World History

I wrapped this book up last night - no small feat at 777 pages. Bauer does a pretty decent job reviewing a lot of information - from the beginning of time to Constantine, covering China, India, Egpyt, Rome and everyone in between with a written history in that time. She makes a valiant attempt to keep it from being encyclopedic, and sometimes succeeds. It is lively at points, with wry quips here and there. Sadly, some of these have a jaded feminist edge to them, but they don't ruin the flow.

A grand review like this really impresses on one that the more things change the more they stay the same. History is one big arena of power struggle among men with power. Expanding your personal or national territory and influence is a constant human desire. Bauer does well in concisely connecting big picture events to each other, even when a century or four lie between them.

This history was one of military and political high points, just barely touching on the history of ideas, which was disappointing. Jesus gets about half a page; His Gnostic revisionists get a whole page; Buddha gets three. By contrast, Greek thought and history get dozens. Not tht the Greek history is bad. It's very well done. But it could have stood for more interaction of Greek with Jewish ideas, instead of the minutae of Indian and Chinese history, in my view.

1 comment:

  1. I keep struggling with her series for kids...it is well written and on a child's level, a big plus! BUT, I can't very far into her books without running headlong into her very humanistic take on history and culture! It drives me mad!