©2005 Niall Ferguson; (P)2006 Penguin Books Ltd
"This thought-provoking, highly engaging, and nearly-impossible-to-put-down book...challenges readers to think outside the box." (Library Journal)
"Big, bold and brilliantly belligerent." (The Sunday Telegraph
Though abridged, the book manages to make a reasonably convincing case as to why the 20th Century was so bloody. Ferguson's theory is essentially this: hatred (of others) is an integral part of being human; so when peoples of different ethnicities living in close proximity experience economic instability, and when established order (or Empire) is in decline, the killing urge rears its ugly head waiting to be set free in the name of a war.
The World Wars, including the Cold War, are old subjects. However, Ferguson's writing throws out fresh perspectives, which alone will compensate for your valuable time.
The narration of Sean Barrett was excellent, as well.
"Brilliant and Eye Opening"
I loved this and find myself repeat listening often.
Puts the events of the last century into perspective.
Find out what your grand father actually fought for, and what our children may face in the future.
This changed my perception of the history of the last century. I had had a conventional British Good Guys (apart from the opium wars and that was before my time) versus the Bad Guys (everyone else at different periods of time). By the end, I realised that, apart from the great dictators, we were all much the same in our intentions and morality. I suppose tha, from black-and-white I now see everything in different shades of grey. The style gripped me from the start - this is how history should be taught. I did feel that more could have been said on almost everything but I think this may have been an effect of the abridgement (who does decide that a book would be better abridged?). The reading was competent and clear but slightly too fast and would have benefited from a little more dramatic emphasis.
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