A Short History of Nearly Everything is Bill Bryson's 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.
"Not what I expected but brilliant!"
Girt. No word could better capture the essence of Australia.... In this hilarious history, David Hunt reveals the truth of Australia's past, from megafauna to Macquarie - the cock-ups and curiosities, the forgotten eccentrics and Eureka moments that have made us who we are. Girt introduces forgotten heroes like Mary McLoghlin, transported for the crime of "felony of sock", and Trim the cat, who beat a French monkey to become the first animal to circumnavigate Australia.
"True Blue History of Australia - Addicted"
First there was Girt. Now comes...True Girt. In this side-splitting sequel to his best-selling history, David Hunt takes us to the Australian frontier. This was the Wild South, home to hardy pioneers, gun-slinging bushrangers, directionally challenged explorers, nervous indigenous people, Caroline Chisholm and sheep. Lots of sheep.
Most of us have a limited understanding of the powerful role economics has played in shaping human civilization. This makes economic history - the study of how civilizations structured their environments to provide food, shelter, and material goods - a vital lens through which to think about how we arrived at our present, globalized moment. Designed to fill a long-empty gap in how we think about modern history, these 48 lectures are a comprehensive journey through more than 600 years of economic history.
"A pretty good and fair illustration of economics"
The sun is setting on the Western world. Slowly but surely, the direction in which the world spins has reversed: where for the last five centuries the globe turned westward on its axis, it now turns to the east.... For centuries, fame and fortune were to be found in the West - in the New World of the Americas. Today it is the East that calls out to those in search of adventure and riches. The region stretching from Eastern Europe and sweeping right across Central Asia, deep into China and India, is taking center stage.
"Some great gems of historical fact"
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.
"Enjoyed it, especially earlier on."
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.
"A smart revisionist history of humankind"
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.
Australia is a proud country full of proud people, but exactly what are we proud of? Comedian and history buff Ben Pobjie delves deep into Australia's past and has a good old rummage amongst the nation's personal effects. With wit, perspicacity and a healthily elastic attitude to historical accuracy, the great saga of Australia is unravelled like an old woolly jumper. For anyone who snoozed through history class at school, this is the book to get you all caught up.
"Not bad but hard to tell facts from jokes"
No era is more pertinent to understanding how present-day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh evolved than the nearly 200 years of British rule. This colonial period was a time of deep change and transformation - for India and for the world. These 24 engrossing lectures offer you new perspectives on the history of European imperialism, on world economic history, on the features of British colonialism, and on the rich cultures of the Indian subcontinent.
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.
"Generalist Overview of Nearly Everything"
The deep-seated origins and wide-reaching lessons of ancient myths built the foundation for our modern legacies. Explore the mythologies of Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Learn what makes these stories so important, distinctive, and able to withstand the test of time. Discover how, despite geographical implausibilities, many myths from across the oceans share themes, morals, and archetypes.
Ancient Egyptian civilization is so grand our minds sometimes have difficulty adjusting to it. It lasted 3,000 years, longer than any other on the planet. Its Great Pyramid of Cheops was the tallest building in the world until well into the 19th century and remains the only Ancient Wonder still standing. And it was the most technologically advanced of the ancient civilizations, with the medical knowledge that made Egyptian physicians the most famous in the world.
"Must Have for Egypt Fans/ Future Students"
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.
"Detailed without the drudgery of many texts"
In 1854, Victorian miners fought a deadly battle under the flag of the Southern Cross at the Eureka Stockade. Though brief and doomed to fail, the battle is legend in both our history and in the Australian mind. Henry Lawson wrote poems about it, its symbolic flag is still raised, and even the nineteenth-century visitor Mark Twain called it: "a strike for liberty". Was this rebellion a fledgling nation’s first attempt to assert its independence under colonial rule? Or was it merely rabble-rousing by unruly miners determined not to pay their taxes?
