From the earliest civilizations to the 21st century: a global journey through human history, published alongside a landmark BBC One television series.
Our understanding of world history is changing, as new discoveries are made on all the continents and old prejudices are being challenged. In this truly global journey, Andrew Marr revisits some of the traditional epic stories, from classical Greece and Rome to the rise of Napoleon, but surrounds them with less familiar material, from Peru to the Ukraine, China to the Caribbean. He looks at cultures that have failed and vanished, as well as the origins of today’s superpowers, and finds surprising echoes and parallels across vast distances and epochs. This is a book about the great change-makers of history and their times, people such as Cleopatra, Genghis Khan, Galileo, and Mao, but it is also a book about us. For 'The better we understand how rulers lose touch with reality, or why revolutions produce dictators more often than they produce happiness, or why some parts of the world are richer than others, the easier it is to understand our own times.'
Fresh, exciting and vividly listenable, this is popular history at its very best.
©2012 Andrew Marr (P)2012 Macmillan Digital Audio
While the narration & performance were good, the story could have been orchestrated much better. Often new threads are introduced in the main chapter which are hard to follow and keep track of. The author chose to pivot on civil axions and countries and was therefore forced to skim through several important events, including the world wars. A better alternative would have been to keep time as the baseline and talk about all significant events in that period.
Also, disproportionate coverage has been given to European civilisations, not enough to The Asian ones and nearly none African and South American history.
This is a very well polished audio book - really like the narrator.
The breadth of the book is massive, spanning all of human history. It is thoroughly researched and enjoyable.
My only negative comment is that it is at times light on hard dates, which makes putting the different threads of the storyline together a little difficult at times.
It hard not to have a fresh view of the world and culture around you after taking a 2 dozen hour ride from humanity as nomadic tribes to today's urbanized globalized world. You will know the meaning of "history repeats itself" as you will see the same struggles, fears, movements and behaviours today as you did 2000 years ago...the only difference now is we carry iphones and word travels a bit faster
This is a very well presented summary of world history with critical events and key periods analysed and presented in clear language. The narrator is excellent and as each chapter is almost a self-contained package it is possible to jump from chapter to chapter in any order without losing any historical context.
Yes. I will listen again and again, to review the information, and continue to understand the contexts.
David Timson is an excellent narrator for this book. He does an admirable job, beautifully inflecting his tone to match the text, keeping it interesting, and very hard to take the headphones off!
Reads like a Victorian-style history. The Big Man approach to history isn't especially interesting to me
"A History of the World"
Beautifully written. And beautifully read. I highly recommend this book. Fabulous and not at all heavy going. Some really interesting takes on the events that made history. A wonderful listen. Thank you.
"Ignites lust for more knowledge on certain topics"
I thought it will be too comprehensive and impossible task to put a whole world history in one book - or at least that it will not be possible to do it and stay interesting. It would be either too shallow, or focused just on few aspects of history of human race.
However, author did the job in excellent way - through 90+ chapters, Marr focuses on major events in world history, mostly of big men and history-changers. Some less known parts are also covered, and this is done not only through (very good) narrative and historical facts, but also with analysis and comments, what this meant for human's history.
I have finished reading a book with a list of 15 topics I would like to learn more of and will be looking for books on those. This is a book on incredible progress of human race, but also on our shortfallings, brutality, wars and egoism. It might be grim and dark in some parts, but that is what our history has been like. It makes you think in different ways, and despite looking at major problems humanity currently faces, it ends with optimistic look and fact that we are living better lives than our predecessors.
Lot to learn from this one, and something everyone with interest in history should read.
Audiobook takes around a tour of the world history from the early ages to modern times. Very interesting listen You get to appreciate how something now taken for granted developed through out the ages. Very informative and entertaining.
"A beautiful view of world history"
This is just a brilliant book encompassing world history, from literally all around the world. Andrew Marr has a fluidity in connecting seamlessly one part of history to another, moving around the globe in waves and feeding you amazing information which will enlighten your mind in some parts, answer your questions in others and make you ask more about the amazing world we live in. It is amazing how he starts from the very beginnings of mankind in Africa and finishes with todays modern development and world. The brilliancy of this book belong to characters - the people, who shaped our world and history. David Timson has great clarity in his reading, making it comfortable and easy to listen to. I would highly recommend this book. Great job and exceedingly well done.
"Best non-fiction audiobook ever"
This is a truly remarkable work, always interesting. Marr weaves a clever and consistent line through world history, largely avoiding editorialising.
David Timson's rich narration, meanwhile, brings the book to life, creating one of the most engaging non-fiction audiobooks I've ever bought.
This should be a compulsory text for older kids studying history, as it fills in so many of the gaps necessarily left by the selective, more detailed approach to history teaching.
Buy it! You won't regret it.
"A masterful write with a common touch"
Andrew Marr must have put so much work into his history of the world and I can only admire his stamina in both researching it and then embarking on this marathon re-telling in spoken form. I do hope none of these endeavours contributed at all to his recent stroke.
In this history of the world we hear one of the most intelligent and diligent men of our times giving his view after exhaustive research. As he says, it is his and only his history of the world. For every historian there will be another history of the world with different evidence pursued and different events proclaimed. But here we have a history as seen through the intelligence of a man who tries his level best to enlighten and entertain us rather than feed his own reputation and ego. In this way his words are a gift to us without any side to them, politically, egotistically or otherwise. And as such they are then all the more valuable to us and all the more acceptable. We trust this man's voice. Therefore we can trust, and learn from, what he says and the kaleidesope of world wonders, events, crises and acheivemnts he brings to our world-weary ears.
I am really enjoying this audiobook. I particularly like how the author is constantly establishing connections and parallelisms between the different cultures and civilizations that populated the earth either simultaneously or at different times. The reader makes a wonderful rendition of the book as well and it is clearly read and with just enough humor in his voice to make it entertaining.
"It needed Bill Bryson's touch"
I was drawn to this as I really enjoyed the superb BBC series that arose from this book and I was looking for more of the details. I enjoy really long audio books as I do a lot of driving in my job and its great to get lost in them, but for some reason this one was a bit of a slog. It shouldn't have been because Andrew Marr does a fine job of charting the history of the world and the narration is excellent. With such a topic the scope of the task reminded me of Bill Bryson's book 'A short History of Nearly Everything', and this I think is where I found the problem. The book is informative, and there are real moments of interest but because of the nature of the subject we never hang around long enough before moving on. Bill Bryson has a wonderful way of making the mundane fascinating and I wished for a some of his style and humour to apply here, The bottom line is I found it informative but just not entertaining enough for my liking, though I see I'm in the minority here. .
"Interesting and thought provoking"
Found the book enlightening and captivating . A recommended listen for anyone interested in Human history and the advancement of Mankind.
This really has been a great book to listen to on my daily commute. The only criticism is the heavy weighting towards the recent past which I guess is down the available resources. Overall highly recommended.
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