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A History of the World (2012)

av Andrew Marr

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
222691,713 (3.88)2
A History of the World takes readers from the Mayans to Mongolia, from the kingdom of Benin to the court of the Jagiellonian kings of Poland. Traditional histories of this kind have tended to be Euro-centric, telling mankind's story through tales of Greece and Rome and the crowned heads of Europe's oldest monarchies. Here, Marr widens the lens, concentrating as much, if not more on the Americas, Africa and Asia. Instead of focusing on one episode of history taking place in one place, he draws surprising parallels and makes fascinating connections, focusing on a key incident or episode to tell a larger story: for instance, the liberation of the serfs in Russia, which took place at the same time as the American Civil War, which resulted in the abolition of slavery in the US. But he begins the account with an episode in the life of Tolstoy, who racked up huge gambling debts and had to sell land and slaves as a result.… (mer)
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A History of the World was a major series for the BBC and this is the tie in book, written by Andrew Marr.

The series had eight episodes, and this book has eight substantial chapters, It has the broad brushstrokes of history with lots of details, but not all the minutiae that you would expect from a detailed book on a particular time.

It is generally very readable; written with care and attention to the facts. He uses his journalistic style to criticise where necessary, and comment on historical events. Once or twice he is patronising, but that is it. When reading it i had his distinct voice in my head.

As a general history book, it is very good, however, if you are looking for detail then you need to seek out books relevant to the period that you are looking at. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
Impressed by the insight I gained from reading William Hague's book, I was excited to delve into an overview of history by Andrew Marr. I made the effort to read to the end, even though Marr infuriated me within the first few chapters. -It's good to read those you don't fully agree with, and good to try to see things from and through there perspective. My problem was that I felt his strong secular and atheist perspective led to his dismissive and antagonistic twisting of various bits of history and anything to do with faith. He did this in a way that left me worried that he might be presenting other bits of history from a similar "one perspective only," approach and that undermined my trust in him for his accounts of other bits of history that I had no other reference points for. ( )
  mckaori | Jan 22, 2018 |
This is an exhaustive effort. I give the author full marks for effort and research, but four stars for the reading pleasure, owing to my interest waning from the age of invention onwards. I was more engaged by the earliest times through to the mid-to-late 1700s. ( )
  PhilSyphe | Apr 14, 2017 |
Het blijft natuurlijk een prestatie: de hele wereldgeschiedenis samenvatten in 560 bladzijden. Marr kwijt zich goed van zijn taak, in die zin, dat hij een heel goed volgbaar verhaal brengt en een poging doet om de hele wereld te overzien. Maar toch. De auteur heeft zich beperkt tot de grote politieke ontwikkelingen, en tot een verhaal waarin grote figuren centraal staan; dat bevordert natuurlijk de verstaanbaarheid en de inzichtelijkheid, maar het blijft erg reductionistisch; economie en cultuur komen nauwelijks in het stuk voor (met uitzondering van godsdiensten en de industriële revolutie). Bovendien ligt er nog altijd een stevig accent op de Westerse geschiedenis, en een toch iets te groot aandeel van de Britten daarin.
Marr heeft blijkens de bibliografie behoorlijk wat werken geraadpleegd, en zijn foutenlast is - voor zo ver ik kan beoordelen - relatief klein. Globaal genomen heb ik enkele kleine weetjes opgestoken (zoals het feit dat de Amerikaanse indianen pas in de 18de eeuw paarden en pony's gingen gebruiken), maar grote nieuwe inzichten zitten er niet in dit boek. ( )
  bookomaniac | Apr 29, 2014 |
During the Council of Elrond in The Fellowship of the Ring, after Bilbo rather petulantly offers to set his cosy retirement aside and do his bit by taking the Ring to Mordor, Gandalf assuages his ire, saying, "We do not doubt that … you are making a valiant offer. But one beyond your strength, Bilbo." Perhaps it might have been better for all of us if some similarly astute wizard had been on hand to counsel Andrew Marr.

I had enjoyed his previous ventures in the field, A History of Modern Britain and The Making of Modern Britain but there he was operating on a far smaller field and negotiating with a much more manageable palette. Between them those two books (each similar in size to this latest offering) merely cover the twentieth century in Britain. To be fair, in the preface he concedes that "writing a history of the world is a ridiculous thing to do", and that encompassing such a subject in one volume is, like Bilbo, over ambitious.

He paints in broad strokes, and divides his chapters into general themes, and he certainly amasses an interesting hoard of facts. His journalistic background proves valuables, too, as he corrals them successfully, keeping the reader's interest without overburdening him with minutiae. Still, in one volume such a work can only ever aspire to scratch the surface, and Marr does well not to sink into a sea of platitudes. ( )
1 rösta Eyejaybee | Feb 14, 2014 |
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A History of the World takes readers from the Mayans to Mongolia, from the kingdom of Benin to the court of the Jagiellonian kings of Poland. Traditional histories of this kind have tended to be Euro-centric, telling mankind's story through tales of Greece and Rome and the crowned heads of Europe's oldest monarchies. Here, Marr widens the lens, concentrating as much, if not more on the Americas, Africa and Asia. Instead of focusing on one episode of history taking place in one place, he draws surprising parallels and makes fascinating connections, focusing on a key incident or episode to tell a larger story: for instance, the liberation of the serfs in Russia, which took place at the same time as the American Civil War, which resulted in the abolition of slavery in the US. But he begins the account with an episode in the life of Tolstoy, who racked up huge gambling debts and had to sell land and slaves as a result.

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