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World History for Dummies (For Dummies)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  327 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews

Now updated! Your personal tour guide to the history of the world

Want to know more about global history? This concise guide explains in clear detail all the major players and events that have made the world what it is today. Covering the entirety of human history, this comprehensive resource highlights important developments in everything from religion and science to art

ebook, 408 pages
Published April 27th 2009 by For Dummies (first published March 15th 2001)
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Community Reviews

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Yi Lun
Jun 16, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, history

I came out of school with a dismal lack of knowledge of history, both of my own country's history and world history. In the last year or so, I have been trying to rectify this and turned to this book as a starting point. Overall, it offers a very comprehensive outline of the main historical events, players and philosophies of different parts of the world and the consequences they have brought into shaping our modern day societies. I learnt a great deal from reading this book.

However, I have
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is exactly what it claims to be: a very broad strokes look at all of recorded human history. I marked it to 4 stars however, because of it's really annoying tendency to put (for more on this see chapter x) in nearly every paragraph. There was even a paragraph that put in an aside to tell you for more information see the paragraph right before it. It was really distracting and way over used. I understand that the book is designed for people to read it in any order but there are ways to ...more
Dec 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, nonfiction
Overall, it’s a good read and I recommend it to others all the time though they may thing it’s dumb to read a book called World History for Dummies, smh. There is much to learn in it. I am peeved about it focusing too much on U.S. and Europe...What I enjoyed the most though are the little sidebars with random facts on history, like the one on Rodrigo de Jerez who was reported to the Spanish Inquisition for smoking tobacco (sucks for him; he spent seven years in prison). That’s before smoking bec ...more
Brad Rousse
A short, simplistic overview of world history. I was a little concerned by Haugen's decision to have warfare and philosophy as different "timelines" and sections of his book, but I see the wisdom of it now. By keeping these separate, Haugen allows the reader who is not as well versed in history to get a bird's eye view for context, then zooming into general themes that flesh out the story.

While I still prefer J.M. Roberts and Andrew Marr's takes, this is a good starting point for anyone who want
mrs rin
This book is a nice place to start your journey in history cause the author breaks it down quite a lot, he doesn't take anything for granted. He goes into a lot of details and I believe that even people who know their way around would benefit from it. But there are some parts and whole chapters that get really boring, there are also a few things he keeps repeating and they tired me out. Also it's confusing cause it doesn't have everything in chronological order.

Overall it's not bad. I read it in
Trey Mustian
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't let the title dissuade you: you definitely don't have to be a dummy to read it! This book offers a great overview of world history . One of its strong points is how the author demonstrates the interconnectedness of seemingly unrelated events and nuanced results of events. The book is written in a very entertaining style and sometimes even references pop culture which is fun. This is a very painless and enjoyable way to get a primer or refresher on world history.
Kevin Buckley
Feb 15, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history

I read this book because I wanted to have a better understanding of the time line of history (what was going on in other parts of the world while Athens was starting democracy, etc). This book did an ok job of that. The one thing that drove me crazy was how every other page would,in the middle of a paragraph, ask me to go to a certain page for more on the topic in that particular section. I do know how to use an index.
Fills quite a few holes in my knowledge of history. Haugen covers not only Alexander the Great highlights but also the legacy of his generals who founded several empires, Selucid, Ptolemic etc. Same with Genghis Khan. I suspected that Tamerlane and the Mughals of India were tied to Genghis Khan. Nice sections on South America, and European dynamics between 1400 to 1918. Good guide for 50,000 ft view. Thank you Peter Haugen.
Nov 06, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book doesn't meet its ambition, and the structure is wonky. But it DOES break some world history down into very chewable bits. If you like true stories, well, here's some good ones. (Not looking at the biggest events in history to satisfy your passion for True Stories is surely missing the forest in the trees.)
Raudi Lantigua
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excelente material para entender a grosso modo los eventos más importantes de la historia de la humanidad. No hace mucha profundidad en los temas...pero si que recalca bien los eventos más importantes y crea un poderoso nexo entre un tema y otro como "causa-efecto".
David Lebron

I have almost completed this book. I like the "For Dummies" books and this one, while not the best one that I have read, was pretty good. The way the material is organized is rather quirky, but it did give a decent overview of World History.
a standard run-down of thousands of years of world history. This book basically gives you short and simple explanations of major historical events. I love this kind of book because I can find something very interesting that I want to learn more about.
Luba Moshcovich
Actually this is not the world history, the author briefly goes over other continents but this book is mostly about European history and their colonization of the world. I must admit the the book was fairly objective and a good summary of European history.
Dec 30, 2009 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Of course I will be reading this. I love "for dummies" books and whenever there is a topic or subject that interests me, I see if there is a "for dummies" book on it. It is a great book to introduce you to the subject matter.
Dalia Ismail
Dec 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not the typical study guide. It's more like a scratch-the-surface kind of historical reference, laid in a feel-good, humorous style.
Jun 30, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
Trying to remediate my poor education in history....
Oct 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually really good!
Michelle Chan
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A most informative book that bravely attempts to organise the mess of events that have happened over such a long period of time.
Adam Bricker
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was interesting and varied. Granted it was repetitive in spots, as are all the For Dummies books I've read, but that just helps to drive home the points they're making.
Jan 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A great easy overview of MANY subjects!
Jul 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: teachers, students, anyone interested in a "crash course" in World History
Very good information, easy to read and great if you have to study quickly for a test.
Comicfairy (Leanne)
Love history, am a bit of a dummy (ha!), and figured this might be entertaining enough to get me back into school mode. We'll see!
Fariz Danial
A great overview by many world history. Not to mention you have to finish this book, but it show many variety of history event and specific people you would like to know first.

Oct 15, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you're looking for information laced with evolution, this is the book for you!
Sep 06, 2007 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I need this desperately. Cheat-sheet. Thankful.
Okay, so my criticism of this book is that it is far too incomplete yet it's a Dummies book so seems a bit unfair of me. It does do a good job at quick review.
Nov 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I was not taught world history well in high school. I skimmed this and re-read parts occasionally. The "For Dummies" series is good for this.
Jan 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good so far. The information is organized several different ways, so you can approach events chronologically or look up specific people or ideologies.
rated it really liked it
May 31, 2012
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Aug 04, 2016
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