A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson's fascinating and humorous quest to understand everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization. He takes subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us, like geology, chemistry, and particle physics, and aims to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. In the company of some extraordinary scientists, Bill Bryson reveals the world in a way most of us have never seen it before.
"A short Review of Nearly Everything"
From the earliest civilizations to the 21st century: a global journey through human history, published alongside a landmark BBC One television series. Our understanding of world history is changing, as new discoveries are made on all the continents and old prejudices are being challenged. In this truly global journey, Andrew Marr revisits some of the traditional epic stories, from classical Greece and Rome to the rise of Napoleon, but surrounds them with less familiar material, from Peru to the Ukraine, China to the Caribbean.
"Awsome, educational and epic work"
January 1991: IRAQ. Eight members of the SAS regiment embark upon a top-secret mission to infiltrate deep behind enemy lines. Under the command of Sergeant Andy McNab, they are to sever a vital underground communication link and to seek and destroy mobile Scud launchers. Their call sign: BRAVO TWO ZERO. Each laden with 15 stones of equipment, they tab 20km across the desert to reach their objective. But within days, their location is compromised. After a fierce fire fight, they are forced into evasive action. Four men are captured. Three die. Only one escapes.
"Maybe not what you are expecting"
This is the first volume in a bold new series that tells the stories of all peoples, connecting historical events from Europe to the Middle East to the far coast of China, while still giving weight to the characteristics of each country. Susan Wise Bauer provides both sweeping scope and vivid attention to the individual lives that give flesh to abstract assertions about human history. This narrative history employs the methods of "history from beneath" - literature, epic traditions, private letters, and accounts - to connect kings and leaders with the lives of those they ruled.
"Entertaining and informative"
Having done field work in New Guinea for more than 30 years, Jared Diamond presents the geographical and ecological factors that have shaped the modern world. From the viewpoint of an evolutionary biologist, he highlights the broadest movements both literal and conceptual on every continent since the Ice Age, and examines societal advances such as writing, religion, government, and technology.
"An excellent work slightly spoilt"
The world at the beginning of the 20th century seemed, for most of its inhabitants, stable and relatively benign. Globalizing, booming economies married to technological breakthroughs seemed to promise a better world for most people. Instead, the 20th century proved to be overwhelmingly the most violent, frightening and brutalized in history with fanatical, often genocidal warfare engulfing most societies between the outbreak of the First World War and the end of the Cold War.
"Brilliant and Eye Opening"
This Pulitzer Prize-winning history of World War II chronicles the dramatic rise and fall of the Japanese empire, from the invasion of Manchuria and China to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Told from the Japanese perspective, The Rising Sun is, in the author's words, "a factual saga of people caught up in the flood of the most overwhelming war of mankind, told as it happened - muddled, ennobling, disgraceful, frustrating, full of paradox."
With an introduction read by Max Hastings. A companion volume to his best-selling 'Armageddon', Max Hastings' account of the battle for Japan is a masterful military history. Featuring the most remarkable cast of commanders the world has ever seen, the dramatic battle for Japan of 1944-45 was acted out across the vast stage of Asia: Imphal and Kohima, Leyte Gulf and Iwo Jima, Okinawa and the Soviet assault on Manchuria.
"Brilliant as usual"
Erich von Däniken's Chariots of the Gods is a work of monumental importance---the first book to introduce the shocking theory that ancient Earth was visited by aliens. This world-famous best seller has withstood the test of time, inspiring countless books and films, including the author's own popular sequel, The Eye of the Sphinx.
