It is amazing how interesting Mr Gombrich makes history to be! For those, like me, who have not paid attention to history 101, he makes it as painless as possible even makes it enjoyable!
I'm sure this book is wonderful but I could not get past the first page. (The introduction is excellent and interesting). I felt that the following statement in the publisher's summary was misleading, "...for the curious of all ages, but especially children." The tone of the author and narrator are so patronizing that "Little History" would not be tolerated by many children that I know above age five, let alone adults.
I love psychology, brain science, marketing, business start up books and some fiction.
In the first part, the ancient history, the author was talking only about "some" of the civilizations were there: Can you read (or listen to) a book about world history that did not mention Inca? didn't talk about anything going on in Africa? didn't discuss the story of Moses??!!!
When the author then went to the part of history about Islam, that was the last strew!! Read ANYTHING about Islam in any reference and you will find out that what he describes couldn't be more far from true: Muslims didn't fight countries to " either convert them or kill them "! You will find out that Muhammad was not a military leader who charged his followers with rage and anger! You will find out that after the Khalifah Umar the Muslims didn't split and fight each others as tribes ( Mr. Author, never heard of Umayyads?). Muslims had a big glorious impact on the human history and it shouldn't be mentioned like this!
I also read reviews saying that the book is not covering the American history in details (not even the America revolution), but I am not going to try to find out, the book does not simply worth the time anymore.
In a nutshell, keep away!
While this book was well done, it was not at all what I expected. Let's be clear on what this book is and is not. It is NOT a history of the world. It is a history of Europe with emphasis on Germany. There were very few details on Asia, Russia and the Americas. The American Revolution was discussed in one sentence. Same with the Civil War. I would have rated it higher if the title were more accurate and the promotional write-up wasn't full of Bulls**t. But then, I wasn't looking for a history of Europe but one of the world.
On the other hand the narration was good, the story moved along and if you have children, especially if they are German, they will probably enjoy it. As an adult you may find the writing somewhat paternalistic, but remember it is written for an audience of school-age children.