Book of da Week: A Little History of The World

A Little History of the World
E.H. Gombrich’s truly lovely A Little History of the World.

Here we have E.H. Gombrich‘s wonderful A Little History of the World. We’ve been in an educational and book reading mood this week. Learned, huh? Professional Moron will always support the absurd, but we demand we do it in the most Humanistic and intelligent way imaginable (whilst stuffing ice cream up our nostrils). This is why we glean knowledge from everything, so we don’t understand it and then spew forth our specious reasoning across t’internet. What ho, jeeves!

In 1935 the Vienna born Gombrich went on a fact finding mission to piece together a book detailing a brief history of the world. The result is the book you already know the title of, as it says it there above. Look – it’s right there in the headline, stupid! The big thing here is this is, technically, a children’s book. It’s just one anyone can find immediately accessible and enjoyable. For kids we can recommend the highly awesome Illustrated Edition which, believe it or snot, comes equipped with drawings of stuff.

In a mere 40 chapters Gombrich takes the reader from The Stone Age (when there were, like, loads of stones) to the Atomic Age (when, like, Blondie released that single in 1979). This isn’t the type of book kids can race through, though. It’s not like Where’s Wally?; Chapter 24, for instance, is titled “Emperors In The Age Of Chivalry”. Know any kids who can tell you what “chivalry” means? We didn’t even know and we’re 30! We had to look it up in our dictionary, along with “emperors”, “in”, “the”, “age”, and, “of”. We figured out Chapter 24 is a homage to chips. We realised the “v” was a typo for “p” and the “alry” was some weird deduction on phonetical spelling Gombrich succumbed to in a moment of lunacy. Whilst eating chips.

Most of the book isn’t about food, it’s about history – yet food is history. It’s a wonderful thing to read at any age, though, and we can heartily recommend it. It will inspire you to read further into new topics, and encourage you to be groovy. As Wall Street Journal critic Anthony Grafton put it, “Lucky children will have this book read to them. Intelligent adults will read it for themselves and regain contact with the spirit of European humanism at its best.” There you have it. If you want to be an awesome member of society read this book!

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