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Review: A Little History of The World

A Little History Of The World

It is always nice to learn about the fascinating stories of the past. History can be very entertaining if relayed correctly. Unfortunately, many history textbooks are filled with boring dates and badly narrated stories. In his short book, E.H. Gombrich tries to remedy that. He narrates the history of the world more like a story. With minimal use of dates or boring details as you’d often fine in textbooks. In fact, his book was originally intended for children. But I find it suitable for all ages.

My only criticism of this book is that its definition of “the world” is really “Western Europe”, and not all of it. Mostly Germany, Austria and France. The history of the rest of the world is briefly, if at all, mentioned. Not only is it focused on western Europe, but it is written from a Christian point of view, even though the author is Jewish! For example, the Muslim conquests were described as brutal and ruthless, while the countless deaths caused by the Christian wars and conquests were described as sad and unfortunate!

But, don’t let that deter you. This is indeed an interesting book, and its material is presented in a very eloquent manner. You will briefly learn about pre-historic people, then the Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Jews, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, and briefly about the Arabs, Indians, and Chinese, all the way through the middle ages and beyond. It is an interesting read that tries to highlight each eras contribution.

My advice is, read this book, but don’t take it as absolute fact. Just an interesting read.