A Little History of the World

By E. H. Gombrich
Translated by Caroline Mustill
Read by Ralph Cosham

9.18 Hours 01/01/2006 unabridged
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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.

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Summary

Summary

ALos Angeles Times Favorite of 2005

A 2006 Book Sense Pick

A Federalist Notable Book of 2015

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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A remarkable book, written in an amiable, conversational style…This resurrected history deserves reading for all its delights.” New York Times
“In simple, vivid prose, Gombrich surveys the human past from prehistory to his own time…Lucky children will have this book read to them. Intelligent adults will read it for themselves and regain contact with the spirit of European humanism at its best.” Wall Street Journal
“It is history to read aloud, on a cold evening, preferably by a fire.” Los Angeles Times
“What was the bestselling title this Christmas at Foyles in London? Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker Prize–winning Wolf Hall? Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? Cormac McCarthy’s The Road? Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol? No. It was E. H. Gombrich’s A Little History of the World.” Sunday Telegraph (London)
“A masterpiece of nonfiction writing for children. It is a wry and charming book, perfectly suited to the capacities of a ten-year-old but also remarkably free of condescension. An adult can read it with pleasure. And, indeed, with instruction.” Newsday
“A beautifully concise volume [that] will remind readers of any age that the past five thousand years have been one big slugfest between darkness and enlightenment, unreason and reason.” Seattle Times
“Gombrich accomplishes what many university-level Western Civilization classes cannot—a riveting account of events that shaped the world from the Stone Age to the 1930s, illustrating the relevance of history to current events. Teachers and schools should add this to their reading lists.” Denver Post
“A work one can quickly come to love…Using vivid imagery, storytelling, and sly humor, [Gombrich] brings history to life in a way that adults as well as children can appreciate.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“British narrator Ralph Cosham is a perfect choice for this material. His tone and rhythm render Gombrich’s clear, humane text in a warm and compelling reading…A useful and entertaining overview, and Cosham’s presentation compounds the pleasure.” AudioFile
“A charming read that extends from prehistory to nuclear warfare and can be enjoyed also by adults in search of an instructive overview of the human drama.” First Things
“A timeless and engaging narrative of the human race.” Booklist
“The true fairy tale of the evolution of mankind.” Die Zeit (Hamburg)
“Blackstone Audio’s A Little History of the World…is a great title to keep in the car to play for the whole family, as everyone will learn something new…Ralph Cosham reads the work in a grandfatherly tone, engaging listeners with his enthusiasm and charm. The title’s forty short chapters allow for easy stop-and-start listening on the go.” Audiobooker
“A lovely, lively historical survey…A fine conception and summarizing of the world’s checkered past for young and old.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review) 

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: E. H. Gombrich

E. H. Gombrich (1909–2001), author of the six-million-copy international bestseller The Story of Art and other classic works, was probably the best-known art historian of his time. Born in Vienna in 1909, he moved to London in 1936, working at the BBC and later becoming director of the Warburg Institute and professor of the history of the classical tradition at London University. Among his many honors were the Erasmus Prize, the Hegel Prize, the Wittgenstein Prize, and the Goethe Prize. He was knighted in 1972 and appointed a member of the Order of Merit in 1988.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 9.18
Audience: Adult
Language: English