A Little History of the World

  • by E. H. Gombrich
  • Narrated by Ralph Cosham
  • 9 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

E. H. Gombrich's world history, an international best seller now available in English for the first time, is a text dominated not by dates and facts but by the sweep of experience across the centuries, a guide to humanity's achievements, and an acute witness to its frailties.In 40 concise chapters, Gombrich tells the story of humanity 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. The product of a generous and humane sensibility, this timeless account makes intelligible the full span of human history for the curious of all ages, but especially children.
Translated by Caroline Mustill.


What the Critics Say

"A lovely, lively historical survey....A fine conception and summarizing of the world's checkered past for young and old." (Kirkus Reviews)
"A remarkable book, written in an amiable, conversational style....This resurrected history deserves reading for all its delights." (The New York Times)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

an enlightening book; very well read

This is currently my favorite audiobook (and I have dozens!). It is an excellent wee book from the author of the more famous and much longer "The Story of Art" - now in its 16th edition! If The Story of Art was written for college students, this one was originally written for school children - although it is more insightful than many adult history books I have read. It is enchanting, educational and extremely entertaining! (can you tell I like adjectives beginning with "e"?!)
It is also read superbly (by Ralph Cosham) at a pace that people of all ages can easily follow.
I therefore thoroughly recommended this book for adults and children alike.
If you want more detail, go for JM Roberts' masterpiece (History of The World) a much longer (54 hour) audiobook that is also an absolute classic - but this "Little History" is the best place to start.
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- A.B.Oxford

a good introduction or review

This short history was intended for German school-aged children. It is a good introduction or review to what is covered in Western history. Yes, there are chapters which include China but this is definitely a Western view.
The tone is wonderful. In the introduction, it is explained that the author wrote each chapter and then read it aloud on Sunday to his fiance. It's such a charming notion.
The author also humbles himself in the last chapter; reminding us that writing history is a difficult task because sometimes what we think is fact can turn out to be fiction.
The narration is excellent.
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- Michelle

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-18-2006
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.