Nominated four times for the Nobel Prize in Literature, known as one of the "fathers of science fiction", and notorious for works such as The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells, a British author had the greatest impact on his readers, the science fiction genre would draw not only inspiration but ideas for future sci-fi authors. Although known for his sci-fi novels, A Short History of the World is a non-fictional work, it highlights Wells’ knack for writing real life pieces as well. He often uses the Darwinism theory to analyze and explain his ideas; this is due to the fact that he was trained in biology.
A Short History of the World was first published in 1922 by Cassell & Co, Ltd. It was first published in Penguin Books in 1936. It was republished under Penguin Classics in 2006. The book was largely inspired by Wells' earlier 1919 work The Outline of History. The work includes the history of the Earth millions of years ago. It first covers the origin of the Earth; its improvement then goes on to talk about the life and civilization of people; trading, war, religions, empires, dynasties, etc. The book ends with the discussion of results from World War I, the 1921 Russian Famine and the start of the League of Nations in 1922.
It first covers the characteristics of the Earth, including its appearance, the Earth from space and other physical traits, then goes on to talk about the beginning of life in Earth such as the Precambrian and Paleozoic period. The first Mammals then enter the book which indicates the start of the Cainozoic periodand as naturalists categorize the class Mammalia into a number of orders, at the top are the Primates, which include monkeys, apes and men. As Wells include the early men in his work, he then presents the idea of Primitive Thought and how men millions of years ago lived, survived and traveled (The First Sea-going People).
Not short after, he presented the first empires and groups in the world, highlighting the Egyptians, Babylonians and the Aryans. Babylon became a major capital city during the reign of Hammurabi, the Aryans played a very important part in the world's history. They raised crops of wheat, but they did not settle down by them, they would reap and move on. They also had bronze and iron. They were the armed with bronze weapons when they entered Britain and Ireland. The Aryan people were altogether victorious. After that, the history of Jews, theyproduced a written literature, a world history, psalms, books of wisdom and poetry which became at last what the Christians know as the Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible. Following quickly were the wars of the Greeks and Persians. Gautama Buddha was then introduced. Buddha originated in India, he was the son of an aristocratic family, was married at nineteen to a beautiful cousin. Amidst all that, a great discontent fell upon him. He felt that the existence he was leading was not the reality of life, but a holiday - a holiday that had gone too long. After finding out that his wife has given birth to a son, he turned away the opportunity of meeting him and continued his journey to later become the Buddha and pass on his teachings to his followers. After that, it was the rise of the Early Roman Empire.
A little later in the book Jesus and Christianity were then discussed; how the popularity of the religion increased. In Jesus' name , a religion was to arise which was destined to become the official religion of the entire Roman Empire. Materially, he appeared in the likeness of a man, he appeared in the Judea in the reign of the Tiberius Cæsar, he was a prophet.
The American War of Independence was covered quickly after the new empires of the Europeans in Asia and overseas. The famous French Revolution soon followed by the fall of Napoleon, then enters the Industrial age which caused England to be far more superior compared to every other country in the world. The expansion of the United States was also covered in the book next was the rise of Germany, rise of Japan and the Aggression of Europeans towards Asia. After that, World War I was finally declared between countries. It was the rise of Hitler and a calamity for Germany and Europe. Russian Famine soon followed this tragedy.
After all that, the political and social reconstruction of the world started. The populations of the victorious countries were acutely aware of their own losses and sufferings. Wells explained that the war between countries ended nothing, began nothing and settled nothing. It only killed millions of people and wasted the improvements that the world has achieved. This was the start of the League of Nations. It was an international organization, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, created after the First World War to provide a forum for resolving international disputes.
A Short History of the World is a concise and fascinating explanation of our history. Although it may seem a little old for modern readers, its concrete content and order makes it easy to follow and understandable for almost everyone. The book, written just after the end of World War One, also questions the dark side of technological progress, which had become so apparent in the mechanized mass killing of the First World War.The events discussed in this very old book are still being discussed by people today, especially young people, even though this book is mostly used for a greater and more advanced learning of history. Wells' work clearly doesn't focus on politicized views. It focuses on the story and provides a much greater understanding of our history. He has only stated the order of events throughout history without any biased thought, basically, a synopsis of the history of man. He even stops to briefly discuss certain parts of history. This displays his Darwinism approach that shows the evolution of civilization as a natural development.