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  • A Little History of the World

  • Written by: E. H. Gombrich
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (107 ratings)

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A Little History of the World

Written by: E. H. Gombrich
Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
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Publisher's Summary

In 1935, with a doctorate in art history and no prospect of a job, twenty-six-year-old Ernst Gombrich was invited to attempt a history of the world for younger readers. Amazingly, he completed the task in an intense six weeks, and Eine kurze Weltgeschichte für junge Leser was published in Vienna to immediate success. It is now an international bestseller and available in almost thirty languages across the world.

In forty concise chapters, Gombrich tells the story of man from the Stone Age to the atomic bomb. In between emerges a colorful picture of wars and conquests, grand works of art, and the spread and limitations of science. This is a text dominated not by dates and facts but by the sweep of mankind’s experience across the centuries, a guide to humanity’s achievements and an acute witness to its frailties. The product of a generous and humane sensibility, this timeless account makes intelligible the full span of human history.

©1985 DuMont Literatur und Kunst Verlag GmbH und Co. KG, Cologne, Germany. English translation 2005 Leonie Gombrich (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the critics say

"A lovely, lively historical survey....A fine conception and summarizing of the world's checkered past for young and old." (Kirkus Reviews)
"A remarkable book, written in an amiable, conversational style....This resurrected history deserves reading for all its delights." (The New York Times)

What listeners say about A Little History of the World

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great voice and content as a sleep story

Not that it’s boring! My 9-year old has opted to listen to this segments of this book every night for the past year and must have heard it now at least 50 times. She likes learning from the history stories and I like that the voice is calm and soothing enough to allow her to fade off to sleep with it playing.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Interesting and fun!

A great review of the history of mankind and shows how far we have come yet are still the same! After listening, one should be happier about living today than any other time in history!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A little History of Europe

A little History of Europe would of been a more accurate title but regardless I really enjoyed listening to this novel. It’s a great overview of European history, and I loved how easy it was to follow along.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

very eurocentric

First half of the book is 4/5 , second half is 2/5 as it becomes extremely eurocentric and bogged down in minor details. The entire history of the Mongols and their conquests (which transformed the entire world) is summarized in a tiny paragraph.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Interesting listen

it's obviously very brief but provides a great summary of European history. Not really focused on the rest of the world.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Take it or leave it

Personally I wasn’t moved by this book. It would have been better if he delve into moor details. I understand it is a “quick history “ of the word, but the book suffers for it. If you don’t know anything about history this may appeal to you and at least give you a timeline of events.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Not only for Young Adults

What a wonderful book. The author may have intended this History of the World for teens or younger but it is really a great summary of the highlights of history for anyone. Great listening, the narrator is perfectly easy to listen to.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

very good

it is good book for everyone to know about whole world history in such a short time. it could be better but still good effort.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Child friendly

This book is very endearing I will be purchasing this book for my nephew.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A superb and excellent history book...

Stylishly written and delightfully narrated, this is perhaps the best history book I have read/listened to. Although meant for children, it is entirely suitable for an adult audience. Not too long, not too short. Not too detailed, not too brief. It's just right for someone who wants to learn about human civilization, with all the pertinent events and significant developments throughout the ages, but doesn't want to get bored by cumbersome details. Overall, it is a most entertaining and enjoyable book.

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