For most of its 5,000-year existence, China has been the largest, most populous, wealthiest, and mightiest nation on Earth. And for us as Westerners, it is essential to understand where China has been in order to anticipate its future. These 36 eye-opening lectures deliver a comprehensive political and historical overview of one of the most fascinating and complex countries in world history.You'll learn about the powerful dynasties that ruled China for centuries; the philosophical and religious foundations-particularly Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism-that have influenced every iteration of Chinese thought, and the larger-than-life personalities, from both inside and outside its borders, of those who have shaped China's history. As you listen to these lectures, you'll see how China's politics, economics, and art reflect the forces of its past.From the "Mandate of Heaven," a theory of social contract in place by 1500 B.C.E., 3,000 years before Western philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, to the development of agriculture and writing independent of outside influence to the technologically-advanced Han Dynasty during the time of the Roman Empire, this course takes you on a journey across ground that has been largely unexplored in the history courses most of us in the West have taken.In guiding you through the five millennia of China's history, Professor Hammond tells a fascinating story with an immense scope, a welcome reminder that China is no stranger to that stage and, indeed, has more often than not been the most extraordinary player on it.
"Wonderful set of lectures"
If in the year 1411 you had been able to circumnavigate the globe, you would have been most impressed by the dazzling civilizations of the Orient. The Forbidden City was under construction in Ming Beijing; in the Near East, the Ottomans were closing in on Constantinople. By contrast, England would have struck you as a miserable backwater ravaged by plague, bad sanitation and incessant war. The other quarrelsome kingdoms of Western Europe - Aragon, Castile, France, Portugal and Scotland - would have seemed little better.
"Very entertaining, interesting and informative"
From a leading expert in Japanese history, this is one of the first full histories of the art and culture of the Samurai warrior. The Samurai emerged as a warrior caste in Medieval Japan and would have a powerful influence on the history and culture of the country from the next 500 years. Clements also looks at the Samurai wars that tore Japan apart in the 17th and 18th centuries and how the caste was finally demolished in the advent of the mechanized world.
"Title is a Misnomer"
Ferguson's most revolutionary and popular work, this is a major reinterpretation of the British Empire as one of the world's greatest modernising forces. Based on the Channel Four series that will be aired simultaneously with the book, it shows on a vast canvas how the British Empire in the 19th century spearheaded real globalisation with steampower, telegraphs, guns, engineers, missionaries, and millions of settlers.
China. Korea. Japan. Southeast Asia. How did Eastern civilization develop? What do we know about the history, politics, governments, art, science, and technology of these countries? And how does the story of Eastern civilization play out in today's world of business, politics, and international exchange?
"ANOTHER GREAT LECTURE SERIES FROM THE PREMIER GCS"
Whether around the campfire, between the covers of a great book, or in the theater, the desire to tell stories has been a common human impulse for thousands of years. These 48 lectures take you on a journey through time and around the world-from the enormous auditoriums of ancient Greece to a quiet study in the home of a 19th-century New England spinster-to introduce the history of world literature.In this course, you'll sample some of the greatest literary expressions the world has known and experience storytelling in its many forms, including poetry, drama, and narrative.
A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson's quest to find out everything that has happened from the Big Bang to the rise of civilization - how we got from there, being nothing at all, to here, being us. His challenge is to take subjects that normally bore the pants off most of us and see if there isn't some way to render them comprehensible to people who have never thought they could be interested in science. It's not so much about what we know, as about how we know what we know.
"I love it"
History for busy people. The Cold War: History in an Hour gives a brilliant overview of the unusual and non-violent war between East and West that lasted nearly fifty years.From the end of World War Two to the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 the world lived within the shadow of the Cold War. Russia and America eyed each other with suspicion and hostility.
The world will never see another peace conference like the one which took place in Paris in 1919. For six months, the world's major leaders - including Woodrow Wilson, president of the United States, David Lloyd George, prime minister of Great Britain, and Georges Clemenceau, prime minister of France - met to discuss the peace settlements which were to end World War One.
For most of its 5,000-year existence, China has been the largest, most populous, wealthiest, and mightiest nation on Earth. And for us as Westerners, it is essential to understand where China has been in order to anticipate its future. These 36 eye-opening lectures deliver a comprehensive political and historical overview of one of the most fascinating and complex countries in world history.
