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 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!"
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.
There are many stories we can tell about the past, and we are not, perhaps, as free as we might imagine in our choice of which stories to tell, or where those stories end. John Arnold's addition to Oxford's popular Very Short Introductions series is a stimulating essay about how people study and understand history. The book begins by inviting us to think about various questions provoked by our investigation of history, and then explores the ways in which these questions have been answered in the past.
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.
"This audio edition is abridged!"
Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as he found it in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to “write a history of the world without leaving home.”
"Another wonderful Bryson"
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!"
This clear and concise new introduction examines all the major debates and issues using a wide range of well-known examples. It discusses the challenge of using verbal and written language to analyze a visual form. Dana Arnold also examines the many different ways of writing about art, and the changing boundaries of the subject of art history. Topics covered include the canon of Art History, the role of the gallery, 'blockbuster' exhibitions, and the emergence of social histories of art.
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.
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.
"Very Good Overview - Title is Very Accurate!"
This is a fascinating introduction to the history of Western astronomy, from prehistoric times to the origins of astrophysics in the mid-19th century. Historical records are first found in Babylon and Egypt, and after two millennia the arithmetical astronomy of the Babylonians merged with the Greek geometrical approach to culminate in the Almagest of Ptolemy.
The history of international cinema is now available in a concise, conveniently sized, and affordable volume. Succinct yet comprehensive, A Short History of Film provides an accessible overview of the major movements, directors, studios, and genres from the 1880s to the present.
"A fascinating textbook - (is that possible?)"
Law has played a central role in American history. From colonial times to the present, law has not just reflected the changing society in which legal decisions have been made-it has played a powerful role in shaping that society, though not always in positive ways. In this Very Short Introduction, eminent legal scholar G. Edward White - author of the ongoing, multi-volume Law in American History - offers a compact overview that sheds light on the impact of law on a number of key social issues.
Cambridge professor and renowned historian Anthony Pagden covers a vast subject in a compact package with Peoples and Empires. This wide-ranging and intellectually stimulating work examines the origins and history of the West with terse, efficient prose. With a captivating narration by Robert O'Keefe, listeners will find this work enjoyable and utterly absorbing.
Here is the extraordinary story of the unfolding of life on Earth, told by Michael J. Benton, a world-renowned authority on biodiversity. Ranging over four billion years, Benton weaves together the latest findings on fossils, earth history, evolutionary biology, and many other fields to highlight the great leaps that enabled life to evolve from microbe to human - big breakthroughs that made whole new ways of life possible - including cell division and multicellularity, hard skeletons, the move to land, the origin of forests, the move to the air. He describes the mass extinctions, especially the Permian....
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.
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"
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"
In 1914, a new kind of war came about, bringing with it a new kind of world. World War One began on horseback, with generals employing bayonet charges to gain ground, and ended with attacks resembling the Nazi blitzkriegs. The scale of devastation was unlike anything the world had seen before: 14 million combatants died, a further 20 million were wounded, and four empires were destroyed. Even the victors' empires were fatally damaged.
"Well told, well narrated; needs maps"