This is a completely new and updated edition of J. M. Roberts and Odd Arne Westad's widely acclaimed, landmark bestseller The Penguin History of the World.
For generations of readers The Penguin History of the World has been one of the great cultural experiences - the entire story of human endeavour laid out in all its grandeur and folly, drama and pain in a single authoritative book. Now, for the first time, it has been completely overhauled for its 6th edition - not just bringing it up to date, but revising it throughout in the light of new research and discoveries, such as the revolution in our understanding of many civilizations in the Ancient World. The closing sections of the book reflect what now seems to be the inexorable rise of Asia and the increasingly troubled situation in the West.
Roberts focuses on the general and essential aspects of world history: everything that shaped the future, everything that has lead us to where we are today. The illustrations are only black and white maps. The book includes a detailed index but no footnotes nor references in the text nor bibliography. This keeps the book tractable but renders it substantially less useful as a reference. The English is clear but refined, without fluff or informalities. This approach may not be accessible for those who require a light touch, many pictures and chronologies of monarchs. This book is unique in the plethora of world histories, most of which are either too short, dominated by illustrations or not very serious as a reliable framework for understanding history.