The ancient world has cast a long shadow, influencing our customs and religious beliefs, our laws, and the form of our governments. It has taught us when and how we make war or pursue peace. It has shaped the buildings we live and work in and the art we hang on our walls. It has given us the calendar that organizes our year and has left its mark on the games we play.
"A stand out purchase - fantastic"
According to Ian Morris, the author of a sweeping history of conflict from prehistoric times to the present, war can sometimes produce safety. But his account runs into difficulties as it approaches the present.
It was the war that changed everything, and yet it's been mostly forgotten: in 1935, Italy invaded Ethiopia. It dominated newspaper headlines and newsreels. It inspired mass marches in Harlem, a play on Broadway, and independence movements in Africa. As the British Navy sailed into the Mediterranean for a white-knuckle showdown with Italian ships, riots broke out in major cities all over the United States.
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, is his attempt to answer not just Yali's question, but the whole question of why some peoples in some parts of the world developed technological advances before others, and why some of them were then able to conquer other peoples using those advances.
A collection of four essays by noted Masonic scholar Frank C. Higgins. The first explores the labyrinthine paths of solutions that attempt to define the exact character of the "riddle of the ages" that is known as Freemasonry, as it has survived throughout history, in multiple cultures
The history and evolution of land ownership is a fascinating chronicle in the history of civilization, offering unexpected insights about how various forms of democracy and capitalism developed, as well as a revealing analysis of a future where the Earth must sustain nine billion lives. Seen through the eyes of remarkable individuals - Chinese emperors; German peasants; the 17th century English surveyor William Petty, who first saw the connection between private property and free-market capitalism.
This volume contains a pair of exploratory essays by Masonic scholar William Harvey. The first seeks to explain the origin and meaning of the word Tyler, as well as describing the history and duties that appertain to the official who guards the Doorway of Freemasonry. Harvey's second essay, "The Masonic Apron", begins by chronicling historical usages of the garment in cultures and traditions throughout civilization.
Until recently, historians believed America gave asylum only to key Nazi scientists after World War II, along with some less famous perpetrators who managed to sneak in and who eventually were exposed by Nazi hunters. But the truth is much worse, and has been covered up for decades: the CIA and FBI brought thousands of perpetrators to America as possible assets against their new Cold War enemies.
In The Normans, Lars Brownworth follows their story, from the first shock of a Viking raid on an Irish monastery to the exile of the last Norman Prince of Antioch. In the process, he brings to vivid life the Norman tapestry's rich cast of characters: figures like Rollo the Walker, William Iron-Arm, Tancred the Monkey King, and Robert Guiscard. The Normans presents a fascinating glimpse of a time when a group of restless adventurers had the world at their fingertips.
Chanakya was not gifted with beauty or looks; however, he was gifted with intelligence, creativity and statesmanship. He is the best administrator to be born to date. The greatest strategist of his time, his hard labor, perseverance and guidance bore fruit to Chandragupta Maurya and who became the Emperor of the great Mauryan Empire. Chanakya served as his Prime minister and he is still known for his great wisdom, far sightedness, power of persuasion, manipulation and spreading dissension.
This edition of Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca's Relación offers readers Rolena Adorno and Patrick Charles Pautz's celebrated translation of Cabeza de Vaca's account of the 1527 Pánfilo de Narváez expedition to North America. The dramatic narrative tells the story of some of the first Europeans and the first-known African to encounter the North American wilderness and its Native inhabitants.
In The People's Republic of Amnesia, NPR correspondent Louisa Lim charts how the events of June 4 changed China, and how China changed the events of June 4 by rewriting its own history. Lim reveals new details about those fateful days, including how one of the country's most senior politicians lost a family member to an army bullet, as well as the inside story of the young soldiers sent to clear Tiananmen Square.
This series of lectures explores specific technologies, most of which we take for granted today, to offer a general picture of the economic and social development of Western nations from 1760 to 1900.
