us as this will not be adequate to merely focusing on a topic, but it is expected to involve so many aspects in various levels, not to mention be sensible who the readers are.

Yet it was effortlessly done by this author. As a reader who has little knowledge about this particular continent, it was enjoyable to spend a number of my evenings with this book, which provided fresh air with many interesting facts related to European civilization
...more
Thijs van Bemmel
Aug 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you want to start to understand how present day Europe came to be, this book is definitely the place to start. It's exactly what it says it is; a very short and compact, yet surprisingly complete history of Europe since the Republic of Rome. Sure, there's little detail, a lot of events are missing, but it's a very clear overview of the full story. Also the description of the interaction between different states and the church is very interestingly written. Again very transparent and understan ...more
Rui
Aug 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have some objections regarding the title. This is the shortest history of the UK, France and Germany.
Perhaps this book is really intended for people outside Europe.

On the other hand as a personal vision on the main landmarks that made Europe what it is today I think this book reveals an extraordinary capacity for synthesis and for someone that has just a simple idea about Europe, undoubtedly this book will provide a pretty good picture on the main factors that contributed to its development an
...more
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