by J. M. Roberts,O. A. Westad
About the book: J.M. Roberts's renowned History of the World is widely considered the finest available one-volume survey of the major events, developments, and personalities of the known past, offering generations of readers a tour of the vast landscape of human history.In this new edition, Bancroft Prize-winning historian Odd Arne Westad has completely revised this landmark work to bring the narrative up to the twenty-first century, including the 9/11 attacks and the wars in the Middle East. Westad utilizes the remarkable gains in scholarship in recent decades to enhance the book's coverage of early human life and vastly improve the treatment of India and China, Central Eurasia, early Islam, and the late Byzantine Empire, as well as the history of science, technology, and economics. The result is a truly remarkable work of compression and synthesis, sweeping through thousands of years of history, weaving the stories of empires, art, religion, economics, and science into a lucid and engaging narrative. Ranging from the early hominids and the emergence of Mesopotamian civilizations and ancient Egypt, the book illuminates such topics as the Roman Empire, the explosive arrival of Islam, the rise and fall of samurai rule in Japan, the medieval kingdoms of sub-Saharan Africa, the Mongol conquests, and the early modern expansion of Europe across the globe; also covered are the struggle for American independence, the French Revolution, the colonial empires, Japan's startling modernization, and the World Wars. With over 90 informative maps, The History of the World remains the finest, most readable survey in print.
by Will Durant
About the book: Here is the first volume of the 'Story of Civilization,' 'Our Oriental Heritage'. This volume deals first with the establishment of civilization, then takes up, in rich fascinating detail, the color complex dramas of the Near East, India and her neighbors, and the Far East. The story is carried up to mid-1930s. Every one of the thousands of facts in this volume have been twice checked. It begins with a chapter on the nature and conditions of civilization: offers a 109-page Introduction on 'The Establishment of Civilization' ...an attempt to meet Voltaire's demand: 'I want to know what were the steps by which men passed from barbarism to civilization.' It goes on to record the cultural history...the economic and political organization, the science and art, the religion and morals, the literature and philosophy, the customs and manners...of Sumeria, Egypt, Babylonia, Assyria, Judea, and Persia to their conquest by Alexander; and narrates the history of civilization in India from the Vedas to Mahatma Gandhi, in China from Confucius to Chiang Kai-shek, and in Japan from the earliest times to mid-1930s.
by Isaac Asimov
About the book: From the world's greatest science writer, a history of the world from the Big Bang to 1945, told in irresistible short takes and highlighted by a timeline.
by Fernand Braudel
About the book: Written from a consciously anti-enthnocentric approach, this fascinating work is a survey of the civilizations of the modern world in terms of the broad sweep and continuities of history, rather than the "event-based" technique of most other texts.
by Peter Heather
About the book: Empires and Barbarians presents a fresh, provocative look at how a recognizable Europe came into being in the first millennium AD. With sharp analytic insight, Peter Heather explores the dynamics of migration and social and economic interaction that changed two vastly different worlds--the undeveloped barbarian world and the sophisticated Roman Empire--into remarkably similar societies and states. The book's vivid narrative begins at the time of Christ, when the Mediterranean circle, newly united under the Romans, hosted a politically sophisticated, economically advanced, and culturally developed civilization--one with philosophy, banking, professional armies, literature, stunning architecture, even garbage collection. The rest of Europe, meanwhile, was home to subsistence farmers living in small groups, dominated largely by Germanic speakers. Although having some iron tools and weapons, these mostly illiterate peoples worked mainly in wood and never built in stone. The farther east one went, the simpler it became: fewer iron tools and ever less productive economies. And yet ten centuries later, from the Atlantic to the Urals, the European world had turned. Slavic speakers had largely superseded Germanic speakers in central and Eastern Europe, literacy was growing, Christianity had spread, and most fundamentally, Mediterranean supremacy was broken.Bringing the whole of first millennium European history together, and challenging current arguments that migration played but a tiny role in this unfolding narrative, Empires and Barbarians views the destruction of the ancient world order in light of modern migration and globalization patterns.
by Tony Judt
About the book: Finalist for the Pulitzer PrizeWinner of the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book AwardOne of the New York Times' Ten Best Books of the YearAlmost a decade in the making, this much-anticipated grand history of postwar Europe from one of the world's most esteemed historians and intellectuals is a singular achievement. Postwar is the first modern history that covers all of Europe, both east and west, drawing on research in six languages to sweep readers through thirty-four nations and sixty years of political and cultural change-all in one integrated, enthralling narrative. Both intellectually ambitious and compelling to read, thrilling in its scope and delightful in its small details, Postwar is a rare joy.
by James Burke
About the book: In The Day the Universe Changed, James Burke examines eight periods in history when our view of the world shifted dramatically: in the eleventh century, when extraordinary discoveries were made by Spanish crusaders; in fourteenth-century Florence, where perspective in painting emerged; in the fifteenth century, when the advent of the printing press shook the foundations of an oral society; in the sixteenth century, when gunnery developments triggered the birth of modern science; in the early eighteenth century, when hot English summers brought on the Industrial Revolution; in the battlefield surgery stations of the French revolutionary armies, where people first became statistics; in the nineteenth century, when the discovery of dinosaur fossils led to the theory of evolution; and in the 1820s, when electrical experiments heralded the end of scientific certainty. Based on the popular television documentary series, The Day the Universe Changed is a bestselling history that challenges the reader to decide whether there is absolute knowledge to discover - or whether the universe is "ultimately what we say it is."