Now this book was a pure and complete disappointment.
As far a history books are concerned this did not even came close to a good read. Of course it was informative but it was more biased then informative. For someone who has some prior knowledge would be completely enraged like i was the reason i even finished this book was to see how far would the writer take this or would he try to d some justice he did not.
The book has 3 parts. This book starts from the theory of Darwinism. Understandable by the revolutionary point of view. the book describes what most geologists and biologists assume how continents came to separate and how the frozen seas began to melt. the rising of seas. The spreading of different clans across the plains. He describes the first people to be nomads hunters without permanent settlements also probably true. Than the rise of Greeks is and their gods, temples, sculptures comes. Than there is the age of thinkers and Romans. After that the Judaism comes, after that the advent of Christ. Of course then the discussion of spread of Christianity takes place. Of course the believers like myself and others would highly disagree. Then again the book can not be judged upon it negligence of believers’ belief. After that there is mention of Constantine who embraced Christianity and then the city of Constantinople. Of course there is mention of Asoka and rise of Buddhism which however did not take much roots in the region it was born; India. But in later years it spread eastwards quiet rapidly and surprisingly. Then comes the time of Islam. I would not discuss or judge in how the writer choose to describe the our Prophet(P.B.U.H) but then again he is not a Believer so the comments or descriptions could be understood.
But after the end o f the first part, the writer takes an unexpected leap and kind off fast forwards to late 1400s. He completely and utterly ignores the rise and fall of Islamic Civilization which penetrated Europe and east to the borders of sub-continent. In the prologue writer mentions that this book s more dependent upon scientific revolutions and wars. But he completely ignores all the great cities of Islamic empire, Cordoba, Baghdad the the most significant as far the universities and libraries were concerned. where Islamic world ended Chinese civilization starts which was also going through some major economic revolutions which the writer mentions he went as far to as describing the Chinese meals. However the writer does mention the rush of knowledge which took upon masses in in 19th century and role of England and its institutions. But he ignores the fever of knowledge which took place in middle ages, in which Hews, Christians and irreligious, traveled away from their homelands to acquire.
Then comes the 1400s the rise of Ottomans, and starting of Renaissance and end of Dark ages of Europe. This book could be better describes if we called it history of Europe. The writer at places pretends that Europeans were in long slumber after the fall of Roman empire, there was black death, and famine and everything was described but it was like they were in trance and all of the sudden the trance started to break and the ideas and knowledge came to them fro their own brilliance. He fails to mention that like knowledge was acquired by Muslims from Assyrians, Hellenistic Empire and the Greeks the same way Europeans borrowed from the Islamic Civilization next door to them. But the facts are not so important in this book if it concerns the Islamic Civilization.
Then there is discovery of Americas and a whole new world is opened up. Of course then comes the trades, the exploration of southern hemisphere, the colonization. The slave trade from Africa starts a booming business in Americas because of the abundance of land and Plantations colonies were nurturing to make material which was to be exports mainly back to Europe. In slave trade the writer chooses to mention the Muslims as the protagonists of slavery especially of women, a highly biased remark to make considering the number of slaves being exported from Africa was nearly 100000 per year during those centuries despite their gender and their occupation were not exactly defines only as farmers in the lands they were to be taken. Another very off remark is that in Americas the slaves had cabins to live in, which was a better condition then in other part of Europe. One might wonder does having cabin but no freedom makes slavery less cruel? Also very few plantations extended that luxury and who did was mainly because there was both abundance of space and wood in Americas.
Then comes the major revolutions over throw of colonies in north Americas, the revolution of France and over throw of the Louis, then comes the civil War in USA and end of official slavery in the part of the world.
Then comes the First World War and in its repercussions the Second World War. Like many historian the writer cars to mention the detail of Holocaust and but by giving the numbers of People who dies in China just like in Holocaust of Germany without distinction of age and gender and also four times the number and with same cruelty. But west tends to forget the what does not happens in west.
Two quotes from the book, maybe the most truthful things writer said
“Islam is often a puzzle. The west tends to clouds its origins in mystery.
And this one is how history flows:
“A history of Modern world could be so written that it was almost dominated by the wars between clans, tribes, nations and empires. Certainly, peace is more normal condition than war but war and peace are linked in their conditions. thus a memorable period of peace can depend on those outcomes of previous war and the enforcement of outcome.”
This books along with many nearly snide remarks clearly shows that education does not always means acceptance and ability to acknowledge those who do not have the same set of beliefs instead it can give you voice to transmit ones own racism and biasedness to those who may not have the knowledge and understanding of the world yet