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World History For Dummies [Kindle Edition]

Peter Haugen
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Now updated! Your personal tour guide to the history of theworld

Want to know more about global history? This concise guideexplains in clear detail all the major players and events that havemade the world what it is today. Covering the entirety of humanhistory, this comprehensive resource highlights importantdevelopments in everything from religion and science to art and war— giving you an understanding of how the 21st-century worldcame to be.

  • Begin to connect with the past — label the eras as youmeet the Neanderthals, home in on Homer, raise Atlantis, andpreserve Pharaohs
  • Find strength in numbers — trace the growth from ancientcivilizations to today's global community and discover what makessocieties succeed or fail

  • Discover the impact of thought — explore the rise ofreligion, the roots of philosophy, and the advance of science— and how our feelings and beliefs continually redefinedus

  • Know the global consequences of war — ride with the Greeksand the Romans, arm yourself with the cavalry, dig the trenches,and follow the paths humans took to wage modern war

  • Meet the movers and shakers — from great leaders andcourageous revolutionaries to ruthless tyrants and unsungheroes

  • Examine significant events of the 21st century — from 9/11and the Afghanistan and Iraq wars to climate change, HurricaneKatrina, and the economic rise of China, India, and Brazil

Open the book and find:

  • A detailed overview of history
  • The development of the world's religions

  • Reviews of essential historical documents, from the Bible to theBill of Rights

  • The invention of writing and art

  • Scientific developments that revolutionized the world

  • Capsule biographies of people who changed history — and afew who were changed by it

  • Ten unforgettable dates in world history

Editorial Reviews


"…a friendly reference. You can bone up on all those facts you missed in history class and have a good time in the bargain." (Manx Independent, Friday 27th April)

