Story of a Secret State: My Report to the World: My Report to the World (Penguin Modern Classics)

Story of a Secret State: My Report to the World (Penguin Modern Classics)
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One can also see the familiar pattern of decline and fall playing out over and over again. When a nation stops expanding - however they may be accomplishing it - the tax revenues stagnate, the military can't be supported, and the bureaucracy grows more complex, leading to eventual disintegration. It is happening now. But it's not the end as most people think. Something new always takes its place, for better or for worse. I picked up the fourth edition, published in A sixth edition is now slated for publication March 15, I might pick it up just to see how the previous 10 years are handled, as the text is already dated e.

Why four stars? First, the maps are reprinted so small as to be rendered unreadable — an unforgivable error on the part of the publisher. I understand that some earlier editions did not have this problem. Roberts frequently employs odd circular phrasing that requires multiple rereads of a sentence or paragraph. Lack of timelines, sources, footnotes, and suggested readings are additional failings, although understandable as they might require a separate volume.

And finally, although Roberts acknowledges and justifies his strong Western focus, his approach left gaps in my understanding of world history. The southern hemisphere may not have played as an active a role in shaping the trajectory of history to date, but I still want to know more about them. This will be one focus of my reading selections. View 1 comment. Originally published on my blog here in May At the end of the twentieth century, there seems to be a vogue for celebrating the end of the second millennium AD with universal histories of the sort which had been rather out of fashion for some years.

This particular work appeared at the time when they were unfashionable, the Pelican version being slightly updated from one printed by Hutchinson a few years earlier with many maps reduced in number for this edition to keep costs down. Judging b Originally published on my blog here in May Judging by what I have seen of these millennial histories, The Pelican History of the World gains a great deal by not being sumptuously illustrated, by not aiming to be the only history book ever bought by its readers to use, in many cases, this term loosely.

Another virtue making it a history which gives a more natural view of the past if not fitting it so well as a reference book, is that Roberts has chosen deliberately, as he points out in the conclusion to refrain from sorting events into specific time periods; each chapter deals with a particular aspect of the past, and carries the story through to what seems to be a sensible point in relation to the subject of that chapter rather than to any chronological division arbitrarily imposed across the board.

This is, of course, a particular feature of many of the history books marketed around the idea of the Millennium, most of which are divided by century. The value of books like this one to someone interested in history is to provide a wide context to areas of more detailed knowledge.

I have, for example, a particular liking for medieval history, and I would not turn to this book for a history of the medieval West, but for information on other periods and areas particularly China and India Roberts provides interesting background.

Story of a Secret State: My Report to the World

Story of a Secret State: My Report to the World Series: Penguin Modern Classics Then war breaks out and his familiar world is destroyed. Story of a Secret State: My Report to the World and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Story of a Secret State: My Report to the World (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 29 Mar No Greater Ally: The Untold Story of Poland’s Forces in World War II.

He certainly has the ability to select and summarise, even in the most recent periods covered. Looking back from to the seventies, you might expect to have a different idea of what was significant, but the only obvious factor missing is any inkling of the economic problems which would eventually bring about the downfall of Soviet Communism - Roberts even manages to point to a growing interest in environmental concerns. Roberts is a master of the broad brush, managing to make world history a page-turner and pages seem like or so.

One particularly valuable example is the context in which he places the American Revolution and subsequent US expansion. At the time, the revolution was a relatively small matter and Europe was focused on more important things. After the war, Britain controlled the seas and also controlled the territory north of the new nation. With a weak power Spain controlling much of the areas south and west, and with France checked by Britain in North America, the US was able to expand in an essentially invisible bubble of protection created by Britain.