Between 1958 and 1962, 45 million Chinese people were worked, starved or beaten to death. Mao Zedong threw his country into a frenzy with the Great Leap Forward. It lead to one of the greatest catastrophes the world has ever known. Dikotter's extraordinary research within Chinese archives brings together for the first time what happened in the corridors of power with the everyday experiences of ordinary people. This groundbreaking account definitively recasts the history of the People's Republic of China.
Here, anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom: He shows that before there was money, there was debt. For more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods - that is, long before the invention of coins or cash. It is in this era, Graeber argues, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors.
When Truman asked Stalin in 1945 whether Hitler was dead, Stalin replied bluntly, "No." As late as 1952, Eisenhower declared: "We have been unable to unearth one bit of tangible evidence of Hitler's death." What really happened? Simon Dunstan and Gerrard Williams have compiled extensive evidence - some recently declassified - that Hitler actually fled Berlin and took refuge in a remote Nazi enclave in Argentina.
The narrative that emerges in an inclusive one about men and women, Maori and Pakeha. It shows that British motives in colonising New Zealand were essentially humane; and that Maori, far from being passive victims of a 'fatal impact', coped heroically with colonisation and survived by selectively accepting and adapting what Western technology and culture had to offer.
Over 5,000 years, India has been home to a rich tapestry of peoples and cultures. Two of the world's great religions - Hinduism and Buddhism - have their origins in South Asia, and the lands east of the Indus River have long been a central hub for trade, migration, and cultural exchange. Today the subcontinent contains 20 percent of the world's population and is a thriving center for global business, making this region one of most significant economic powerhouses in the world.
The IRGC is notable for its involvement in conflicts around the Middle East, particularly in supporting Shi'a groups through military training and finance, as well as backup support on the battlefield. This is not to say the IRGC enters into conflicts for the sake of being involved, but rather, they see these particular situations as serving the interests of Iran and furthering their brand of Shi'ism, a sect of Islam.
The emergence of secret societies has always been one of the most fascinating facets of civilization, a phenomenon that has been around since the birth of mankind. Even centuries after some of these groups were founded, they remain well-known, such as the Knights Templar, a group of armored warriors who hailed from the Holy Land. But of all of history's secret societies, the legend behind one's name surpasses them all: the Illuminati.
The British East India Company served as one of the key players in the formation of the British Empire. From its origins as a trading company struggling to keep up with its superior Dutch, Portuguese, and Spanish competitors to its tenure as the ruling authority of the Indian subcontinent to its eventual hubristic downfall, the East India Company serves as a lens through which to explore the much larger economic and social forces that shaped the formation of a global British Empire.
These are the words of Christopher Columbus - the record of his first voyage to America. His private journal from the trip was lost, but not before being studied and condensed by later writers like Spanish historian and Dominican friar Bartolomé de Las Casas, whose abridgement has been changed to first person perspective for this production (Columbus' actual words were often included by the friar). The result is a personal record of an enterprise which changed the whole face of history.
Historian and geopolitical expert Michael Auslin argues that far from being a cohesive powerhouse, Asia is a fractured region threatened by stagnation and instability. Here he provides a comprehensive account of the economic, military, political, and demographic risks that bedevil half of our world, arguing that Asia, working with the United States, has a unique opportunity to avert catastrophe - but only if it acts boldly.
This is the story of Santa Muerte, the so-called cult of crisis, a red-hot combo of a kermesse (Mexican carnival), Catholicism and New Age; a hedonist practice but involving bodily sacrifice too. It is an expression of economic, psychological and social forces, bigger than perhaps any of her acolytes suspect. This book looks at the folk saint and the manner in which her cult grew. You will learn about Santa Muerte like never before.
The town of Nazareth, located in Galilee in northern Israel, is a bustling settlement of over 60,000 people today. But more than 2,000 years ago it was an insignificant village of only a few hundred people - mostly farmers and some laborers who would travel to the nearby Roman settlements for employment. Yet it was in this unlikely location that the Holy Family lived.
