- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 26 hours and 34 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Macmillan Digital Audio
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 1 Oct. 2012
- Language: English
- ASIN: B009T9UOY0
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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A History of the World Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Marr divides human history into defined eras and then selectively talks about a handful of key "change-makers" in each era. Naturally this type of history leaves out a lot, but the examples Marr chooses are, he feels, demonstrative of the most important changes of their era. By picking out key figures and identifying patterns that emerge in history, Marr is able to bring together the whole and explain the significance of the patterns he draws out. It's left to the reader to decide whether the conclusions Marr draws are insightful or nonsensical.
In my opinion, some of what Marr presents to us in this book is a little dubious.Read more ›
Andrew Marr A History of the World
It is, as Andrew Marr is the first to insist, a ludicrous undertaking. Professional and amateur historians will carp endlessly over this detail, that generalisation, this conclusion and the whole tenor and methodology of the book. And they will be right. But Marr's achievement remains impressive. Forget the National Curriculum, were every teenager in Britain to read A History of the World, we'd all be living in a more enlightened place. There would certainly be a surge in the numbers opting to read History at university. And standards of written English would markedly improve.
How strong is your grasp of the history of the last twenty thousand years? If it is shaky, you could do much worse than spend a month, or several, reading and re-reading this brave attempt to bring some clarity and coherence to everything that's happened to the human race. Of course Marr has his ideological blinkers: he's a human being. His fiercest critic will have his own set of prejudices and blindspots. Any attempt to sketch the larger picture will sacrifice accuracy and balance for a sharp outline, a direction of travel.
Marr believes, all things considered, that liberal capitalism is a triumph over the dark forces, that the world is moving towards the light. He does not paint an uncritical picture of the process but, especially when it comes to the last century, the territory is so complex that in order to say anything, he is forced to simplify at the cost of plausibility and, frankly, intellectual honesty.Read more ›
In covering such a vast subject I would hope the presenter would cover the important topics e.g. the birth of agriculture, the Industrial Revolution, the main religions, the advances in science and technology, exploration, political thought, etc. rather than the story of this or that king or queen. At the same time a geographical and civilizational balance should be struck.
Mr Marr manages to achieve some of this but he could have done a lot better. A lot of his narrative is taken up with the stories of good and bad men and (a few) women whereas I prefer a history with more technical detail.
The writing style is clear and easy to read if occasional marred by an error that a fact-checker could have eliminated (e.g. on pg.135 we're told that after Cannae Hannibal was urged to march south - that should read north. On page 199 we're told that Chaucer celebrated the astrolabe in print. It's a wonder he didn't celebrate the time machine he must have had to bring him forward to the invention of the printing press!).
As this book has received a lot of two-sentence, five-star reviews, I'll concentrate on two major negative criticisms.
In its coverage of the history of Islam I have come to expect the BBC to use kid gloves while accentuating the positive and this book and the series are no exceptions.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
To cover such a vast topic consicely and to keep the reader involved takes a highly skilled writer. I feel like I have a much clearer view of the world and how my life fits into... Read morePublished 18 days ago by Andrew Phillips
Just superb. As a lifelong reader of history I was taken aback by number of 'new facts' and 'explanations' I picked up from this one volume. Read morePublished 18 days ago by philip smith
Excellent! Really informative and not dry like history text books can be.Published 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
A fascinating, instructive and long book. Concentrating on the personalities of history loses some of the context and says less about popular movements. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Kindle Customer
Still reading it, but enjoyed so far. Brilliant writer who cleverly keeps making clear references to modern day issues and how they are reflected in ancient history.Published 2 months ago by Noona
Extraordinary - an amzing compendium that hags together beautifullyPublished 2 months ago by Chloe Plus