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A History of the World Audiobook

A History of the World

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Publisher's Summary

From the earliest civilizations to the 21st century: a global journey through human history, published alongside a landmark BBC One television series.

Our understanding of world history is changing, as new discoveries are made on all the continents and old prejudices are being challenged. In this truly global journey, Andrew Marr revisits some of the traditional epic stories, from classical Greece and Rome to the rise of Napoleon, but surrounds them with less familiar material, from Peru to the Ukraine, China to the Caribbean. He looks at cultures that have failed and vanished, as well as the origins of today’s superpowers, and finds surprising echoes and parallels across vast distances and epochs. This is a book about the great change-makers of history and their times, people such as Cleopatra, Genghis Khan, Galileo, and Mao, but it is also a book about us. For 'The better we understand how rulers lose touch with reality, or why revolutions produce dictators more often than they produce happiness, or why some parts of the world are richer than others, the easier it is to understand our own times.'

Fresh, exciting and vividly listenable, this is popular history at its very best.

©2012 Andrew Marr (P)2012 Macmillan Digital Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (260 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ankur Shrivastav 07-26-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Decent, but could have been great"

    While the narration & performance were good, the story could have been orchestrated much better. Often new threads are introduced in the main chapter which are hard to follow and keep track of. The author chose to pivot on civil axions and countries and was therefore forced to skim through several important events, including the world wars. A better alternative would have been to keep time as the baseline and talk about all significant events in that period.

    Also, disproportionate coverage has been given to European civilisations, not enough to The Asian ones and nearly none African and South American history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frederic Leusch Brisbane, Qld, Australia 03-13-14
    Frederic Leusch Brisbane, Qld, Australia 03-13-14
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    "Thoroughly enjoyable (but at times light on dates)"
    Where does A History of the World rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a very well polished audio book - really like the narrator.


    What about Andrew Marr and David Timson ’s performance did you like?

    The breadth of the book is massive, spanning all of human history. It is thoroughly researched and enjoyable.


    Any additional comments?

    My only negative comment is that it is at times light on hard dates, which makes putting the different threads of the storyline together a little difficult at times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael roswell, Georgia, United States 07-25-13
    michael roswell, Georgia, United States 07-25-13 Member Since 2015
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    "The world unfolds"

    It hard not to have a fresh view of the world and culture around you after taking a 2 dozen hour ride from humanity as nomadic tribes to today's urbanized globalized world. You will know the meaning of "history repeats itself" as you will see the same struggles, fears, movements and behaviours today as you did 2000 years ago...the only difference now is we carry iphones and word travels a bit faster

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MR B RANALOW 05-22-13 Member Since 2005
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    "Great Book !"

    This is a very well presented summary of world history with critical events and key periods analysed and presented in clear language. The narrator is excellent and as each chapter is almost a self-contained package it is possible to jump from chapter to chapter in any order without losing any historical context.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bettina 01-08-13
    Bettina 01-08-13
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    "Excellent! Scholarly writing, beautiful narration."
    Would you listen to A History of the World again? Why?

    Yes. I will listen again and again, to review the information, and continue to understand the contexts.


    Any additional comments?

    David Timson is an excellent narrator for this book. He does an admirable job, beautifully inflecting his tone to match the text, keeping it interesting, and very hard to take the headphones off!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roger Gibb 04-27-15
    Roger Gibb 04-27-15
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    "Fascinating history of the world"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was extremely interesting and helped me to gain a better appreciation of our world history.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Dunn Vancouver, BC Canada 12-05-14
    Andrew Dunn Vancouver, BC Canada 12-05-14 Listener Since 2010
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    "Is it 1875?"

    Reads like a Victorian-style history. The Big Man approach to history isn't especially interesting to me

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Nikola
    Slovenia
    8/15/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ignites lust for more knowledge on certain topics"

    I thought it will be too comprehensive and impossible task to put a whole world history in one book - or at least that it will not be possible to do it and stay interesting. It would be either too shallow, or focused just on few aspects of history of human race.

    However, author did the job in excellent way - through 90+ chapters, Marr focuses on major events in world history, mostly of big men and history-changers. Some less known parts are also covered, and this is done not only through (very good) narrative and historical facts, but also with analysis and comments, what this meant for human's history.