A magnificent and timely examination of an age of fear, subversion, suppression and espionage, Adam Zamoyski explores the attempts of the governments of Europe to police the world in a struggle against obscure forces, seemingly dedicated to the overthrow of civilisation. The advent of the French Revolution confirmed the worst fears of the rulers of Europe. They saw their states as storm-tossed vessels battered by terrible waves from every quarter and threatened by horrific monsters from the deep.
Karen M. Masterson, a journalist turned malaria researcher, uncovers the complete story behind this dark tale of science, medicine and war. Illuminating, riveting and surprising, The Malaria Project captures the ethical perils of seeking treatments for disease while ignoring the human condition.
From the Orwell Prize shortlisted author of Freedom for Sale, The Rich is the fascinating history of how economic elites from ancient Egypt to the present day have gained and spent their money. Starting with Ancient Egypt and Greece and culminating with the oligarchies of modern Russia and China, it compares and contrasts the rich and powerful down the ages and around the world. What unites them?
Fukuyama examines the effects of corruption on governance, and why some societies have been successful at rooting it out. He explores the different legacies of colonialism in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and offers a clear-eyed account of why some regions have thrived and developed more quickly than others. And he boldly reckons with the future of democracy in the face of a rising global middle class and entrenched political paralysis in the West.
The Rwandan Genocide served as one of the moments which the world chose to look away. This audiobook looks at what the world turned its eyes away from.
Amazons - fierce warrior women dwelling on the fringes of the known world - were the mythic archenemies of the ancient Greeks. Heracles and Achilles displayed their valor in duels with Amazon queens, and the Athenians reveled in their victory over a powerful Amazon army. In historical times, Cyrus of Persia, Alexander the Great, and the Roman general Pompey tangled with Amazons.
A gripping day-by-day account of the 1978 Camp David conference, when President Jimmy Carter persuaded Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat to sign the first peace treaty in the modern Middle East, one which endures to this day.
The last days of the Korean War saw savage battles for control of important local terrain features, and in the trench warfare of the Chorwon Valley a young U.S. Army lieutenant was assigned to lead an infantry company charged with holding Outpost Harry against a determined Chinese assault. The battle devolved into hand-to-hand combat during a period of constant, intense fighting that lasted two days.
Here is a gripping account of the major postwar trial of the Nazi hierarchy in World War II. The Nuremberg Trial brilliantly recreates the trial proceedings and offers a reasoned, often profound examination of the processes that created international law. From the whimpering of Kaltenbrunner and Ribbentrop on the stand to the icy coolness of Goering, each participant is vividly drawn.
"Old but Unbowed"
One of the best selling History titles of 2009. Examining the Second World War on every front, Andrew Roberts asks whether, with a different decision-making process and a different strategy, Hitler's Axis might even have won. Were those German generals who blamed everything on Hitler after the war correct, or were they merely scapegoating their former Führer once he was safely beyond defending himself?
"An Outstanding Piece of Work"
Western interpretations of the Cold War--both realist and neoconservative--have erred by exaggerating either the Kremlin's pragmatism or its aggressiveness, argues Vladislav Zubok. Explaining the interests, aspirations, illusions, fears, and misperceptions of the Kremlin leaders and Soviet elites, Zubok offers a Soviet perspective on the greatest standoff of the 20th century.
"Soviet Cold War History in an understandable form."
The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization.
"Amazing! Wonderful! Couldn't get enough!"
This entertaining examination of everyday science from the fanciful to the factual covers topics ranging from pesticides and environmental estrogens to lipsticks and garlic. Readers are alerted to the shenanigans of quacks and are offered glimpses into the fascinating history of science. The science of aphrodisiacs, DDT, bottled waters, vitamins, barbiturates, plastic wraps, and smoked meat is investigated. Worries about acrylamide, preservatives, and waxed fruits are put into perspective, and the mysteries of bulletproof vests, weight-loss diets, green-haired Swedes, laughing gas, and "mad honey" are unraveled.
