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The Complete Idiot's Guide to World History Paperback – March 4, 2008

12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Timothy C. Hall, M.A., developed, created, and teaches an online AP World History and Medieval Studies curriculum, and currently teaches AP European History, Sociology, and Civics/Economics at the Franklin Academy in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He earned his M.A. in History from East Carolina University and his B.A. in History from Elon University.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Complete Idiot's Guide
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Alpha (March 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592577121
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592577125
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #436,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By T. Garrison on July 6, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an enjoyable book. It gives a slightly biased view of world history from a very high level. It offers no depth whatsoever, but is nice for making connections to other eras and seeing the bigger picture of how various major events have shaped and influenced each other throughout time.

I do have one gripe, and it seems to be a pervasive problem with Kindle books. There are very large number of editing problems with the Kindle edition, as if it were not proof read! Sometimes spaces between words are missing, numbers appear in the middle of words, and there are other various formatting issues. This is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with, this sort of omission would be totally unacceptable in a print version and the Kindle version should be no different!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Exercisemaniac on October 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love The CIG series and this one has been used more than most. This book is an excellent quick reference since I read all sorts of books on a variety of subjects and want a quick clarification before I continue reading. Understanding the basics of the role of religion and religious leaders throughout history, the big wars and who was involved, struggles for independence in countries other than our own has been very satisfactory reading. The Appendix A is a glossary that taught me words and phrases I wasn't familiar with or had read about in past but not really grasped the meaning before and Appendix B is a fairly comprehensive nine page list of The Major Events of World History. I purchased this as a reference while I was watching The Teaching Company's DVD course on "A Brief History of the World" taught by Dr. Peter Sterns. It is also interesting reading for no other reason than to learn the sequence of world events in a nutshell. Good book.
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Format: Paperback
I picked up this book for a not-too-usual reason: I was contracted to write a Complete Idiot's Guide book (and I do hope you'll buy it...), so I grabbed three CIG titles from the library to get a sense of the organization and style for the series. While they all helped me get a sense of how to write the book (such as keeping the sidebar/notes very short), two of the books went back to the library in short order. I've kept this one around, reading through it slowly but carefully, because it is just so darned good.

By any stretch of the imagination, I'm well read on a lot of topics, from cookbooks to mystery novels. I also do love well-written history (in fiction or non-fiction) that helps me gain a deep knowledge of an era, from the settling of the US northwest territories to the era of Henry VIII (rather an embarrassing number of the latter, I admit).

But even so: I sure don't know everything. My knowledge of some times-and-places is deep but narrow. I can talk your ear off about the issues that caused the American revolution, but if you asked me to name a single historical influence on the independence of African countries, I'd look at you with a "...duh..." expression. So the CIG to World History has been a speed-reading course in "the least I should know to be not-a-fool."

Don't expect more than a summary for important events. Obviously, to encompass the whole of world history (even if it really gets going after the Renaissance) in a heft-able book, there's no room for detail. But the book gave me a sense of how things connected, how they led to one another, and the important personalities who drove history forward.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Destiny Rodriguez on October 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book deserves 3 stars because it does manage to provide historical information spanning from thousands of years ago to the modern century, however, there were certainly a few things left to be desired. There aren't many maps, illustrations or visual aids within the pages. A few pictures of the country/nation/city in question would help with the learning experience. There are no more than 8 minuscule maps sprinkled throughout the book.

Another problem was the focus on certain events, people and the like. Some historical figures and events (Joan of Arc, Christopher Columbus, the Vietnam War) only received a paragraph or two worth of attention while others weren't even mentioned at all (Cleopatra, the sinking of the Titanic, Martin Luther King, Jr.). I understand that this isn't a vast tome containing every single event known to man, but the author at times would go into detail about generation after generation of dynasties in Asia or kingdoms in Europe that in the long run, probably didn't lend much to World History. A better balance would've been appreciated.

One thing I liked about the book were the "What In The World?" sidebars. They were little historical fun facts that were informative and entertaining.

If you're just starting to study World History or you need a general guide to the subject, this is a decent book BUT if you're looking for something that will provide great detail, you will have to look elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Freudchicken on March 2, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is exactly what you'd expect with an Idiot's guide or Dummies style book. It provides a very brief summary of events, with a few specifics sprinkled in. Overall I have enjoyed it. It has taught me a few things and piqued my interest in several historical events, prompting further study.

The chapters in this book would be great as review or preview material when read as a supplement to classroom texts, but don't rely on it to pass any tests. For instance, prior to studying the American Revolution, one might enjoy seeing the big picture as this book presents it to provide a context for more in-depth study.
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