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History from a political and social perspective only
on 21 July 2017
It's taking me a long time to work my way through this exhaustive magnum opus. The scale of the subject, and the research which backs it up, are very impressive. Like others, I find the boxed insertions initially interesting but then mildly irritating and distracting.
My main reservation concerns the content. When professional historians talk about "History", they actually mean political, and sometimes related artistic history. Major scientific, medical and engineering advances aren't included. For example, and entirely at random, this book contains no references to the invention of the printing press by Thomas Caxton, the introduction of the BCG vaccine against tuberculosis, or the invention of the internal combustion engine. All European achievements with profound effects on the history of the continent of Europe and the world. Yet at the same time, for example, very abstruse detailed accounts are given of minor mediaeval religious sects whose importance is hard to determine.