"'I wish it had been available when I was young.' Allan Massie, Literary Review 'There is not one of the 39 short chapters that is not enlivened by a sharp insight or arresting image.' Tim Blanning, The Sunday Telegraph 'With Gombrich's Little History, at last available in English there will be many generations of future historians who will attribute to it their lifelong passion for history - and for truth.' Lisa Jardine, The Times 'Do not, from its title, underestimate this book.' Brian Sewell, Evening Standard 'Gombrich opens with the most magical definition of history I have ever read.' Amanda Vickery, Guardian Review 'Brilliant, irresistible: a wonderful surprise.' Philip Pullman 'the whole experience of human history, from prehistory to the Second World War, compressed into a flowing narrative... A delight.' The Daily Telegraph"
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.