Country of Ash is the starkly compelling, original chronicle of a Jewish doctor who miraculously survived near-certain death, first inside the Lodz and Warsaw ghettoes, where he was forced to treat the Gestapo, then on the Aryan side of Warsaw, where he hid under numerous disguises. He clandestinely recorded the terrible events he witnessed, but his manuscript disappeared during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. After the war, reunited with his wife and young daughter, he rewrote his story.
In 1908, at the age of two, Henry Pu Yi ascended to become the last emperor of the centuries-old Manchu dynasty. After revolutionaries forced Pu Yi to abdicate in 1911, the young emperor lived for 13 years in Peking's Forbidden City, but with none of the power his birth afforded him. The remainder of Pu Yi's life was lived out in a topsy-turvy fashion: fleeing from a Chinese warlord, becoming head of a Japanese puppet state, being confined to a Russian prison in Siberia, and enduring taxing labor.
Andrei Lankov has gone where few outsiders have ever been. A native of the former Soviet Union, he lived as an exchange student in North Korea in the 1980s. He has studied it for his entire career, using his fluency in Korean and personal contacts to build a rich, nuanced understanding. In The Real North Korea, Lankov substitutes cold, clear analysis for the overheated rhetoric surrounding this opaque police state.
"A level headed analysis of a complex topic"
This Very Short Introduction offers an indispensable starting point for anyone who needs to quickly know the themes and controversies that have shaped modern China. Prize-winning author and scholar Rana Mitter examines the modern history, politics, economy, and thriving cultural scene of contemporary China, and its relations with the wider world.
"Interesting but frustrating"
From the capture of Sidney Reilly, the "Ace of Spies", by Lenin's Bolsheviks in 1925, to the deportation from the USA of Anna Chapman, the "Redhead under the Bed", in 2010, Kremlin and Western spymasters have battled for supremacy for nearly a century. In Deception Edward Lucas uncovers the real story of Chapman and her colleagues in Britain and America, unveiling their clandestine missions and the spy-hunt that led to their downfall. It reveals unknown triumphs and disasters of Western intelligence in the Cold War,
Preeminent military historian Max Hastings presents Winston Churchill as he has never been seen before. Winston Churchill was the greatest war leader Britain ever had. In 1940, the nation rallied behind him in an extraordinary fashion. But thereafter, argues Max Hastings, there was a deep divide between what Churchill wanted from the British people and their army, and what they were capable of delivering.
"Superbly written and delivered"
Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space.' Douglas Adams, Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.We human beings have trouble with infinity - yet infinity is a surprisingly human subject. Philosophers and mathematicians have gone mad contemplating its nature and complexity - yet it is a concept routinely used by schoolchildren. Exploring the infinite is a
"Good, but maths is not suited to the audio format"
Why did the medieval Church bless William of Normandy's invasion of Christian England in 1066 and authorise cultural genocide in Provence? How could a Christian army sack Christian Constantinople in 1204? Why did thousands of ordinary men and women, led by knights and ladies, kings and queens, embark on campaigns of fanatical conquest in the world of Islam? The word 'Crusade' came later, but the concept of a 'war for the faith' is an ancient one.
Tower of Basel is the first investigative history of the world's most secretive global financial institution. Based on extensive archival research in Switzerland, Britain, and the United States, and in-depth interviews with key decision-makers including Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve; Sir Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England; and former senior Bank for International Settlements managers and officials.
"Incredible story about the Bank no-one knows"
The potato - humble, lumpy, bland, familiar - is a decidedly unglamorous staple of the dinner table. Or is it? John Reader's narrative on the role of the potato in world history suggests we may be underestimating this remarkable tuber. From domestication in Peru 8,000 years ago to its status today as the world's fourth largest food crop, the potato has played a starring - or at least supporting - role in many chapters of human history.
"Warmed up mis-Mash of Cold Potato"