    I have finished reading a book with a list of 15 topics I would like to learn more of and will be looking for books on those. This is a book on incredible progress of human race, but also on our shortfallings, brutality, wars and egoism. It might be grim and dark in some parts, but that is what our history has been like. It makes you think in different ways, and despite looking at major problems humanity currently faces, it ends with optimistic look and fact that we are living better lives than our predecessors.

    Lot to learn from this one, and something everyone with interest in history should read.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Woolhampton, Berks, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Excellent, eclectic and thought provoking"

    This is a very fresh look at history. This is the history of peoples as much as individuals and follows the tribes of man from their earliest beginnings to events that happened in the lifetimes of people living today. Andrew Marr offers us a view from a different perspective and made me look at things in ways that I never had before. I am not just better informed for having read this book. I have a new understanding of the world. It is the best history that I have ever read.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Marco
    London, United Kingdom
    12/24/12
    Overall
    "Great listen"

    Audiobook takes around a tour of the world history from the early ages to modern times. Very interesting listen You get to appreciate how something now taken for granted developed through out the ages. Very informative and entertaining.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Linda
    9/18/15
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    "an amazing explanation of history."

    brilliant book. clearly read. fantastic telling of our awesome history. was sad when book ended

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mark Brandon
    London, UK
    6/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best non-fiction audiobook ever"

    This is a truly remarkable work, always interesting. Marr weaves a clever and consistent line through world history, largely avoiding editorialising.

    David Timson's rich narration, meanwhile, brings the book to life, creating one of the most engaging non-fiction audiobooks I've ever bought.

    This should be a compulsory text for older kids studying history, as it fills in so many of the gaps necessarily left by the selective, more detailed approach to history teaching.

    Buy it! You won't regret it.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Allan Edward Tierney
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "A masterful write with a common touch"

    Andrew Marr must have put so much work into his history of the world and I can only admire his stamina in both researching it and then embarking on this marathon re-telling in spoken form. I do hope none of these endeavours contributed at all to his recent stroke.



    In this history of the world we hear one of the most intelligent and diligent men of our times giving his view after exhaustive research. As he says, it is his and only his history of the world. For every historian there will be another history of the world with different evidence pursued and different events proclaimed. But here we have a history as seen through the intelligence of a man who tries his level best to enlighten and entertain us rather than feed his own reputation and ego. In this way his words are a gift to us without any side to them, politically, egotistically or otherwise. And as such they are then all the more valuable to us and all the more acceptable. We trust this man's voice. Therefore we can trust, and learn from, what he says and the kaleidesope of world wonders, events, crises and acheivemnts he brings to our world-weary ears.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Paola Rodriguez
    Ashford, Kent
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Awesome!"

    I am really enjoying this audiobook. I particularly like how the author is constantly establishing connections and parallelisms between the different cultures and civilizations that populated the earth either simultaneously or at different times. The reader makes a wonderful rendition of the book as well and it is clearly read and with just enough humor in his voice to make it entertaining.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Adam
    DUNSTABLE, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Perfect"

    I love this, having never listened during History I have hit my thirties feeling particularly unschooled in massive chunks of what came before. Really enjoying the authorly tone of the book, which zooms in on fascinating elements of each historical era and is read with enthusiasm and wit. It is also nearly thirty hours long which is great value!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Richard
    London, United Kingdom
    3/20/13
    Overall
    "It needed Bill Bryson's touch"

    I was drawn to this as I really enjoyed the superb BBC series that arose from this book and I was looking for more of the details. I enjoy really long audio books as I do a lot of driving in my job and its great to get lost in them, but for some reason this one was a bit of a slog. It shouldn't have been because Andrew Marr does a fine job of charting the history of the world and the narration is excellent. With such a topic the scope of the task reminded me of Bill Bryson's book 'A short History of Nearly Everything', and this I think is where I found the problem. The book is informative, and there are real moments of interest but because of the nature of the subject we never hang around long enough before moving on. Bill Bryson has a wonderful way of making the mundane fascinating and I wished for a some of his style and humour to apply here, The bottom line is I found it informative but just not entertaining enough for my liking, though I see I'm in the minority here. .

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jeremy
    Debenham, United Kingdom
    12/24/12
    Overall
    "Interesting and thought provoking"

    Found the book enlightening and captivating . A recommended listen for anyone interested in Human history and the advancement of Mankind.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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