This is essentially a good book with some interesting insights which should get 5 stars made into a farce by someone (the author/narrator?) doing ridiculous attempts at reading referenced sections in the accents of the original author. So for example Voltaire quotes are spoken in a ridiculous French accent. It is so bad that it makes the book into a bad joke. How could an editor let this happen?
Full disclosure, I consider myself drastically western in thought and lifestyle. I do not consider western civilization to be superior, or without problems... However, I do think its the most progressive, it has values I admire (in no particular order art, education, pluralism, civil rights, property rights, independent judiciary, etc.) even if not always in practice at least in principle. Again, not perfect, but for the most part progressive... we make leaps forward from the steps we take back...(most times)...
I am not a fan of FOX news or any other propaganda machine. And, for the most part I lean left politically... Although to be honest I would rather vote for a radical center ticket if there was an option...
The book is great because it is not only full of information that to many readers could be new, but mostly because it is tied in with other information and data to make interesting conclusions. Some historians and other specialists will have issues with conclusions and maybe even some of the data, and especially the patois of disciplines the author utilized in his analysis, but that doesn't make this book any less thought provoking or fun to read!
Based on this book I would imagine the author and I would probably disagree politically on some things, but being drastically western, I cant begrudge him having an opinion contrary to my own. However, its still good fun to read if this is a subject you enjoy, and the its well written which is remarkable considering the scope of the book.
And, like I said I doubt our politics is similar for the most, part, and I didn't agree about some of the conclusions he drew from the data, but it was a good read, with interesting facts, thought provoking ideas, and I enjoyed it.
Ferguson constantly challenges us to think differently about historical events. He's not afraid to be politically incorrect.
Some of the current events he comments on are too recent to have a historical perspective on. No one knows yet how are present economy will play out yet.
Definitely not. I enjoyed the book very much but there's much too much information to take in in one sitting or even ten sittings.
Tantor audio editors have demonstrated on numerous recording their inability to recognize such things as faulty pronunciations of either English or foreign words. This recording takes them to another dimension of incompetence. Whoever allowed the author to be his narrator should be fired. Ferguson's petulant and even scolding voice is bad enough, but his juvenile voicing in what he thinks to be the voice of the person quoted is nothing short of an embarrassment. This is not a children's recording of Frog and Toad are Friends.
The narration is such that I find it hard to concentrate on the already shot gun approach to the text itself. Spare yourself this one.
Overal interesting content, learned quite a bit, and good narration thought some of the accents Niall tries are pretty hilarious.
One of the best !
A very entertaining and informative presentation on the evolution of Western Civilization, contrasted with what were the previous leading Asian (Chinese) and middle-eastern civilizations. A good compliment to "Guns, germs, and steel".
Not suitable for film...
Well worth listening to!
Humanity's History Explained
I loved how he tied the book and history in with his "killer apps". The ah-ha moments were many and it was very interesting to hear why we are declining and China is rising, again.
He is a great Teacher and I would love to listen to him, anytime. I have so little time to sit and Just Read and so, sharing this with my husband (who never reads) was wonderful.
There were so many. We listened to this book while driving through a lot of the West and found ourselves nodding and grunting as we learned something new or had something reiterated to us.
Thank you for this great work. It was an enormous undertaking and so very important.
A little left-leaning and very curious
Great coverage of the major themes of Western Civilization. Delightful to listen to in the author's voice and accent.
Yes. It has so much information in each chapter that it was impossible to absorb it all in a single reading.
The chapter on competition was fascinating.
If he did all of the reading, which includes quotes by people of various nationalities, then he really added to the story by using accents and dialects that reflect the nationality of the person being quoted.
No. I read it as a recommendation from a colleague after reading Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond.
This knowledge of the past is important to understanding what the future may be.
The view of China, past and future, is fascinating.
The narration is outstanding.
It makes you have very serious thoughts about where the West, and more importantly, where the US is headed.