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5.0 out of 5 stars Days That Changed the World: The Defining Events of World History
This was found to be a most interesting and worthwhile book full of information about many of the happenings we have all heard
about but known little of the facts and situations involved. All is made clear!
Published 9 months ago by Val Barnes

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Days That Changed the World
I found `Days That Changed The World' to be an informative, if a little dry, look at world history and key events that have shaped the path the world has taken. Each section is introduced with a front page and then usually three pages of text. The first paragraph describes the event and how it effected history and then the rest of the essay goes into more depth and...
Published on 12 April 2009 by Spider Monkey


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Days That Changed the World, 12 April 2009
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Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
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I found `Days That Changed The World' to be an informative, if a little dry, look at world history and key events that have shaped the path the world has taken. Each section is introduced with a front page and then usually three pages of text. The first paragraph describes the event and how it effected history and then the rest of the essay goes into more depth and analysis. The topics covered are fairly varied, from the assassination of Julius Ceaser and the crucifixion of Christ to the rise of Bill Gates and 9/11, with plenty in between. This is hard to read from cover to cover and although the topics are fascinating, the writing style is quite dry and I found this better to dip in and out of. It's more of a reference book than an outright history book to read in one sitting. Sometimes I've read just the initial paragraph to get a feel for the topic and then came back to the rest of the essay at a latter date. It's also a shame this didn't have more photography to make a more rounded and informative book. Overall, this is an interesting book and it has some good ideas of what may have been world changing events, I'm sure there may be some debate over some of the choices, and if you can work past the dry delivery then this has plenty to offer.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent book but narrowsighted, 30 Dec 2011
By 
Carl (U.K. & U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
Hywel Williams `Days that changed the world: The 50 defining events of world history' is an interesting if dull popular history of the days Williams believes changed the world. As a popular history the work is completely void of sources or a reference list, no quote is fully attributed making further reading/referencing impossible.

The book is split into fifty chapters, each dealing with a different day. The format is the same for all: the day is introduced, then over the next six pages the background to the day is provided, the details of the event expanded upon and why the day was so fundamental to the course of human history is discussed. This format allows one to gain a broad general knowledge of the subject in discussion but does not allow any room for expanded analysis or detail.

The book covers 2,400 years of human history however only two `days' are from before 0 B.C.E.. Considering the achievements made by people all over the world, the development of languages, sciences, and mathematics; the creation of civilisations and cities; the general movement from nomadic to sedentary lifestyles (and much much more) the work zooms in on the assassination of Julius Caesar and defeat of the Persian Empire by an alliance of Greek city states. Granted these later two have dates that can be attached to them, compared to above examples provided by me, but they present a recurring theme throughout the work: a Eurocentric and Neo-Europe focus, with little attention paid to outside Europe or the New World, with considerable focus paid to Europe defeating various eastern invasions.

While named 'days that changed the world', for the most part the book is a list of accomplishments made by Europeans and their offshoots. The book does provide several days that are not wholly European related but these rarely show off the accomplishments of a culture outside of the West, they instead seem to have been sprinkled in there to provide examples of ground-breaking days outside of Europe as a token gesture but on the whole their significance to the whole world does not seem that relevant. The prime example of this is Tokugawa taking control of Japan: he made revolutionary changes to the country itself and ushered in an era of isolationism, how is this a day that changed the world? This kind of odd choice is not just limited to the outside Europe chapters, quite a number of the days discussed are really only significant to the continent in question (the Battle of Waterloo for example) or the country being described. With the vast majority of what is covered in the book being between 1400-2000, I would suggest the more academically `After Tamerlane: The Rise and Fall of Global Empires' by John Darwin for a more detailed and balanced look at the cultures of Eurasia as one will learn that Europe and her offshoots are not the centre of learning and attention as Williams makes out.

While the book is full of hyperbole, over-exaggeration, and simplification (i.e. another recurring theme of noting a near 2,000 year attempt by the people of Germany to expand eastwards into expanse of Russia) it is a good way of expanding ones knowledge on some key events in the last 2,000 years of human history.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Days That Changed the World: The Defining Events of World History, 20 Oct 2013
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This was found to be a most interesting and worthwhile book full of information about many of the happenings we have all heard
about but known little of the facts and situations involved. All is made clear!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars World History Snapshots, 4 Mar 2010
This provides 50 neat little snapshots of world history. It's well laid out - providing 3 pages of text for each event. In each case there is a description of the 'Day' concerned, some background & finally a paragraph summarizing it's impact on world history. Inevitably there are some obvious omisions e.g. Trafalgar - which surely secured British naval supremecy for long enough to allow us to build the world's largest empire. More importantly though, there are the ones the reader might not know about or recognise the importance of: in my case several. Having read this book, I feel I have a more complete picture of history - albeit through snapshots.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars bought as present, 28 Aug 2011
Was well received by recipient - haven't read it myself so can't comment. Prompt delivery meant that it arrived in time for birthday
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Days That Changed the World: The 50 Defining Events of World History
Days That Changed the World: The 50 Defining Events of World History by Hywel Williams (Paperback - 28 April 2011)
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