General History/All History


QUESTION: Has anyone ever attempting to put together all of the world's history into a single source of information? Maybe a series of books that pretty much cover everything from ancient times to current times including world maps as they change? It would seem the History channel and Discover channel are too busy with pawn star and ice road truckers to teach history anymore. lol.

ANSWER: Hi James,

There have been attempts to do this.  

H.G. Wells wrote a two volume summary called "An Outline of History".  There have been other attempts as well.  Several web sites attempt to do this, such as this one:

The problem, of course, is that when you cover such a broad time period, you cannot get into much detail unless your book series would end up being thousands of volumes long, perhaps even millions.  In addition to problems of the size of information, no one person could ever be an expert in all time periods across many countries.  We tend to learn the most from books where the authors have spent many years of their lives learning about a particular period or part of the world.

- Mike

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QUESTION: So this couldn't be covered fairly well in a 10,000 episode show on the History channel? I mean even it could give reference to where finer details can be covered, but honestly I don't feel like high school history class covered things so well. At least watching jeopardy I feel like I have no idea what has happened before now. lol.

It probably could be covered on TV, but it is unlikely anyone would watch.  The reason the History Channel or The Learning Channel or others have moved away from these more educational shows is that few people watch them.  They unfortunately get better ratings from the reality shows.  Even if you could produce a 10,000 episode series that could cover all aspects and get people to watch it, if it was on one episode each day 7 days a week, it would take over 27 years to watch them all.

I agree that history in school is pretty miserable.  It teaches only the bare surface, often in a rather boring way trying to avoid much controversy.  You might want to read a good book on this topic called "Lies my Teachers Told Me" which discusses how history taught in school often makes this very interesting subject incredibly boring.

- Mike  

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Michael Troy


My specialties are 17th through 19th Century history, especially in the Americas and Europe. I also have a fair knowledge of ancient Greek and Roman History, and some knowledge of Medieval European history. My expertise is focuses on Military and political history, but I`ll take a crack at anything.


I have been a guest lecturer at George Washington University. Mostly, I have just read hundreds of books about world history.


J.D. Univ. of Michigan B.A. George Washington University

Awards and Honors
Truman Scholar

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