Bill Bryson has been an enormously popular author both for his travel books and for his books on the English language. Now, this beloved comic genius turns his attention to science. Although he doesn't know anything about the subject (at first), he is eager to learn, and takes information that he gets from the world's leading experts and explains it to us in a way that makes it exciting and relevant.
"Very informative, fun to listen to"
A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson's quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. He takes subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry, and particle physics, and aims to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. In the company of some extraordinary scientists, Bill Bryson reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.
In a miracle of concision, Paul S. Boyer provides a wide-ranging and authoritative history of America, capturing in a compact space the full story of our nation. Ranging from the earliest Native American settlers to the presidency of Barack Obama, this Very Short Introduction offers an illuminating account of politics, diplomacy, and war as well as the full spectrum of social, cultural, and scientific developments that shaped our country. Here is a masterful picture of America's achievements and failures, large-scale socio-historical forces, and pivotal events.
"Before WWI, Not Bad, After WWI Hopelessly Biased"
The history of United States coinage is a story that parallels the rise of America. Starting from a humble beginning in a basement in Philadelphia in the first few years of the country, it grew to a large highly sophisticated system that produces millions of coins per year. Due to a lack of silver, the first silver coins produced by the Mint came from silverware contributed by George and Martha Washington.
Dramatic alterations in political power have corrected the once prevalent vision of a European-centered world. While the centers of European culture flourished, decayed and sprouted in turn, empires in Africa rose, ruled, resisted, and succumbed. Much of Africa's past has now been excavated from ignorance and error, revealing a rich and previously little-known human heritage.
"Concise, Comprehensive, Well-Written"
A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson’s quest to find out everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization - how we got from there, being nothing at all, to here, being us. His challenge is to take subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. It's not so much about what we know, as about how we know what we know.
"If you only own one audio book, this is it!"
After the unprecedented destruction of the Great War, the world longed for a lasting peace. The victors, however, valued vengeance even more than stability and demanded a massive indemnity from Germany in order to keep it from rearming. The results, as eminent historian Norman Stone describes in this authoritative history, were disastrous. In World War Two, Stone provides a remarkably concise account of the deadliest war of human history, showing how the conflict roared to life from the ashes of World War One.
This Very Short Introduction looks at Africa's past and reflects on the changing ways it has been imagined and represented, both in Africa and beyond. The author illustrates important aspects of Africa's history with a range of fascinating historical examples, drawn from over 5 millennia across this vast continent.
The Druids have been known and discussed for at least 2,400 years, first by Greek writers and later by the Romans, who came in contact with them in Gaul and Britain. According to these sources, they were a learned caste who officiated in religious ceremonies, taught the ancient wisdoms, and were revered as philosophers. But few figures flit so elusively through history, and the Druids remain enigmatic and puzzling to this day.
In A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson takes his ultimate journey - into the most intriguing and consequential questions that science seeks to answer. It's a dazzling quest, as this insatiably curious writer attempts to understand everything that has transpired from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization.
"Listen to this book with your kids!"
In The Company, the largely unknown history of the joint-stock company is presented by the editors of Economist. One of history's greatest catalysts, the joint-stock company has dramatically changed the way human beings live, work, and conduct business. With companies now affecting the world on a global scale, it is more pressing than ever before to understand this driving force.
"unique history with a unique perspective"
Best-selling author and renowned religious scholar Karen Armstrong presents a concise and articulate history of Islam, the world's fastest-growing faith. Beginning with the Prophet Muhammad's flight from Medina and concluding with an examination of modern Islamic practices and concerns, Armstrong delivers an unbiased overview. She contends that no religion is more feared and misunderstood by the Western world as Islam, and firmly challenges the notion that these two civilizations are on a collision course.
"Read the Book, pass on the audible!"
The conflict between Palestine and Israel is one of the most highly publicized and bitter struggles in history. In this accessible and stimulating Very Short Introduction, Martin Bunton clearly explains the history of the problem, reducing it to its very essence - a modern territorial contest between two nations and one geographical territory. Adopting a fresh and original approach, each section covers a twenty-year span, to highlight the historical complexity of the conflict throughout successive decades.
The historical twentieth century began with the First World War in 1914 and ended seventy-five years later with the collapse of the Soviet Empire in 1989. The short century saw the end of European dominance and the rise of American power and influence throughout the world. The twentieth century was an American century-perhaps the American century.
In addition, Remini explains the reasons for the nation's unique and enduring strengths, its artistic and cultural accomplishments, its genius in developing new products to sell to the world, and its abiding commitment to individual freedoms.
"Very thorough, easy listen, heavy on US Presidents"
At a time when Christianity is flourishing in the Southern Hempisphere but declining in much of the West, Linda Woodhead offers a bold new overview of the world's largest religion, exploring the cultural and institutional dimensions of Christianity over two millennia.
Why do we measure time in the way that we do? Why is a week seven days long? At what point did minutes and seconds come into being? Why are some calendars lunar and some solar? The organization of time into hours, days, months, and years seems immutable and universal, but is actually far more artificial than most people realize. Those interested in time, history, and the development of the calendar will enjoy this absorbing exploration of an aspect of our lives that we all take for granted.
"The Etymology of Time"
Praised for his erudite writing, renowned scientist Frank Gonzalez-Crussi penned this concise history of medicine, beginning with the most primitive health-care practices and ending with the technology of modern medicine that we enjoy today. As with all Modern Library Chronicles, A Short History of Medicine is a wonderful primer for anyone interested in the subject.
"Dull and Disorganized"
Lawrence M. Friedman is Professor of Law at Stanford University and author of 23 books about law and legal history. Hailed as American law's greatest living historian, Friedman traces the evolution of America's legal system from the colonial period to the present. A Modern Library Chronicle, this book is concise, insightful, and graced with wit.
"Very Good Book"
This Very Short Introduction offers an indispensable starting point for anyone who needs to quickly know the themes and controversies that have shaped modern China. Prize-winning author and scholar Rana Mitter examines the modern history, politics, economy, and thriving cultural scene of contemporary China, and its relations with the wider world.
"Not what the title promises, but some value"