History of the World, Updated

  • by J.M. Roberts
  • Narrated by Frederick Davidson
  • 54 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In the History of the World, Updated, J. M. Roberts has revised his monumental previous work, History of the World, taking into account the great range of discoveries that have altered our views on everything from early civilizations to post-Cold War globalism. Large portions of text have been rewritten, addressing events as recent as the relationship between the Arab and Western worlds in the wake of the September 11 attacks. As in his previous work, this is also a book of extraordinary ambition, clarity, and style that follows the central notion that human history is the story of change, a deliberate shaping of experience and environment. Among the elements that have made the book uniquely appealing are its powerful vision and voice. Roberts's book is exceptional in its genuinely global and comprehensive nature, showing the development of different civilizations through the ages, from our origins on the African savannah to A.D. 2002. Like no other book, it succeeds in conveying the staggering diversity of the human experience across a vast range of circumstances and habitats. If there is one book anyone truly interested in history should hear, this is it.

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What the Critics Say

"Davidson's reading of this behemoth is actually a nice match of text and reader. His voice is clear and easily understood." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Comprehensive world history

It's difficult to summarize a book this long because there were moments of sheer brilliance and hours of near tedium but, overall, the better parts made it worth the listen. My favorite narrator, David Case (a/k/a Frederick Davidson) recorded it with his outstanding British accent. It sounds like he also recorded the author's update shortly after 9-11-01 because his voice is nearly gone but still loveable. Shortly thereafter his vocal cords were removed from cancer, so this may be his final recording. If you want to get a comprehensive summary of world history from ancient pre-humans down to the present, this is the book for you. Just be prepared for some passages with "all you ever wanted to know and more". But hang in there and you'll consider it worth the effort, I believe.
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- Alan Rither

First Rate

This is an exceptionally good overview of world history read by one of the very best narrators. Reviewers who found the book "Euro-centric" missed the point entirely. Roberts demonstrates that European values have largely been responsible for shaping the world as it is. He doesn't claim that this is all to the good, only that it is a fact. In fact, Roberts seems to have particular admiration for the Mongol Empire and modern China. How anyone construes this as Euro-centric is beyond me. Finally, another reviewer says that Frederick Davidson's narration is "affected and annoying." Perhaps he's never heard an intelligent reader before. Davidson is outstanding here. In fact, I often search for audiobooks according to the ones he's read. "Cry the Beloved Country" is a genius of narration.
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- BARRY

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-03-2005
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.