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The Penguin History of the World: 6th edition Hardcover – 28 Mar 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1280 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane; 6th Revised edition edition (28 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846144426
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846144424
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 5.6 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 457,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

A work of outstanding breadth of scholarship and penetrating judgments. There is nothing better of its kind. (Lord Jonathan Sumption Sunday Telegraph)

At once entertaining and scholarly ... a book as challenging as it is consistently absorbing (Christopher Hibbert)

A stupendous achievement (A. J. P. Taylor)

A brilliant book ... the most outstanding history of the world yet written' (J. H. Plumb)

The leading historical mind of his generation (Guardian)

About the Author

J. M. Roberts (1928-2003) was a celebrated and prolific British historian and the author of a number of books, including, "The Penguin History of Europe" and "The Penguin History of the Twentieth Century." Odd Arne Westad has served as the Director of Research at the Nobel Institute and Professor of International History at the London School of Economics, and has published fifteen books on modern and contemporary international history, most recently, "Restless Empire: China and the World Since 1750." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Dr Barry Clayton TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 23 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
J M Roberts, now deceased, wrote the original version of this book on his own. It has gone through numerous editions. This sixth edition has been expanded and revised by Arne Westwad a Professor at the LSE, my alma mater.
The book is an old-fashioned narrative covering years of global civilisation, and is none the worse for that. Undergraduates, understandably, prefer this approach to the impenetrable jargon of post-modermism. it has a very old and distinguished pedigree that includes Peter Heylyn.
The book demonstrates in its learning the paucity of knowledge in other world history books like that of Andrew Marr. It also owes something to the brilliance of H G Wells little book of 1920.
Maps adorn the book and there is a superb index that will be welcomed by those using the book for research or reference.
The authors demonstrate how human beings have coped with the various challenges of the past-wars, famines, and so on.
In 1985 Roberts was responsible for a very successful television series entitled:'Triumph of the West'. Of its kind,it has never been bettered.
This is a book to cherish. It is worth every penny.
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By Amazon Customer on 20 April 2015
Format: Paperback
I've read the first 350 pages, and I doubt I'll read more.

The good:

To the degree that's possible, the book shares a relatively unbiased view of what we know. And I think the purpose of the book (to provide a concise overview of world history) is a very important one, and the book does well trying to achieve it (given that we have few alternatives).

The bad:

As people have said in other reviews (here and in US), the language use is not very efficient.

For my taste, the authors give too much of their opinions, including about 'feeling sorry' for specific groups.

I sense that too much detail is given when facts are available (including dates and names of relationships or successions), rather than being careful to not waste the reader's time. (If the reader wanted to learn such details, they could look for further record.)

Other comments:

Almost implicit by the page count, huge amounts of detail has to be left out. We're often left with a sentence that covers a major topic.

Overall I'd argue that people should look at other more detailed books generally, and hopefully this book (or another with similar purpose) will be written to improve on the issues of this one.

I'd appreciate comments with suggestions of other books.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. F. Cayley on 5 Feb. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
A very good history of the world, which does its utmost to be truly a world history rather than Eurocentric. The emphasis is on trends and the big perspective, so if you are looking for a chronicle of events you need to look elsewhere. It covers science and economics as well as politics and military history. The book goes a long way to explain why the current world order is the way it is.
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By Zaeem Jafri on 12 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
fascinating book, keep it by the bed for some insightful reading instead of browsing facebook
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By sophietrophy on 21 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is tremendous value for money. I find it to be extremely well written and therefore interesting and informative to read. Highly recommended - worth every penny.
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By David Andrews on 24 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Essential reading if you are interested in World history
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By Mr. A. M. Williams on 11 April 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought for my daughter... excellent reference
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