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A Short History of the World is a short and easy-to-read history book that relates the history of our world from the Big Bang to the present day. It assumes no prior knowledge of past events and 32 maps have been especially drawn to give the reader a better understanding of where events occurred.

The author chooses what he sees as the most important empires and events and links them to make a flowing narrative as opposed to a dry series of facts. Going through history, we learn how and when empires and nation states developed, how the major religions affected world history and the devastation they caused, how the Muslims and Chinese led development for many centuries, how the great explorers changed world history and how we finally came to understand the size of the planet on which we live.

The book’s purpose is not to come up with any ground-breaking new historical theories. Instead it aims to give a broad overview of the key events so that non- historians will feel less embarrassed about their lack of historical knowledge when discussing the past. The result is a history book that is reassuringly epic in scope but refreshingly short in length – an excellent place to start to bring your knowledge of world history up to scratch!

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