Get Your Free Audiobook

History

A Very Short Introduction
Narrated by: Richard Davidson
Length: 4 hrs and 43 mins
Categories: History, World
4 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

Non-member price: $20.83

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

There are many stories we can tell about the past, and we are not, perhaps, as free as we might imagine in our choice of which stories to tell, or where those stories end. John Arnold's addition to Oxford's popular Very Short Introductions series is a stimulating essay about how people study and understand history. The book begins by inviting us to think about various questions provoked by our investigation of history, and then explores the ways in which these questions have been answered in the past. Such key concepts as causation, interpretation, and periodization are introduced by way of concrete examples of how historians work, thus giving the reader a sense of the excitement implicit in discovering the past--and ourselves.The aim throughout History: A Very Short Introduction is to discuss theories of history in a general, pithy, and accessible manner, rather than delve into specific periods. This is a book that will appeal to all students and general readers with an interest in history or historiography.
©2000 Oxford University Press (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about History

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Darwin8u
  • Darwin8u
  • 18-09-2016

The past itself is not a narrative

"The past itself is not a narrative. In its entirety, it is chaotic, uncoordinated, and complex as life. History is about making sense of that mess, finding or creating patterns and meanings and stories from the maelstrom." -- John H. Arnold, History

A friend on Facebook introduced me to this series a couple weeks ago. I usually steer towards larger books (Diary of Samuel Pepys, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, etc.). I like to submerge in a book, so I was initially skeptical of this format. These are short books, almost novella size (although the font being 8 or 9 point might allow Oxford's editors to squeeze a bit more in). These are books not meant for the expert, but the enthusiast. They are, as Oxford titled them, VERY SHORT INTRODUCTIONS. Perfect. There is an art to writing tight. To cutting your story, your explanation, your introduction into the fewest words possible. Things are not included, left out, obviously, but like haikus there is beauty in scarcity and there is a definite place for these books in my library. I've only finished one (This one), but I'm addicted.

I loved Arnold's voice, his take, and his approach. I think he managed to engage, explain, synthesize the history of history, and did ALL of that in just under 124 pages.

I just ordered World War II: A Very Short Introduction (for my son) and The American Revolution: A Very Short Introduction (for my daughter). I expect I will be buying more very shortly.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Walter
  • Walter
  • 24-08-2017

Thought-provoking intro

A thumbnail sketch of how history is done and has been done over time. Helpful for anyone who enjoys history and wants to question and examine what they read.

The narrator, Richard Davidson, has an enjoyable style which sometimes veers into a combination of Jack Palance, Rod Serling, and a hint of Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith from The Matrix.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Seth Foster
  • Seth Foster
  • 03-12-2019

Well written and well read.

I listened to this book for my History Masters program. Good and valid points although I do disagree with some of them.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sophia
  • Sophia
  • 02-10-2012

Wonderful Listen

Would you listen to History again? Why?

No. I am not that interested in this kind of history...

What was one of the most memorable moments of History?

The ending...

Which scene was your favorite?

no a one...

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

nope

Any additional comments?

This book was assigned by the professor and so, it was forced upon me.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Graeme P Lawler
  • Graeme P Lawler
  • 07-06-2020

Enlightening

Great audiobook for those interested in history. Discovered and learnt a lot about the processes involved in writing history and learning about history

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alex
  • Alex
  • 02-04-2015

Good introduction to why we should study history

A good argument for why history is important and needs to be studied. Listening to it at 2x speed, I could finish it in less than a day.