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A Less Boring History Of The World

Author: Dave Rear
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1446444848
Size: 66.24 MB
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Refreshes the parts other history books can’t reach... A bit ropy on the Renaissance? In the dark about the Enlightenment? Or, in fact, do you need a revision course on the entire history of the world and want to read a witty, irreverent, definitely not boring romp through everything that has ever happened on planet earth – from 15 billion years BC to the present day? Good. A Less Boring History of the World tells you everything you need to know from the Big Bang to Barack Obama, taking in the Byzantines, the Black Death, Bin Laden and the fall of bankers along the way, all boiled down to bite size chunks so that you can finally piece together all the different bits of history - and see how on earth we ended up in the mess we are today. A Less Boring History refreshes your memory and broadens your mind. And, if that’s not enough, it will also make you laugh. A lot.

Salt

Author: Mark Kurlansky
Publisher: Vintage Canada
ISBN: 030736979X
Size: 69.63 MB
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From the award-winning and bestselling author of Cod comes the dramatic, human story of a simple substance, an element almost as vital as water, that has created fortunes, provoked revolutions, directed economies and enlivened our recipes. Salt is common, easy to obtain and inexpensive. It is the stuff of kitchens and cooking. Yet trade routes were established, alliances built and empires secured – all for something that filled the oceans, bubbled up from springs, formed crusts in lake beds, and thickly veined a large part of the Earth’s rock fairly close to the surface. From pre-history until just a century ago – when the mysteries of salt were revealed by modern chemistry and geology – no one knew that salt was virtually everywhere. Accordingly, it was one of the most sought-after commodities in human history. Even today, salt is a major industry. Canada, Kurlansky tells us, is the world’s sixth largest salt producer, with salt works in Ontario playing a major role in satisfying the Americans’ insatiable demand. As he did in his highly acclaimed Cod, Mark Kurlansky once again illuminates the big picture by focusing on one seemingly modest detail. In the process, the world is revealed as never before. From the Hardcover edition.

A Short History Of The World

Author: Geoffrey Blainey
Publisher: Ivan R. Dee
ISBN: 1461709865
Size: 51.38 MB
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A superb history of the world's people during the last four million years, beginning before the human race moved out of Africa to explore and settle the other continents. Mr. Blainey explores the development of technology and skills, the rise of major religions, and the role of geography, considering both the larger patterns and the individual nature of history. A delightful read, gracefully written, and full of odd and interesting pieces of information as well as thoughtful comparisons that span both time and space. —William L. O'Neill

A Little History Of The World

Author: E. H. Gombrich
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300213972
Size: 36.97 MB
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E. H. Gombrich's Little History of the World, though written in 1935, has become one of the treasures of historical writing since its first publication in English in 2005. The Yale edition alone has now sold over half a million copies, and the book is available worldwide in almost thirty languages. Gombrich was of course the best-known art historian of his time, and his text suggests illustrations on every page. This illustrated edition of the Little History brings together the pellucid humanity of his narrative with the images that may well have been in his mind's eye as he wrote the book. The two hundred illustrations—most of them in full color—are not simple embellishments, though they are beautiful. They emerge from the text, enrich the author's intention, and deepen the pleasure of reading this remarkable work. For this edition the text is reset in a spacious format, flowing around illustrations that range from paintings to line drawings, emblems, motifs, and symbols. The book incorporates freshly drawn maps, a revised preface, and a new index. Blending high-grade design, fine paper, and classic binding, this is both a sumptuous gift book and an enhanced edition of a timeless account of human history.

History Without The Boring Bits

Author: Ian Crofton
Publisher: Quercus
ISBN: 1623652448
Size: 51.45 MB
Format: PDF
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Conventional chronologies of world history concentrate on the reigns of kings and queens, the dates of battles and treaties, the publication dates of great books, the completion of famous buildings, the deaths of iconic figures, and the years of major discoveries. But there are other more interesting stories to tell--stories that don't usually get into the history books, but which can nevertheless bring the past vividly and excitingly to life. Imagine a history lesson that spares you the details of such seminal events as the 11th-century papal-imperial conflict, that fails to say much at all about the 1815 Congress of Vienna--and that neglects entirely to mention the world-changing moment that was the 1521 Diet of Worms. Imagine instead a book that tells you the date of the ancient Roman law that made it legal to break wind at banquets; the name of the defunct medieval pope whose putrefying corpse was subjected to the humiliation of a trial before a court of law; the identity of the priapic monarch who sired more bastards than any other king of England; and last but not least the date of the demise in London of the first goat to have circumnavigated the globe twice. Imagine a book crammed with such deliciously disposable information, and you have History without the Boring Bits. By turns bizarre, surprising, trivial, and enlightening, History without the Boring Bits offers rich pickings for the browser, and entertainment and inspiration aplenty for those who have grown weary of more conventional works of history.

