A People’s History of the World

From the Stone Age to the New Millennium
Narrated by: Napoleon Ryan
Length: 29 hrs and 44 mins
Categories: History, World
4 out of 5 stars (141 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Chris Harman describes the shape and course of human history as a narrative of ordinary people forming and re-forming complex societies in pursuit of common human goals. Interacting with the forces of technological change as well as the impact of powerful individuals and revolutionary ideas, these societies have engendered events familiar to every schoolchild - from the empires of antiquity to the world wars of the 20th century.

In a bravura conclusion, Chris Harman exposes the reductive complacency of contemporary capitalism, and asks, in a world riven as never before by suffering and inequality, why we imagine that it can - or should - survive much longer. Ambitious, provocative and invigorating, A People's History of the World delivers a vital corrective to traditional history, as well as a powerful sense of the deep currents of humanity which surge beneath the froth of government.

©2017 Verso (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

“I have had many people ask me if there is a book which does for world history what my book A People's History of the United States does for this country. I always responded that I know of only one book that accomplishes this extremely difficult task, and that is Chris Harman's A People's History of the World. It is an indispensable volume on my reference bookshelf." (Howard Zinn)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well written and compelling!

This book is beautifully written and has a complimenting voice actor accompanying it. I have learned so much and anticipate more to come. As a history major I'm used to listening to history lecture after lecture but I could listen to this all day. Thank you! AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY

13 people found this helpful

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Changed my view of history and explains so much!

This book helped me see how extensively white-washed the history we were taught in school was.

No wonder we don't question why we work harder than ever so the multinational corporate big wigs, who already have so much more than any human needs, can double and triple that wealth.

The 1% get richer and richer while we the people struggle just to pay bills and provide for our children.

This brand of insanity is what helped bring down the Roman Empire, and many other empires, and it may well bring down the American Empire (yes, it's an empire).

PS: My only quibble is that the narrator has a slightly unnatural and distracting style. You can ignore it much of the time, though.

4 people found this helpful

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Should've been narrated by anyone else

The information is indispensable, but the narration is terrible. It sounds as if he's trying to make his performance the focal point instead of book.

4 people found this helpful

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Intellectually interesting.

It was a good review of World History, which results in more creative results with my continuing economic research.

4 people found this helpful

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excellent history

Chris harman writes excellent history. the performance is also quite good. i highly recommend it

1 person found this helpful

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Oh God avoid

The narrator is the worst I’ve ever heard. His delivery is so ham - every sentence parsed like it’s the most important proclamation. Gaps and pauses abound for faux dramatic effect. Try a sample and you’ll see what I mean. Awful awful awful. I can’t comment on the content because I got about 3 minutes in before clawing for my headphones

13 people found this helpful

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Learn History, You Will See It Repeating

Learn History, You Will See It Repeating all around you. You must understand the past to know your place in its future and what to teach your children.

2 people found this helpful

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Thought Provoking

Very interesting. I believe, however, that assuming our only choices are Capitalism and Socialism is very limiting.

10 people found this helpful

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Good but ethnocentric and industrialized world centric

A better title could be "a people's history of the industrialized world". Ignores huge swathes of human history of Africa and the americas most notably. Great opportunities for anti racist education missed.

9 people found this helpful

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Mortal Coils History

This is one excellent book! Equal to Howard Zinns People's History of the United States, no doubt. If better at that. The narrators British accent is pleasing and clear. And the contents are way beyond anything you have ever gathered before in your pursuit of history. Purchase it and you will never regret it. Study history, for the world is a mystery. Read or bleed people, learn or burn!

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  • Thomas
  • 01-18-18

interesting approach

A really good listen, this book really helps to open up ones mind to different realities.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. Ninian Reid
  • 09-10-17

Totally Absorbing (but I have a gripe)

Can I take the opportunity of gently suggesting to the kind folks at Audible: Please, oh, please extend the sleep timer by at least ONE HOUR to help me get through massive tomes such as this. The present sixty minutes is totally inadequate for insomniacs like me. I know you'll do this for me so I'm going to take the liberty of thanking you in advance ! Oh, and by the way, this is a tremendous work, worthy of at least six stars.

3 people found this helpful

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  • andrew smith
  • 09-10-17

Disappointing

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

A patient Marxist.

Has A People's History of the World put you off other books in this genre?

No

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Napoleon Ryan?

He has a deep, resonant voice; the problem is that he reads each sentence ponderously. And pauses after each.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Perhaps—I didn't get to the end.

Any additional comments?

I don't mind a left-wing view of history, but this is extreme; everything is framed as class struggle or ideological—even cavemen. And the evidence consists of citing other historians' conclusions.

2 people found this helpful

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  • C. Martin
  • 08-29-17

Is this read by a robot?

I'm about 15 minutes into what sounds like a fascinating and long overdue book that has been written well and in a flowing and easy to read style. However the reader is absolutely mashing it up! He's reading it like a cross between an advert for a new film and child who pauses where there's no commas. If a narrator misses obvious cues to emphasis or in this case NO emphasis, it makes the thing unintelligible. I can't bear it. It needs to be re-done with a person that can read properly, following the conventions of punctuation!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-26-20

socialism or barbarism!

excellent narration for a compact yet illuminating history, one rarely told from the perspective of workers

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-24-17

Regret buying this title

Focussed on western civilisation. Not really about everyday people. More about political, socialist movements. Disappointed.