Tuesday, June 21, 2011

JOHN HIRST; The Shortest History of Europe

Author: John Hirst
Book: The Shortest History of Europe
Genre: Nonfiction, history
Publisher: Black Inc.
Released: 2009

In The Shortest History of Europe, John Hirst takes us on a fascinating journey through antiquity, the Middle Ages and beyond, bringing European civilisation to life in all its peculiarity and exuberance. Beginning with Greek and Roman learning, Judeo-Christian religion and a Germanic warrior culture, it discusses how this unlikely alliance at the heart of European civilisation came about, producing empires and city-states, inspiring conquests and crusades, and giving rise to such figures as benign emperors, belligerent popes, chivalrous knights and enlightened citizens. Accompanied by lively illustrations and related with clarity and wit, The Shortest History of Europe tells the remarkable story of our shared civilisation. 

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a great read. I know my European history pretty well already but this book put everything into perspective. It's also a great read for people don't know their history. My mum is reading it now and she is surprised just how interesting she's finding it. I think this is because the book doesn't just describe the events but puts everything into context so that the reader can relate. John is an Australian, so he describes everything with an Australian perspective, which is really good, especially for fellow Australians like me and Mum :)

I would recommend this book to anyone who is studying European history at high school or even first year uni including Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, all the way to the Tutor times, and the French Revolution. It's short (ie The shortest history) so reading it during your school term wouldn't take up very much time but it will give you a great advantage.

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