About the Author

Peter Haugen (Madison, Wisconsin) is an accomplished university lecturer, journalist, and author.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1778 KB
  • Print Length: 412 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0470446544
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 2 edition (November 18, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002YQV4SK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,298 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
102 of 111 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good except for a few annoyances... August 21, 2001
By Ken
I got this book because I wanted to refresh my knowledge of world history and I figured I could actually make it all the way through (as opposed to the huge volumes out there by other authors). I wasn't disappointed. It was easy and entertaining reading with a good format. The organization of the book is very helpful to enable people to put together the histories of various civilizations. I now have a clear picture of how the Inca, Mayan, and Aztec fit into the scope of world history (and numerous other cultures and historical figures are now clear in my mind).
That said, there were a few annoyances. The first and biggest, was the FREQUENT use of parenthetical statements referring the reader to other sections of the book for more information about a particular subject. Not only did these interrupt the flow of thought, but they were generally useless (vaguely referring the reader to another chapter, but not telling where within the chapter the subject is covered). Either eliminating these completely or placing them in the margin would have greatly improved the readability of the book.
The second annoyance was that there were some obvious errors in the information given. The accepted age of the earth, as mentioned by another reviewer, was one. He repeated the false urban legend that the nursery rhyme "Ring Around the Rosie" came from the black plague. There were a few other errors I detected as well. This made me question the level of research the author did and raised doubts about the accuracy of other sections (though in general I think it was pretty accurate).
Overall, I'd recommend this for anyone that wants a readable introduction into world history. It would be helpful for either a student currently studying it or an adult wanting a refresher course.
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83 of 92 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get rid of the parenthetical comments! December 26, 2001
I read the review about the annoying parenthetical comments, but thought Winters was just over-reacting. Having obtained and read the book myself, I must thoroughly apologize to Winters.
The parenthetical comments are *EXTREMELY* annoying!
Haugen, the author, thinks he's making the text more modular (he encourages the reader to skip around), but he just makes reading the book feel like you're watching a tv show with a commercial break everytime the story gets interesting. (Your book has an index, Haugen. Let the reader use it.)
That said, this is a pretty good review of world history, quickly summarizing thousands and thousands of years into a short, readable volume. It also has a good survey of philosophy, religion, and the instruments of war. For an introduction to world history, the content is 150% there. (I just wish there weren't so many useless parenthetical references.)
Oh, one other (big) criticism: there are only two maps in the entire book and neither were very helpful, so I recommend "Atlas of World History" by John Haywood as an awesome companion piece.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The History of the World in less than 400 pages November 3, 2002
By x_bruce
Far from comprehensive and lacking in detail one would think World History for Dummies would be a disaster. Because of Peter Haugen's entertaining but taught writing the reader will get a great outline of major concepts of world history.
I am aprehensive of books that adhere to a formula like the Dummies books do but Haugen works with skill within the formula making a strong impression on the subjects he writes about. There are no particular political viewpoints and discussions, while light, are treated thoughtfully and transparent of the author's politics.
I was attracted to this book when I realized my apalling lack of memory on the basics in world history. I wanted to know about why things happened, how historical events came to be and in this simple volume I got a clue along with ideas on where to continue reading.
This is a book parents can give to their kids knowing it will help augment the sometimes boring classwork and keeping the idea that history is about people and can be as exciting as any fiction they read or see in film and television.
I can't recommend this fine review of world history high enough. That does not mean it is without fault. At times the tone of the prose is condesending although it is quite possible that this is part of the format of Dummies books as the other couple of books in this series try to disamingly walk readers through concepts that may require humor to disarm otherwise intimidating subject matter.
In the end, World History for Dummies is a useful primer for adults or school age children. My favorite feature of this book is Peter Haugen's gentle reminder of multiple disciplines involved in the understanding of the world that formed the civilization we now live in.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too little on too much May 20, 2004
World History for Dummies is valuable if you have already read more extensive literature on world history. In that respect, I would recommend it as a refresher, a tool to jar your memory of more indepth texts.
Major advancements in western history, including ancient societies such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, and of course Greece and Rome are covered. Other civilizations are represented as well, though not in as much detail as western civs. Examples include China, Japan, Aztecs, and Incas.
I would recommend that an historical text on geography accompany this book as maps are scarce and the ones available aren't very comprehensive. This is a particular peeve since it is often nice to have a visual perspective of what is being studied.
All in all, a good "reference for the rest of us", but not a text I would recommend for the first-time reader.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 10 days ago by Jeff Bruhn
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent over view of such a broad topic. Easy read packed full of interesting facts and information.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars My Praxis II has a better overview in less
It was an okay guide, but did not have enough detail and was not comprehensive. I understand it is a 'dummies' guide, but really not ideal even for a review book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Playhouse Mystery Series
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very informative
Published 5 months ago by Elizabeth
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it
loved it
Published 6 months ago by Hunter Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars Ok
I thought it was informative and gave many of the important dates and people who influenced history...... Read more
Published 6 months ago by unknown
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice World History Overview.
As will all 'Dummies' books, it hits the highlights, and keeps things interesting and light. I am doing genealogy stuff, and wanted some basic information about various time... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jillinois
4.0 out of 5 stars As expected
Pretty much what I expected. Seems to put a lot of emphasis on Roman and Greek ancient history. US history, Civil War, Wold War II, American Revolution are mentioned only in... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Rick
3.0 out of 5 stars i like sushi
i like chiken susi so you cam buy it $ if you buy this book makesureto buy a large ribeye stake because the stake is alot better than the book
Published 8 months ago by Alejandro
2.0 out of 5 stars veeeery vague
Very vague, lost much time and space doing jokes than giving actual facts. I will not recommend this for world history facts
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Born in Southern California (working class L.A. County), grew up in the San Joaquin Valley, near Fresno. Graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. Served in U.S. Army. Graduate of U.S. Department of Defense Information School, Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana. Worked as reporter, news editor, feature writer, and critic for several newspapers, notably the St. Petersburg Times and the Sacramento Bee. Worked in book publishing and as freelance magazine writer. Author of books including "Was Napoleon Poisoned?" Happily married with two teen sons. Reside in Madison, Wisconsin.

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