E.H. Gombrich, A Little History of the World. The Illustrated edition.
In 1935, with a doctorate in art history and no prospect of a job, the 26-year-old Ernst Gombrich was invited to attempt a history of the world for younger readers. Amazingly, he completed the task in an intense six weeks. In forty concise chapters, Gombrich tells the story of man from the Stone Age to the atomic bomb. In between emerges a colourful picture of wars and conquests, grand works of art and the spread and limitations of science.