by E.H. Gombrich, illustrated by Clifford Harper - £9.99 Yale University Press (2008)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780300143324 | ISBN 10: 030014332x
In 1935, with a doctorate in art history and no prospect of a job, the 26-year-old Ernst Gombrich was invited to attempt a history of the world for younger readers. Amazingly, he completed the task in an intense six weeks, and Eine kurze Weltgeschichte fur junge Leser was published in Vienna to immediate success, and is now available in twenty-five languages across the world.
In forty concise chapters, Gombrich tells the story of man from the stone age to the atomic bomb. In between emerges a colourful picture of wars and conquests, grand works of art, and the spread and limitations of science. This is a text dominated not by dates and facts, but by the sweep of mankind's experience across the centuries, a guide to humanity's achievements and an acute witness to its frailties.
The product of a generous and humane sensibility, this timeless account makes intelligible the full span of human history.
(Price & availability last checked: September 2018)