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Old November 7th, 2012, 03:17 PM   #1
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A Favor to ask


Hey guys, I have to admit, I am probably breaking a forum rule posting in here for a question, regarding History Books. But I am really confused in this whole thing, mainly because I don' read or study history much. However, the subject of matter here is my girlfriend, whom has decided to study abroad in UK (History of course) and I want to some way help her.

First of all, English is not her native language, however she is quite fluent and has good understanding of it, but all of her history books are in lithuanian language (lots and lots of them), regarding the fact that she had researched a lot of periods, she has developed a taste of her own. When I asked her what kind of english history book she would want, she said that a brief book about world history would come in handy. I've looked around the web and found this particular book by JM Roberts " The New Penguin History of the World". However I noticed it lacked illustrations but provided a nice array of maps, so I am at a dead end whether this is a good book or not to order.

Secondly, what she REALLY needs is an encyclopedic - like book, where you could search a term by the dictionary and when you find it, you could read a condensed overview of it. For example, she would open up the book and in index she would search for "Marxism", then she would it in M section and read a description of this ideology. Are you getting a point of what I am looking for?

Also, other suggestions are open for offering, just make sure it would fit for an international student, who finished advanced level of history in highest grades and owns mini library of every period of events that happened in history (well it looks like that to me, I am just a simple game programmer).

I really appreciate your help, even though I am just a random dude asking, I really need your help, Internet people!

TL;DR Link or mention a great encyclopedic-like history book OR/AND world history book(brief)

Thanks!!
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Old November 7th, 2012, 03:45 PM   #2

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Stating the blindingly obvious, but how about Wikipedia for starters?
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Old November 7th, 2012, 04:02 PM   #3
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Stating the blindingly obvious, but how about Wikipedia for starters?
Mate, I don't want to be a jackass right off the bat as my second my message, but don't you think I've already done that? It is like coming into a bookstore and I get to the section of World History books. Now, do I read all of them and realize some of them have major drawbacks? Shouldn't it be easier and less time consuming just to ask people, who had read them and they might give you strong directions? I mean, that 1286 page World History book sure seems comprehensive, but oh wait, It focused heavily on western civilizations or the opposite - on the prehistoric ages.

Seriously, I just wan't some opinion and directions, not a directory to some website, which pops into my head the second I think about something.

P.S. Wikipedia is overrated.
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Old November 7th, 2012, 05:20 PM   #4
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Mate, I don't want to be a jackass right off the bat as my second my message, but don't you think I've already done that? It is like coming into a bookstore and I get to the section of World History books. Now, do I read all of them and realize some of them have major drawbacks? Shouldn't it be easier and less time consuming just to ask people, who had read them and they might give you strong directions? I mean, that 1286 page World History book sure seems comprehensive, but oh wait, It focused heavily on western civilizations or the opposite - on the prehistoric ages.

Seriously, I just wan't some opinion and directions, not a directory to some website, which pops into my head the second I think about something.

P.S. Wikipedia is overrated.
Wikipedia is a great source of basic knowledge...

The best thing about it is the references at the bottom of each page.

Not suggesting you go buy a million books but if you live in a large city, you should be able to join a library
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Old November 7th, 2012, 05:43 PM   #5

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I can't think of one book that has all that; at least not in detail. A university library would be a better place to look. However, if you would like some un-bias reviews about some books you can look here:

http://www.historum.com/history-book...challenge.html
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Old November 7th, 2012, 06:24 PM   #6

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Balanced world-history general references I've found useful:

Civilization Past & Present, Combined Volume (11th Edition) (MyHistoryLab Series): Palmira J. Brummett, Robert R. Edgar, Neil J. Hackett, George F. Jewsbury, Barbara S. Molony: 9780321236135: Amazon.com: Books
Civilization Past & Present, Combined Volume (11th Edition) (MyHistoryLab Series): Palmira J. Brummett, Robert R. Edgar, Neil J. Hackett, George F. Jewsbury, Barbara S. Molony: 9780321236135: Amazon.com: Books

There is currently a 12th edition, but it will just have an updated last section for ten times the price. There are a few other "college" textbook titles as well, but this is my favorite.

The Times Complete History of the World: Richard Overy: 9780007889327: Amazon.com: Books
The Times Complete History of the World: Richard Overy: 9780007889327: Amazon.com: Books

All the essential maps, with succinct explanatory sections and a few illustrations thrown in.

The Human Web: A Bird's-Eye View of World History: J. R. McNeill, William H. McNeill, John Robert McNeill: 9780393051797: Amazon.com: Books
The Human Web: A Bird's-Eye View of World History: J. R. McNeill, William H. McNeill, John Robert McNeill: 9780393051797: Amazon.com: Books

The McNeills include a decent bibliography.

Navigating World History: Historians Create a Global Past: Patrick Manning: 9781403961174: Amazon.com: Books
Navigating World History: Historians Create a Global Past: Patrick Manning: 9781403961174: Amazon.com: Books

This is not world history, but a comprehensive historiography of world history, which can be treated as one huge bibliography. (Edit: Sorry about the image - doesn't seem to want to load properly)

Though it is more narrative than reference, the JM Roberts book is good, BTW.
My sincere apologies if the above is not exactly what you're looking for.
Happy hunting, either way!
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Old November 7th, 2012, 11:05 PM   #7

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I'm probably setting myself up for a fall here, but I am actually very impressed with the scope of Dorling Kindersley's World History by Philip Parker. Obviously, it's brief in the extreme (whole of human history in 500 pages).
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Old November 8th, 2012, 02:26 AM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedJohn View Post
Mate, I don't want to be a jackass right off the bat as my second my message, but don't you think I've already done that? It is like coming into a bookstore and I get to the section of World History books. Now, do I read all of them and realize some of them have major drawbacks? Shouldn't it be easier and less time consuming just to ask people, who had read them and they might give you strong directions? I mean, that 1286 page World History book sure seems comprehensive, but oh wait, It focused heavily on western civilizations or the opposite - on the prehistoric ages.

Seriously, I just wan't some opinion and directions, not a directory to some website, which pops into my head the second I think about something.

P.S. Wikipedia is overrated.
Wikipedia may be overrated, but if you want a searchable encyclopedia, which gives you a basic overview of the subject, I can't think of a better resource.

The trouble is, we don't know what subjects you're going to cover and short of another online resource like Encyclopedia Brittanica, it's really not going to get much better than Wiki, which is pretty comprehensive in what it covers. As long as you don't use it solely for in-depth research, there's nothing wrong with it.
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Old November 8th, 2012, 02:49 AM   #9
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Thank you all for suggestions and links, I will look into them later this day! You are literally saving my fur, I really needed this!

Cheers!

P.S. Sorry for a bit rude post, that I wrote the last time..
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Old November 8th, 2012, 03:16 AM   #10

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If you want something that is like a reference work where you can read about historical terms in concise articles perhaps these books may be of interest:

The Encyclopedia of World History: Peter N. Stearns: 0046442652377: Amazon.com: Books
The Encyclopedia of World History: Peter N. Stearns: 0046442652377: Amazon.com: Books


Oxford Encyclopedia of World History: Ltd. Market Hosue Books: 9780198602231: Amazon.com: Books
Oxford Encyclopedia of World History: Ltd. Market Hosue Books: 9780198602231: Amazon.com: Books


Not very expensive either. I haven't read them, so I can't verify the positive reviews.
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