It’s taken me over three years to read this book, but it was well worth the effort. Not that it’s hard to read (it’s a heavily referenced non-fiction work), just that there’s a lot to take in. Written from an atheist perspective, we start in ancient times before the discovery of fire, and move all the way through to the close of the 19th century.
Often when you read something, it’s in an area where you’re already familiar with the basics. With this work, Watson has synthesised a great many disciplines. Different threads of ideas are charted across the relevant sections of history and geography. Reading the book will make you feel smarter, but its real strength is in showing you how little you know.
It will reward your attention.