The Big Questions in History, Paperback

The Big Questions in History Paperback

2.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Drawing on examples ranging from ancient Greece to Tony Blair's Britain, leading historical thinkers address 20 of the really big questions that have been asked over the centuries about the course of human events.

Each essay is put into context by a more general commentary that discusses the differing views of other leading thinkers, today and in the past.

The result is a stimulating ride over continents and across centuries in search of answers that are sometimes surprising, often controversial, and all of great relevance to how we live today.

Includes writing by: Richard. J. Evans, Ian Kershaw, Vernon Bogdanor, Fred Halliday, Thomas Palaima, Jeremy Black, Colin Renfrew, Anthony Pagden, Lisa Jardine, Sheila Rowbotham, Joanna Bourke, Benjamin Barber, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto and others.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: European history
  • ISBN: 9780099468462



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Ask an historian 'define history', 'why do wars start' or 'what causes nationalism' and then only give him or her about a thousand words to answer, you pretty much know that diving really deep into the subject is impossible. This is why I'd recommend this book as a starting point on certain issues (each chapter neatly ends with a 'recommended literature' section), and not so much as a source for conclusive (if possible) answers to the questions at hand.Nevertheless some interesting reading material, in particular if you're interested in political history I'd say. One note though; one can certainly tell from examples given this book was written mainly by English professors and journalists, so at times the interest and focus lies pretty heavily on Britain.. I'll give it 2,5*, but it's my first review and score so it's a bit of a safe number :)

Also by Harriet Swain