Sep 19, Sean DeLauder marked it as to-read Shelves: penguin. The publishing company ought not to put their name in the title because it utterly changes my understanding of the book's topic. For the glory of the Horde! This was probably the longest project I've ever undertaken. It took me about 6 years to read a nearly 1, page history of the world. And, while I've been bummed to miss my Goodreads yearly book count the entire time, I don't know that I should feel bad about how long the process was. Clearly written from a UK perspective; there were a lot more "u"s in words than I'm used to, and also there were just a few descriptions of stuff I had previous knowledge of where I was like, "well that's a bit of This was probably the longest project I've ever undertaken.

This book is an amazing feat. And deserving of all the praise it's received.

I really do feel I have a better grasp on the history of humanity than I did before. I've even kind of got it in my back pocket to read another edition years in the future like maybe 50 cause let's not go crazy, this was an effort to accomplish just because I continue to be intrigued by the knowledge shared in it's pages. Though when I come back it better be in digital form to provide links to further information on specifics and interactive maps.

And not be a damn 10 pound paperweight.

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I'm proud of myself for sticking through the process. Since I started the book I've gotten married, moved twice, lost 2 grandparents, and changed jobs probably close to 10 times.

And that feels like just the right thing to give perspective. But 6 years isn't nothing in the scheme of a life. I hope I took the appropriate time to process the story being told. Because it's the story of all of us. This isn't the only thing I read during that time, simply because I did need a break here and there from the itty bitty type and just the nature of a historic document.

I'm glad I paced myself like that. I feel like I enjoyed this book all the more because I took time away here and there. This edition was published in And certainly not anticipating the election of Barack Obama, let alone Donald Trump. And that's me putting it in a very localized national point of view.

But the book definitely makes no bones about the power America has over the rest of the world since the end of World War II. And that's very evident in the last ish pages.

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

On top of enjoying all the knowledge I acquired, I really do love how the last few pages wrapped up this non-fiction epic. Regarding such a document, it's a history written by historians, and their job isn't to guess at the future, but document the past. And from that perspective, even when it seems like the world is falling apart around us my interpretation, not the authors what's important to recognize the progress we as a species HAVE made.

At this moment in time even the people in poverty are better off now than they would have been years ago. Technology has enabled us to live longer and better and continues to improve almost daily. The most important change seems to be that now, worldwide, most people are aware of the idea that wherever you start, there's the possibility that you might be able to improve your life. Either through hard work or dumb luck or somewhere in between, it's a possibility for anyone on this planet.

And that's not something many people were ever able to consider until very recently in the timeline of humanity. So while this book had to end where it did because of when it was published, it acknowledges that the story is unfinished and that's probably the most exciting idea of all. Look at all we've done, the good and the bad since we've come into self awareness I can't help but be excited about what comes next! Mar 13, Bevan Lewis rated it really liked it.

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Anyone fascinated by world history will be delighted with the appearance of a new edition of John Robert's History of the World. His ill health mentioned in the preface made it hard work, and his recent death confirms his prophesy that this will be the final edition of this successful book. Overall Roberts provides a great summation of world history, supplying a sweeping overview with perceptive insights, and avoiding the temptation to become enmeshed in encyclopedic detail.

The themes he follow Anyone fascinated by world history will be delighted with the appearance of a new edition of John Robert's History of the World. The themes he follows, those of change and continuity, the impetus of history and the relationship between tradition and innovation in human history are well chosen and help to find a context for this daunting subject. His overall perspective on history has changed surprisingly little over the years, perhaps because one of his basic philosophies is durable; "the two phenomena of inertia and innovation continue to operate in all historical developments Sounds like a bet both ways, however thinking about recent events it is quite plausable.

The book, it is freely acknowledged by Roberts, comes from a white, middle class western perspecive, however every edition finds him attempting to balance his global coverage further, as well as expanding the text to include more on gender issues and the environment. The thinness of material on non-Western cultures, such as Africa and Latin America is more related to knowledge than bias.

He certainly has always argued strongly for the "European Age" since the age of exploration and I think he tends to overemphasise its influence on the world's population as a whole important as it was. A little more material on imperialism from the subjects perspective might have helped, although don't get the impression that the book is a whitewash.