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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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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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on 5 February 2014
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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on 21 July 2013
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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on 3 August 2014
I'm hooked! As well as being informative and very detailed, it's still easy to read. The book flows and is a very enjoyable read!
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on 12 January 2015
fascinating book, keep it by the bed for some insightful reading instead of browsing facebook
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on 6 May 2016
A book to have nearby and to consult every day. History as it shoukd be told
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on 2 April 2014
Really approaches history the way I wished they approached when I was young.

An overview of the most relevant topics of human history, really good anchor for future references.
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on 25 May 2015
very fine book and very well written
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on 11 November 2013
This is an impressive tome but a really excellent text book for the student and lover of history alike. Extremely well-written and clearly set out. Highly recommended.
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on 20 April 2015
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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