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Ideas That Changed the World

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  149 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Authoritative, compelling, and provocative, Ideas That Changed the World presents the big themes in philosophy and history, and reveals how certain ideas have shaped our civilization. One of the most respected historians writing today, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto offers an unashamedly personal analysis on a wide range of ideas--from the afterlife to taboo foods--that will kee ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 8th 2003 by DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley) (first published 2003)
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3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  149 ratings  ·  15 reviews


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S. Thomas
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! I will keep it on my coffee tale again as soon as my youngest son is old enough to handle such things.

I used the pre-history section heavily to world build my fantasy novel set in the Stone Age.

Beautiful pictures and pop culture references really bring history to life. A must have reference for how we got to this complicated society, one idea at a time.
Jefferson Ludlow
May 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Had it for 5 years, finally read it. Fascinating, wide-ranging, lots of illustrations - but not much new or surprising. The author's basic theses - that historical change is more intellectual than economic, political, etc etc, and that most of the ideas that shape our thinking are prehistoric in origin - would not get an argument from most historians. And Fernandez-Armesto's right-wing bias jumps off of every page and hits you in the face. Anything left of center is dismissed as "unrealistic" or ...more
Michael
Aug 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, history
Over 175 of the worlds greatest ideas are discussed in this book. They are explained in great understandable details. Each idea has recommended books to read for more undertsanding of the subject. Each idea also has modern and historical images relating to the idea. Some examples are the idea of measuring time, the idea of writing and the idea of atoms. You will learn a lot in this book. I was most impressed with the idea of the computer in 1833 but never finished since it needed the power of el ...more
Chris Ellis
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not what I though it was going to be, I imagined more of a look at human inventiveness, but this was far from it.

With chapters such as "The Idea of Measuring Time" and "The Idea of Religion as Law" it truly is a book that examines ideas throughout history, how they came to be, and the repercussions surrounding them.

Convenient short chapters make this an easy book to pick up and read anytime. Fair warning - there is a ton of information in this book, and not all of it easy to process.
Yassin Salama
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Um livro muito rico de informações valiosas sobre as ideias que fez uma mudança grande no mundo.
P.S: percebei que tem alguns erros que não tem base no fato.
Geert Daelemans
Aug 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Fast food for the soul

This unique book illustrates how our world has become what it is today: by thinking and using imagination. The fundament of this book is that ideas are the driving force behind change and progress. Ideas are as old as mankind. Discoveries and inventions, economic systems and politic movements, our contact with people, animals and daily objects: all find their birth in an original idea. From cannibalism to Zen, from time to the unconscious, from pure logic to the chaos theor
...more
Tanya
Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As an adult reading it, I might not give this 5 stars. My 5-star rating is for this book used as part of a history curriculum for a middle schooler. We have lots and lots of the DK books on history topics, but this one is unique on our shelves as an overview of ideas rather than physical objects that helped change the world. An example of this is where as the DK ancient history things may show paintings or pottery shards, this Ideas book opens with the evidence of cannibalism in very early human ...more
Gary  Beauregard Bottomley
TMS Ideas that Shaped Mankind - A concise history

Almost any listener who is interested in Big History from the beginning of man to today will enjoy this set of lectures. It's well worth one credit at Audible, and the listener will learn something he didn't already know. The lecturer's voice is as obnoxious as his attitude is arrogant. It all makes for a better listening experience and makes the listener think they too can become a Mr. Know-it-all. Yes, I did like the lectures and he ties his the
...more
Jason
Nov 06, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Adults
This book focuses on ideas thought to be important or pivotal to the development of history and humans. It's a somewhat cursory examination which is both a blessing and a burden. A blessing from the aspect that you don't get bogged down on one idea for a long period of time and also a burden because sometimes certain ideas interest you to the point where you want to read more about them. The book contains many nice illustrations and captions which tend to liven the subject and make it more allur ...more
The Reading Countess
Feb 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
A comprehensive look at all things innovative, Ideas That Changed the World will surely be a popular read with middle graders. From zippers to microwaves, electric cars to x-rays; this book has them all. My son will undoubtedly enjoy the video games pages, but I, myself, liked learning about early cement. It seems we have those crafty Romans to thank for the sturdiness of everyday objects. Mixing volcano ash with such things as blood, milk and horsehair to change the consistency, they introduced ...more
Tim Weakley
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was my first experience with an audiobook, and I have to say it was a laugh! I used this book to occupy my time during my daily workout. What I didn't realize was that my iPod was set on shuffle! So instead of this orderly progression of ideas through the ages I had to take them as I got them...which made for an exercise in concentration.

That aside, I thought the way in which it was done was very good. It was full of clearly stated ideas and opinions. The voice of the author was a bit of a
...more
Jess
Jun 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book talks about where a the ideas that underly parts of our western culture originated. It is organized into a cronological order by chapters begining with pre-history up until the post-modern period. Each page elaborates on a single idea, so the book is more like a collection of encyclopedia articles than a typical non-fiction read. If you like ideas, self-reflection and history, this book is definitely for you.
نیکزاد نورپناه
The part on "hunter gatherer" humans and their ideas was interesting. Example: The idea of Time, Calender, inheritance, farming etc.
Lucy
Apr 06, 2007 rated it liked it
Fun, with lots of pretty pictures. Interesting to look at it from a cultural perspective, too.
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Born in 1950, Felipe Fernández-Armesto was raised in London by his Spanish born father and British born mother both active journalists. As a historian, he has written numerous books on a variety of subject from American History to the Spanish Armada. He currently serves as the Principe de Asturias Chair in Spanish Culture and Civilization at Tufts University and Professor of Global Environmental H ...more