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.
"Such an interesting conversation with history"
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"
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."
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.
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?
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.
"A commentary on the universes history"
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.
"Great lecture series"
In the early days of April 1941, the 14,000 Australian forces garrisoned in the Libyan town of Tobruk were told to expect reinforcements and supplies within eight weeks. Eight months later these heroic, gallant, determined "Rats of Tobruk" were rescued by the British Navy having held the fort against the might of Rommel's never-before-defeated Afrika Corps.
"high quality ,very tougher inclusive of many sides"
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"
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.
Why were we never told? Why didn't we know? Historian Henry Reynolds has found himself being asked these questions by many people, over many years, in all parts of Australia. The acclaimed Why Weren't We Told? is a frank account of his personal journey towards the realisation that he, like generations of Australians, grew up with a distorted and idealised version of the past.
"Not told for a despicable reason"
It was a war without mercy, fought back and forth along 90 miles of river crossings, steep inclines and precipitous descents, with both sides wracked by hunger and disease, and terrified of falling into enemy hands. Defeat was unthinkable: the Australian soldier was fighting for his homeland against an unyielding aggressor; the Japanese ordered to fight to the death in a bid to conquer ‘Greater East Asia’.
The Strategic Thinking Trilogy contains the best worldwide books on strategy: A Book of 5 Rings by Mushashi, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, The Prince by Machiavelli and an introduction/summary of On War by Von Clausevitz. A must listen for all listeners interested in history, culture, military subjects, business strategy, and strategy in general.
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"
In an exciting partnership with the Smithsonian, The Great Courses presents these 24 lectures that offer an unforgettable tour of Japanese life and culture. Professor Ravina, with the expert collaboration of the Smithsonian's historians, brings you a grand portrait of Japan.
After a lifetime of research and debate on Australian and international history, Geoffrey Blainey is well-placed to introduce us to the people who have played a part and to guide us through the events which have created the Australian identity: the mania for spectator sport, the suspicion of the tall poppy, the rivalries of Catholic and Protestant, Sydney and Melbourne, new and old homelands, the conflicts of war abroad and race at home, the importance of technology, the recognition of our Aboriginal past and Native Title.
"a worthwhile introduction to Australian history"
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.
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.
From the Yangtze to the Yellow River, China is traversed by great waterways, which have defined its politics and ways of life for centuries. Water has been so integral to China's culture, economy, and growth and development that it provides a window on the whole sweep of Chinese history. In The Water Kingdom, renowned writer Philip Ball opens that window to offer an epic and powerful new way of thinking about Chinese civilization. Water, Ball shows, is a key that unlocks much of Chinese culture.
How did the ancient Egyptians travel in this quaint old land thousands of years ago? What sort of transportation did they use? For how long did they go? What destinations did they visit? For which purposes did they travel? Is it correct to describe the ancient Egyptian travels as "tourism" or not? According to our current perceptions of tourism, if the Egyptians had tourism in ancient times, did they understand it as such? Which varieties of tourism did the ancient Egyptians have compared to what mankind has today?
Looking into the past, the Crusades seem incomprehensible. What combination of religious fervor, hatred of people of different faiths, and gall led Europeans of AD 1100 to make their way thousands of miles to conquer the Holy Land? Why did they continue for 200 years? How did the Crusades change the world? The intriguing story is peppered with colorful characters. Over the centuries crusaders saw - and participated in - the evolution of warfare and the transformation of society from feudal fiefdoms to nations and empires.
The 1929 collection of short and exquisitely written biographical essays on the lives of such famed adventurers as Alexander the Great, Casanova, Christopher Columbus, Napoleon, and Isadora Duncan. The author, William Bolitho, celebrates the contradictions and bipolar tensions that live inside and often drive even history's most celebrated heroes. Although all the greats featured in the book lived ages ago, the principles by which they lived their lives hold valuable lessons for those of us in contemporary times.
Awe-inspiring and majestic, churches and cathedrals have been the place of gathering and worship for centuries, but many of them hold secret mysteries and meanings that are waiting to be rediscovered. From the majestic stained glass windows that convey the message of faith via beauty and light, to the intricate statues and carvings that adorn the exteriors and interiors and deliver subtle messages of good versus evil, there is a vast amount of symbolism to be explored.
Are you curious about how the world has evolved to where it is today? Do you wish you made a better understanding of how all of the world is connected to each other? The history of the world can fascinate even the least interested party. For thousands of years, every culture and civilization has looked to the past to learn from history. History can inspire, teach, and provide an explanation for how things and institutions have come to be.
Most anyone who has received a basic education in world history knows the story of how "in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue." Most also know that Christopher Columbus made first contact with the Americas while searching for a water route to Asia. However, far fewer people remember that the search for such a route continued for centuries after Columbus' death.
