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

Wonderful, enlightening!

Since starting this book the world has taken on new forms. My Canadian/British background, spanish friends, building architecture at city hall, current world events, and scientific studies, all have taken on new meaning. Contrasted to a culture that has a memory of six months, this wonderful summary of world events changes the focus of ones attention. This book should be required reading for every person. The long legacy of human history is inspiring. Our daily lives become less of a burden when it is plain to see that even the greatest of people, from the pope, to kings, thinkers, and emperors are, in the end, no more then a line of text.
In terms of the length of the book, which is notable (and has allowed me to accumulate two more credits on my account) you really need to have a daily routine where you can listen for an hour or so. I take my dogs for a walk at night time, and find the slow progress of human history perfect accompaniment. The sound quality is not spectacular, but the voice is smooth, and well paced; but this all helps to allow the mind to create its own colour.

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- Sunnycanuck

Book Details

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