A Little History of the World (Little Histories)

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9780300143324: A Little History of the World (Little Histories)

E. H. Gombrich’s bestselling history of the world for young readers tells the story of mankind from the Stone Age to the atomic bomb, focusing not on small detail but on the sweep of human experience, the extent of human achievement, and the depth of its frailty. The product of a generous and humane sensibility, this timeless account makes intelligible the full span of human history. In forty concise chapters, Gombrich tells the story of man 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. This is a text dominated not by dates and facts, but by the sweep of mankind’s experience across the centuries, a guide to humanity’s achievements and an acute witness to its frailties.



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From the Publisher:

The international bestseller available in English for the first time...

A Remembrance from Leonie Gombrich:

My grandfather Ernst Gombrich did not usually write for children. Nor did he study history at university: art history was his subject. He was therefore delighted and astonished in almost equal degree that his very first book, Eine kurze Weltgeschichte für junge Leser, should have endured so long and found so many friends all over the world.

He wrote it as a young man and in a considerable rush, and later considered that both these factors contributed to its long lived appeal. For this little book would never have been written at all were it not for the unusual circumstances that presented themselves in Vienna in 1935.

When the book came out, in 1936, it was very well received, reviewers assuming that my grandfather must be an experienced teacher. Though publication was stopped by the Nazis—because they considered the outlook "too pacifist "—it was reissued thirty years later. My grandfather added a new final chapter—and was once again delighted by the book’s success, and the many translations that have followed.

"I want to stress," he wrote, in his preface to the Turkish edition a few years ago, "that this book is not, and never was, intended to replace any textbooks of history that may serve a very different purpose at school. I would like my readers to relax, and to follow the story without having to take notes or to memorise names and dates. In fact, I promise that I shall not examine them on what they have read."

From the Author:

A Remembrance from Leonie Gombrich:

My grandfather Ernst Gombrich did not usually write for children. Nor did he study history at university: art history was his subject. He was therefore delighted and astonished in almost equal degree that his very first book, Eine kurze Weltgeschichte für junge Leser, should have endured so long and found so many friends all over the world.

He wrote it as a young man and in a considerable rush, and later considered that both these factors contributed to its long lived appeal. For this little book would never have been written at all were it not for the unusual circumstances that presented themselves in Vienna in 1935.

When the book came out, in 1936, it was very well received, reviewers assuming that my grandfather must be an experienced teacher. Though publication was stopped by the Nazis—because they considered the outlook "too pacifist"—it was reissued thirty years later. My grandfather added a new final chapter—and was once again delighted by the book’s success, and the many translations that have followed.

"I want to stress," he wrote, in his preface to the Turkish edition a few years ago, "that this book is not, and never was, intended to replace any textbooks of history that may serve a very different purpose at school. I would like my readers to relax, and to follow the story without having to take notes or to memorise names and dates. In fact, I promise that I shall not examine them on what they have read."

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