Beavers, those icons of industriousness, have been gnawing down trees, building dams, shaping the land, and creating critical habitat in North America for at least a million years. Once one of the continent's most ubiquitous mammals, they ranged from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the Rio Grande to the edge of the northern tundra. Wherever there was wood and water, there were beavers - 60 million (or more) - and wherever there were beavers, there were intricate natural communities that depended on their activities.
As much as it is a center of power, 10 Downing Street is also a study in contradictions. Though known today as the home of the prime minister, for most of its history it has housed other high-ranking government offices. Seen as a symbol of stability, it has often been physically the opposite; originally built in a swamp on a sandy foundation, it was shorn up again and again for decades. In fact its location and condition were often considered so bad that prior to 1900, only about half of the men offered the home chose to live there.
Everywhere you look, you'll find viral quotable wisdom attributed to icons ranging from Abraham Lincoln to Mark Twain, from Cicero to Woody Allen. But more often than not, these attributions are false. Garson O'Toole - the Internet's foremost investigator into the dubious origins of our most repeated quotations, aphorisms, and everyday sayings - collects his efforts into a first-ever encyclopedia of corrective popular history.
The intentional deprivation of one's most physical and carnal needs is a concept that has existed since the beginning of time, more commonly known as "mortification". The Bible makes one of the earliest references to "mortification of the flesh", as seen in Colossians 3:5, which reads, "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry."
The policy of manifest destiny increased tensions with Mexico in the 1840s. Mexico's northern half formed the western border of the territory bought in the Louisiana Purchase. Naturally, notions of the United States expanding to the Pacific Ocean alarmed Mexico, which held what is today the west coast of the United States. However, Mexico first came to regard American expansion as a serious problem with the immigration of Americans into its northeastern territory.
Discover the lives of the women that forever changed the course of history! This book contains the fundamental history, early influences, life changing events, and lasting impact of historical figures such as Eve, Cleopatra, Isabel the Catholic, Marie Curie, Winnie Mandela, Benazir Bhutto, Juana Azurduy, and many others!
The Fourth Crusade from 1202-1204 is significant in medieval history because it was the first time a crusade was directed against another Christian group. It was also significant since it encompassed two of the four major sieges of Constantinople, and it also sparked a third in 1235 (an unsuccessful attempt to reverse the Latin gains in 1204).
From royalty to suffragettes and from campaigners to contemporary rebels, Sky News Presenter Sophy Ridge explains the ways that women have changed the face of politics. Sophy Ridge has uncovered the extraordinary stories of the women who have shaped British politics. Never has the role of women in the political world ever been more on the news agenda, and Sophy has interviewed current and former MPs to gain exclusive insight into the role women play in politics at the highest level.
For much of the 20th century, South American governments in large part lived under a system of military junta governments. The mixture of indigenous peoples, foreign settlers and European colonial superpowers produced cultural and social imbalances into which military forces intervened as a stabilizing influence. The proactive personalities of military heads and the rigid structures of such a hierarchy guaranteed the "strong man" commanding officer an abiding presence in the form of executive dictator.
Ice Ghosts weaves together the epic story of the Lost Franklin Expedition of 1845 - whose two ships and crew of 129 were lost to the Arctic ice - with the modern tale of the scientists, divers, and local Inuit behind the incredible discovery of the flagship's wreck in 2014. Paul Watson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who was on the icebreaker that led the discovery expedition, tells a fast-paced historical adventure story: Sir John Franklin and the crew of the HMS Erebus and Terror setting off in search of the fabled Northwest Passage.
Like most legends, the origins of Freemasonry are still disputed to this day. The earliest mention of the society traces back to The Halliwell Manuscript, or Regius Poem, authored sometime between the late 14th and the early 15th centuries. The Society of Freemasonry is one of the most controversial brotherhoods in the history of mankind. This book examines the origins and history of the controversial brotherhood, its expansion across the globe, and some of the most mindboggling conspiracy theories that surround the society to this day.
For many years after its reform and opening in 1978, China maintained an attitude of false modesty about its ambitions. That role, reports Howard French, has been set aside. China has asserted its place among the global heavyweights, revealing its plans for pan-Asian dominance by building its navy, increasing territorial claims to areas like the South China Sea, and diplomatically bullying smaller players.
In 1948, a young white English woman, Ruth Williams, made headline news all over the world. For she had met, fallen in love with, and married Seretse Khama, an African prince and heir to the chieftainship of a tribe of more than 100,000 people - the Bamangwato. At first, the marriage was no more welcome in Africa than in government circles in London. Within a year of their wedding, the young couple had provoked an astonishing series of events that had never been explained.