A Short History of the World is a period-piece non-fictional historic work by English author H. G. Wells first published by Cassell & Co, Ltd Publishing in 1922. It was first published in Penguin Books in 1936. It was republished under Penguin Classics in 2006. The book was largely inspired by Wells's earlier 1919 work The Outline of History.
The book is 344 pages in total, summarising the scientific knowledge of the time regarding the history of Earth and life. It starts with its origins, goes on to explain the development of the Earth and life on Earth, reaching primitive thought and the development of humankind from the Cradle of Civilisation.The book ends with the outcome of the First World War, the Russian famine of 1921, and the League of Nations in 1922. In 1934 Albert Einstein recommended the book for the study of history as a means of interpreting progress in civilisation.
"This SHORT HISTORY OF THE WORLD is meant to be read straightforwardly almost as a novel is read. It gives in the most general way an account of our present knowledge of history, shorn of elaborations and complications. It has been amply illustrated and everything has been done to make it vivid and clear. From it the reader should be able to get that general view of history which is so necessary a framework for the study of it particular period or the history of a particular country. It may be found useful as a preparatory excursion before the reading of the author's much fuller and more explicit Outline of History is undertaken. But its especial end is to meet the needs of the busy general reader, too driven to study the maps and time charts of that Outline in detail, who wishes to refresh and repair his faded or fragmentary conceptions of the great adventure of mankind. It is not an abstract or condensation of that former work. Within its aim the Outline admits of no further condensation. This is a much more generalized History, planned and written afresh."- H.G. Wells
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