Imagine that you have stumbled upon an old, leather-bound book in the dusty corner of a library. You crack open the cover and discover a real piece of history: a well-loved text that has been forgotten for many years. It is both a history book, and a historical artifact.
‘A Short History of the World’ begins with a description of the very beginnings of life on our planet, and continues by describing pivotal moments and important people all the way up to the twentieth century. It includes information about various cultures, in addition to predictable topics such as ancient Greece, etc. It is written in many short chapters which contain plenty of intriguing ‘look-what-I-found-in-the-back-of-the-natural-history-museum’-type black-and-white photos. The history of the world is a big topic, easily overwhelming to any reader; here H. G. Wells (1866-1946) tells a story that is easy to understand, entertaining, and memorable.
Use this book as an introduction to world history that offers a good look at the big picture. You will be exposed to ways of thinking and writing that are now called ‘old-fashioned’, but were the foundation upon which modern scientific and anthropological studies were built. The assignments that follow each chapter will help you to learn to think critically, to examine facts, to identify ‘concepts’ and ‘opinions’, and to do some research. You will read about history and hone your observational and philosophical skills as well.
Learn about history by reading a piece of history!
- The complete original text ‘A Short History of the World’ by H.G. Wells
- A reading comprehension sheet following each of the 68 chapters asking the student to identify within the chapter just read: a concept or opinion, a fact that is certain, a doubtful fact (which must be briefly researched), an important date and relevant event, and an outdated word or phrase
- Appendix One containing larger version of each of the maps in the book
- Appendix Two containing possible essay topics and extra assignments