There is something astonishingly attractive about the idea of a concise world history. An aspiration for a perspective that, unfortunately, is most likely to be impossible to achieve completely. But many have tried and what wonderful resources have been created in the process.
I first thought about this during the BBC radio series of a history of the world in a hundred objects and I remember making a conscious effort to listen to them but not quite getting round to listening to them all. Then a few months ago when traveling back to Nottingham form my hometown I discovered the published book of the series heavily reduced in a station platform shop and began flicking through the pages for the rest of my journey.
I have to admit, with some self-disappointment, that I’m still around object 30 something and haven’t picked the book up in a few days but I am determined to make it through the 100, somehow the numbering system is very motivational! However this sort of historical enquiry is a much wider phenomena and so I thought I’d share a few discoveries with you all.
I suppose the impossibility with such an enquiry is that it sets up the pretence of a completed and rounded off anthology of history, the be all and end all. But due to ‘the history of the world’ probably being an impossible topic for even the most ambitious of academics, it only leaves us asking many more questions. But in essence that I suppose is half the fun of history in itself.
After all there’s no fun in an answer that doesn’t lead to many more questions.
John Greens world history Crash Course – http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBDA2E52FB1EF80C9
Is an amazingly fun appr9oach, very much unlike the BBC. You can’t watch this with a stern facial expression, nor can you take it 100% seriously but it’s a fantastic way of learning lots of little snippets, it’s a bit mad, but worth checking out!
A History of the world in 5 minutes from the BBC – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-g1qeX0cTM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9XpxahJPGc Many of the BBC Radio Documentaries can still be found on YouTube today.
– Emma Hardiman