The Outline of History

  • by H. G. Wells
  • Narrated by Bernard Mayes
  • 44 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Having coined the phrase "the war that will end war," H. G. Wells was disillusioned by the World War I peace settlement. Convinced that humanity needed to awaken to the instability of the world order and remember lessons from the past, the author of science-fiction classics set out to write about history. Wells hoped to remind mankind of its common past, provide it with a basis for international patriotism, and guide it to renounce war. The work became immensely popular, earning him world renown and solidifying his reputation as one of the influential voices of his time.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good book

I thought that this book was very good and I highly recommend it. It is a very thick read, and even though I know a lot about world history, this book still took a while to digest. Unlike most books that cover world history, this book doesn't have a Euro-centric bias (at least not until about the 17th century). Another thing I liked about the book is that it offers a window into the (author's) world of the early 1920s, since you can often discern the pure history from the lens through which the author tells it (such as his tendency to see proto-communistic tendencies in various past events). My only complaint (and the only thing that prevents me from giving the book five stars) is that the author's own ideological biases become apparent, especially near the end of the book. I would also warn other readers that western understanding of Indian and Chinese history has come a long way since this book was written, and so its discussion of Indian and Chinese history is a bit dated. Overall though, the book was very good.
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- Adam

Comprehensive, the very important non fiction book

Where does The Outline of History rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book should be mandatory for every educated mind. Even if you hate history, you may tend to grasp that everything has some basis and this book provides the curious mind the why to many of those aspects. From the rise of religion to their prophets to wars, to great conquests and the vain glory, it covers all. You may find the answer to a question you had when you were 15 years old and which has been twirling in your brain ever since.

Who was your favorite character and why?


Have you listened to any of Bernard Mayes’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Excellent narrative - I read another review about the narrator being slow and there is nothing I heard which was not appropriate to this book. In fact for a historical narrative, the clearer the narrative the better it is and that was the case.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

At many times, it made me reconceptualize when I realized what I had been missing in the understanding of the event.

Any additional comments?

The book provides a narrative across ages and across nation states- that helps compare and come to an understanding why things are, even if they are incongruous till today

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- Neera Gupta

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-05-2010
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.