Empires Of The Word

Author: Nicholas Ostler
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062047359
Size: 55.65 MB
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Nicholas Ostler's Empires of the Word is the first history of the world's great tongues, gloriously celebrating the wonder of words that binds communities together and makes possible both the living of a common history and the telling of it. From the uncanny resilience of Chinese through twenty centuries of invasions to the engaging self-regard of Greek and to the struggles that gave birth to the languages of modern Europe, these epic achievements and more are brilliantly explored, as are the fascinating failures of once "universal" languages. A splendid, authoritative, and remarkable work, it demonstrates how the language history of the world eloquently reveals the real character of our planet's diverse peoples and prepares us for a linguistic future full of surprises.

A History Of The World

Author: Andrew Marr
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 0230767532
Size: 24.62 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Our understanding of world history is changing, as new discoveries are made on all the continents and old prejudices are being challenged. In this truly global journey Andrew Marr revisits some of the traditional epic stories, from classical Greece and Rome to the rise of Napoleon, but surrounds them with less familiar material, from Peru to the Ukraine, China to the Caribbean. He looks at cultures that have failed and vanished, as well as the origins of today’s superpowers, and finds surprising echoes and parallels across vast distances and epochs. This is a book about the great change-makers of history and their times, people such as Cleopatra, Genghis Khan, Galileo and Mao, but it is also a book about us. For ‘the better we understand how rulers lose touch with reality, or why revolutions produce dictators more often than they produce happiness, or why some parts of the world are richer than others, the easier it is to understand our own times.’ Fresh, exciting and vividly readable, this is popular history at its very best.

A Little History Of Science

Author: William Bynum
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300189427
Size: 19.15 MB
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Science is fantastic. It tells us about the infinite reaches of space, the tiniest living organism, the human body, the history of Earth. People have always been doing science because they have always wanted to make sense of the world and harness its power. From ancient Greek philosophers through Einstein and Watson and Crick to the computer-assisted scientists of today, men and women have wondered, examined, experimented, calculated, and sometimes made discoveries so earthshaking that people understood the world—or themselves—in an entirely new way. This inviting book tells a great adventure story: the history of science. It takes readers to the stars through the telescope, as the sun replaces the earth at the center of our universe. It delves beneath the surface of the planet, charts the evolution of chemistry's periodic table, introduces the physics that explain electricity, gravity, and the structure of atoms. It recounts the scientific quest that revealed the DNA molecule and opened unimagined new vistas for exploration. Emphasizing surprising and personal stories of scientists both famous and unsung, A Little History of Science traces the march of science through the centuries. The book opens a window on the exciting and unpredictable nature of scientific activity and describes the uproar that may ensue when scientific findings challenge established ideas. With delightful illustrations and a warm, accessible style, this is a volume for young and old to treasure together.

A History Of The World In 100 Objects

Author: Neil MacGregor
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141966831
Size: 42.43 MB
Format: PDF
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This book takes a dramatically original approach to the history of humanity, using objects which previous civilisations have left behind them, often accidentally, as prisms through which we can explore past worlds and the lives of the men and women who lived in them. The book's range is enormous. It begins with one of the earliest surviving objects made by human hands, a chopping tool from the Olduvai gorge in Africa, and ends with an object from the 21st century which represents the world we live in today. Neil MacGregor's aim is not simply to describe these remarkable things, but to show us their significance - how a stone pillar tells us about a great Indian emperor preaching tolerance to his people, how Spanish pieces of eight tell us about the beginning of a global currency or how an early Victorian tea-set tells us about the impact of empire. Each chapter immerses the reader in a past civilisation accompanied by an exceptionally well-informed guide. Seen through this lens, history is a kaleidoscope - shifting, interconnected, constantly surprising, and shaping our world today in ways that most of us have never imagined. An intellectual and visual feast, it is one of the most engrossing and unusual history books published in years.

A History Of The World In Six Glasses

Author: Tom Standage
Publisher: Anchor Canada
ISBN: 0307375110
Size: 72.76 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Whatever your favourite tipple, when you pour yourself a drink, you have the past in a glass. You can likely find them all in your own kitchen — beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea, cola. Line them up on the counter, and there you have it: thousands of years of human history in six drinks. Tom Standage opens a window onto the past in this tour of six beverages that remain essentials today. En route he makes fascinating forays into the byways of western culture: Why were ancient Egyptians buried with beer? Why was wine considered a “classier” drink than beer by the Romans? How did rum grog help the British navy defeat Napoleon? What is the relationship between coffee and revolution? And how did Coca-Cola become the number one poster-product for globalization decades before the term was even coined? From the Hardcover edition.