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on 10 January 2012
The New Penguin History of the World by J.M. Roberts is an interesting book spanning the whole period of human civilisation from pre-history to the modern day. It is a work worth perservering with because although it starts in my opinion quite slowly it is worth the effort to complete. It is on the whole well-written and detailed although because it is a one volume history of the world it cannot cover everything. All in all though it is a very good book.
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on 2 August 2006
I recently went on a 6 week bike trip round France. To keep weight low I could only take one book with me and chose the New Penquin History of the World. I made the right choice. The book is the perfect travelling companion, easy to read and highly informative. It has immense scope and covers all its topics in just the right amount of detail. It is structured by themes as well as timeline and this helps give it coherence and allows you to see the linkage between apparently separate events. What is astonishing is the relevance of events far in the past on todays world. Just two examples: The link of Charlemagne having to divide his kingdom equally between his sons and the wars of the 20th century and the beauty pagent which resulted in Russia choosing Eastern Orthodoxy and had repercussions which still reverberate today.

I love this book. If I could only take one book with me to a desert island it would be this. I have ordered a second copy (since mine is now so battered) to give to my son who will start History AS next month. I can think of now better foundation for him to start this course.
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on 26 June 2007
The definitive guide to world history. I haven't quite finished it yet (it's taken me a year!) but it gives you an amazing synopsis and helps to put events into perspective. World events that you previously would not have considered as important as others are given greater prominence, and vice versa. It shows that many of the current problems are certainly not new or different. A book every politician (and every other member of the planet for that matter) should read!!
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on 28 March 2012
Should be read by everyone, including dogs. I finished it with a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat. Bloody brilliant.
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