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World History For Dummies Paperback – Jun 2 2009

3.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 2 edition (June 2 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470446544
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470446546
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 2 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #100,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

"…a friendly reference. You can bone up on all those facts you missed in history class and have a good time in the bargain." (Manx Independent, Friday 27th April) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

For readers who are curious about the civilisations, events, and individuals that shaped the world but weary of conventional history books with tons of dates and laborious text, World History For Dummies is a welcome respite from dry, boring tomes. Blending a narrative and chronological approach author, Peter Haugen, sweeps the reader through time, starting with the ancient civilisations of Greece, Mesopotamia and Egypt, the major kings and queens of Europe during the Middle Ages and latter-day empires through present day. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on May 31 2001
Format: Paperback
I picked this book after reading U.S. History for Dummies. If you've ever been fascinated by Conquest, Exploration, Empire Building, Philosophy, or what the difference is between Catholics, Protestants, Calvinists, or Heugenots(not a giant astronaut) you wont be dissapointed. If you want to know how Philosophy leads to Science which leads Technology which leads to Industry which leads to Economics you won't be let down. If you're fascinated by War(History, Strategy, Tactics, Personalities, Civilizations, Technology) you'll more than love this book. I have just started reading Philosophy for Dummies to pick up where the trail left off in World History. Even if you've read all of this before you'll find it refreshing and wonder why it hasn't been put together this lucidly before. If you have kids in school you'll be able to enlighten them with fascinating and even racey tidbits of history that they probably wouldn't cover in school. Great addition for folks who like to play Age of Empires or Civilization.
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Format: Paperback
World History for Dummies is valuable if you have already read more extensive literature on world history. In that respect, I would recommend it as a refresher, a tool to jar your memory of more indepth texts.
Major advancements in western history, including ancient societies such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, and of course Greece and Rome are covered. Other civilizations are represented as well, though not in as much detail as western civs. Examples include China, Japan, Aztecs, and Incas.
I would recommend that an historical text on geography accompany this book as maps are scarce and the ones available aren't very comprehensive. This is a particular peeve since it is often nice to have a visual perspective of what is being studied.
All in all, a good "reference for the rest of us", but not a text I would recommend for the first-time reader.
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Format: Paperback
If you want to learn World History as easily as you learned EXCEL, Word, Powerpoint, or any other program or discipline through the Dummies series, get this book right now.
Also, this is history that makes sense. The author does not just follow a boring chronological order, but bunch historical events together that have similarities, connections, parallels. As a result, this is the type of history lesson that makes sense, and is easy to understand and remember. Nothing like the boring history fare you were served in high school.
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Format: Paperback
I would have stopped reading this book after about chapter 2. I wanted to finish it just to see if it would get better. It didn't...it was poorly written, terribly organized, and also made me think the author was using free association when he began to write this book (which is evident to his annoying, valueless references to other chapters every few paragraphs).
The back cover touts that he puts the "story" in History. Nothing could be further from the truth. The book itself is somewhat boring, because there isn't enough detail to make a story. The books major problem is simple. It's jammed and crammed with trivial facts, facts that mean nothing unless they're strung together with some concept or generalization to take away from it. Rather than cover an important topic well, he's seemingly opted to give every event and every no-name empire a place in his book by devoting a few sentences to each and every one of them but not enough to allow any true of true understanding of what he's talking about. At the end of the book, I was left with a strange sensation of feeling like I knew nothing about a lot of things.
Often times the amount of detail he goes into leaves you wondering what happened in huge gaps of time he's left out (or perhaps he refers to the gap he just created in another chapter). The point is, you're left not having any real idea of what was going on because you can't fit it together in any way.
I'd love to speak with someone that learned history only from this book. They'd sound like a historian at their first comment about history (due to all the highly obscure details he dips quickly in and out of), but as soon as I asked one question about it, they'd be at a complete loss.
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Format: Paperback
Far from comprehensive and lacking in detail one would think World History for Dummies would be a disaster. Because of Peter Haugen's entertaining but taught writing the reader will get a great outline of major concepts of world history.
I am aprehensive of books that adhere to a formula like the Dummies books do but Haugen works with skill within the formula making a strong impression on the subjects he writes about. There are no particular political viewpoints and discussions, while light, are treated thoughtfully and transparent of the author's politics.
I was attracted to this book when I realized my apalling lack of memory on the basics in world history. I wanted to know about why things happened, how historical events came to be and in this simple volume I got a clue along with ideas on where to continue reading.
This is a book parents can give to their kids knowing it will help augment the sometimes boring classwork and keeping the idea that history is about people and can be as exciting as any fiction they read or see in film and television.
I can't recommend this fine review of world history high enough. That does not mean it is without fault. At times the tone of the prose is condesending although it is quite possible that this is part of the format of Dummies books as the other couple of books in this series try to disamingly walk readers through concepts that may require humor to disarm otherwise intimidating subject matter.
In the end, World History for Dummies is a useful primer for adults or school age children. My favorite feature of this book is Peter Haugen's gentle reminder of multiple disciplines involved in the understanding of the world that formed the civilization we now live in.
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