Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2008
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!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2009
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.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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. A chapter on the scientific revolution covers Bacon and Descartes; Sir Isaac Newton; the Enlightenment; and the enlightened monarchs -- all in 9 pages. I've read whole books about the era, but the author did a great job at helping me connect the dots... and see the influence of these events on the ones to follow (covered in the next chapter, Western Domination). Nor is the book western-centric; for the first time I grasped what was going on in the East and how those things led to, say, World War II.

This isn't "gosh I can't wait to turn the next page" reading. It's quietly factual (though never boring), and I've been glad to read a few pages every couple of days. But... You know the guy on the radio with the TV quiz show who has a category for "Things you would have learned in school if you were actually listening"? Now I feel like I actually listened.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2008
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.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2012
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.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on April 29, 2014
I have enjoyed reading through this world history book. Read it all in school over the past years but now I'm 70 and decided to do a recap of understanding world history. This book was really good and concise, allowing me to once again get a brief of what has happened through the centuries around the globe. Recommend to anyone who has even a slight interest in history.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2012
When I first bought this book, I thought it was interesting and a good overview of things to start learning about world history. However, as I read the first few chapters and made flashcards, I decided to check the information in the book to read more about certain subjects mentioned. I was appalled to learn that almost all the information in the book is quite incorrect and badly written. For example, the Australopithecus was not the first hominid to walk on two legs, and the Homo Habilis did not evolve into the Homo Erectus. I could go on, but I have decided after spending five hours redoing flashcards because of this book not to continue reading pass the first four chapters. Also, it just isn't worth ranting about. I just wanted to warn other people, because I don't want them making the same mistake I did.

To speak with brevity, this book is not factual, and if you want to actually read something that will give you knowledge then I recommend 1000 Events That Changed the World or The History of the World in One Hundred Objects.

Hope this helps.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
on August 7, 2013
i bought this for my sister for her w.h.a.p and she said it is loaded with information , and taking notes are easy according to her
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2011
As a student I rate this book as the best on world history. All the major continents are covered: America, Europe, and Asia. The book itself is divided into five parts spread over 28 chapters.
Timothy Hall does an excellent job explaining the nuts and bolts of economy, politics, religion, and history, in a fascinating and humerous and simple way.
If your struggling through a college history course (as I was when I bought this), than this book lays out all you need to know in a clear and easy manner.
John Irving said "Americans don't make great historians" but this one does and sure can write- and write well.
In this informative book you get: all the isms like imperialism and extremism explained; two world wars waded through; science and religions (i.e. Christianity, Judaeism, and Islam) examined; the exploration of foreign lands; and Egypt, China, and India, to Greece, Rome, and the Americas all together in a wonderful timetable of history.
This guide is well worth your time and should occupy a very special place on your bookshelf; it has its place on mine... along with Idiot's Guides to America and Europe.
Check 'em out!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I only made it through the first two chapters of this book before I threw it down. The tone of the book alternated between dull, sarcastic, and dismissive. He belittled world religions and interjected his own irrelevant (and sometimes incomprehensible) political interpretations of some events. When it wasn't inappropriate, the writing put me to sleep. I'm going to keep looking for a better overview of world history and I recommend skipping this one.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.