Hitler or Stalin are the names that instantly strike us when spoken of the word dictator. Cruel and horrible are what you can say about them. Well, they weren't the only ones. There have been many that have subjected their people to living in an austere environment and were subject to extreme punishments if their rules were broken. The punishments usually led to torturous death.
Charlemagne, while subjugating the people he conquered, modernized education, currency, art, music, and leadership to bring stability back to Europe, setting it on the path to thrive for years to come. Europe had been in upheaval, with threats from every direction, when Charlemagne came to power in the eighth century. The barbarian king worked to unite Germanic people into one kingdom and to spread Catholicism.
Although not as well-remembered as D-Day or even the attack at Pearl Harbor that preceded it, the Battle of Midway was one of the most unique and important battles fought during World War II. In fact, the turning point in the Pacific theater took place between June 4-7, 1942, as a Japanese fleet moved a sizable fleet intending to occupy Midway Island and draw the American navy near.
People love mysteries, which is a good thing since history is so replete with them. This is especially true among seafaring people, and of all the mysteries of the deep, few rise to the level of the Mary Celeste. In many ways, it is a story more suited for an episode of The X-Files than it is for any history book. There is the unlucky ship that began her sailing career under a cloud of bad fortune and accident.
The history of inventions is in one way the history of civilization as well. This is because inventions are the only means through which mankind has pushed itself forward and is still keeping itself in momentum as years pass, keeping up with the process of evolution. Yes, the process of evolution indeed reinforces the human activity of creating inventions.
In March 1797, five British sailors and 12 Bengali seamen struggled ashore after their longboat broke apart in a storm. Their fellow-survivors from the wreck of the Sydney Cove were stranded more than 500 kilometres southeast in Bass Strait. To rescue their mates and to save themselves the 19 men must walk 700 kilometres north to Sydney. That remarkable walk is a story of endurance but also of unexpected Aboriginal help.
The book is written in the context of China's guerrilla war against Japanese occupiers; this conflict is mentioned often by Mao. In this book Mao discusses the differences between guerrilla and "orthodox" military forces, as well as how such forces can work together for a common goal. Other topics covered include propaganda and political concerns, the formation of guerrilla units, the qualities of a good guerrilla officer, discipline in a guerrilla army, and guerrilla bases.
This collection of audiobooks will help you understand a crucial part of the history of English monarchy. For each king or queen, you will find a detailed description of the style of his or herreign and his or her political achievements, narrated in a lively way. Portraits of Henry V, Henry VII, Henry VIII, Richard III and Elisabeth I.
"The Prince" is the most famous of Machiavelli's works; it gives very clear, precise and realistic instructions on how to gain and maintain power, fortune, and glory, sometimes at the expense of others. Written in 1513, it is one of the most feared and hated political treatises, taken to be the first work in which the effect the leader desires to achieve is taken as more important than any abstract ideal or ethical value that might prevent him from taking immoral action.
Witches have always worried, scared, and fascinated people in equal measure. From dark magic to home remedies, they have been part of the cultural landscape for people across the world. From Europe to the Americas, Asia to Africa, the idea of women who delve deep into magic has created some of the most enduring stories in the history of humanity. Often, these stories blend the real with the unreal, truth with fiction, and magick with the mundane.
This collection of audiobooks will help you understand a crucial part of the history of French monarchy. For each king, you will find a detailed description of the style of his reign and his political achievements narrated in a lively way. Portraits of Henri IV, Louis XI, Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVIII.
The Romanov family ruled as tsars and emperors of all Russia for just over 300 years - 19 men and women in total, some of them brilliant, some of them mad, most of them somewhere in between. The story of the Romanovs begins in Moscow in 1613, and ends in Ekaterinburg in 1918, at the beginning of a revolution, where Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, and their five children were slaughtered by a Soviet death squad.