A Short History of the World (Wells book)

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A Short History of the World
A Short History of the World (H.G. Wells).jpg
First Penguin edition (1936)
AuthorH. G. Wells
CountryUnited Kingdom
SubjectGeneral history
PublisherThe Bodley Head and Penguin Books
Publication date

A Short History of the World is a period-piece non-fictional historic work by English author H. G. Wells first published by Cassell & Co, Ltd Publishing in 1922.[1] It was first published in Penguin Books in 1936. Later editions were published with updated accounts of world events. [2]It was republished under Penguin Classics in 2006. The book was largely inspired by Wells's earlier 1919 work The Outline of History.[3]

The book is 344 pages in total,[4] summarising the scientific knowledge of the time regarding the history of Earth and life. It starts with its origins, goes on to explain the development of the Earth and life on Earth,[5] reaching primitive thought and the development of humankind from the Cradle of Civilisation.[6] The book ends with the outcome of the First World War, the Russian famine of 1921, and the League of Nations in 1922.[7][8] In 1934 Albert Einstein recommended the book for the study of history as a means of interpreting progress in civilisation.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wells, H.G. (1922). A Short History of the World (1 ed.). New York: Macmillan. Retrieved 1 July 2016 – via Internet Archive.
  2. ^ Mullen, R.D. (Fall 1973). "The Books and Principal Pamphlets of H.G. Wells: A Chronological Survey". Science Fiction Studies. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-10-19. Retrieved 2009-09-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Michael Sherborne introduction to H. G. Wells and A Short History of the World
  5. ^ University of Gothenburg review
  6. ^ History is One manifesto NY:Ginn
  7. ^ The Open Conspiracy 1928
  8. ^ Outline of History, a precursor of A Short History of the World, Ch. 41
  9. ^ Einstein, Albert (1994). "Education and World Peace, A Message to the Progressive Education Association, November 23, 1934". Ideas and Opinions: With An Introduction by Alan Lightman, Based on Mein Weltbild, edited by Carl Seelig, and Other Sources, New Translations and Revisions by Sonja Bargmann. New York: The Modern Library. p. 63.

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