A lively and engaging narrative history showing the common threads in the cultures that gave birth to our own.
This is the first volume in a bold new series that tells the stories of all peoples, connecting historical events from Europe to the Middle East to the far coast of China, while still giving weight to the characteristics of each country. Susan Wise Bauer provides both sweeping scope and vivid attention to the individual lives that give flesh to abstract assertions about human history. This narrative history employs the methods of "history from beneath" - literature, epic traditions, private letters, and accounts - to connect kings and leaders with the lives of those they ruled. The result is an engrossing tapestry of human behavior from which we may draw conclusions about the direction of world events and the causes behind them.
©2007 Susan Wise Bauer (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
The people who would do anything to anyone for power
Just finished reading Ancient World by Susan Wise Bauer. If you enjoy reading about history I can recommend this book. It was an easy read that moved quickly and gave good portrayals of the people who made history. The story line runs from the beginning of recorded history to about the time of Constantine. The unvarnished truth about the greed, lust for power and the things people did to each other and family members to get it is dark and depressing. If the past is truly prolog, we as a species are doomed.
The narrator seems to be trying to get through the text as quickly as possible, with no thought to the content of what he is reading, while trying to make it all sound "dramatic".
The content is pretty much standard ancient history, with the exception of the chapter on "Abraham" who is introduced as "the first monotheist" and followed by an uncritical rehash of the Biblical story in Genesis.
Well, that's all for now
"Entertaining and informative"
I love Susan Wise Bauer's dry sense of humour, which crops up in the most unexpected places.
The book covers ancient civilisations around the world, based on stories, histories, writings on stones and bones ... and gives a clear insightful view of what can perhaps be considered 'true' history and what can't. There are some lovely insights into people's characters - my favourite being Zimri Lim and his relationship with his younger daughter.
John Lee reads quietly and steadily, changing his voice subtly when he reads quotes.
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