Events that changed the World sets out to do exact what it states on the front cover, describe the numerous events that altered or changed the world as selected by the author. Most readers of this book would probably accept that the events evaluated here did indeed have a global impact at the time they happened s well as subsequently. This book was published by Time Warner Books during 2005.
This concise guide to global events spans over 75,000 years of the Earth's history in 576 pages. Most of the entries only take up one or two pages, although Castleden does expand the events he regards as been the most important to five or even six pages in length. Entries are made with regard to major incidents in arts, economics, nature, politics, religion, as well as science. Castleden contends that when added together these incidents have shaped the human race (and sometimes the rest of the planet's species) for better or indeed for worse.
For ease of reference and use Castleden divides this book into five different sections relating to different periods of time. These makes it easier to read as a whole, or alternatively means that this work can be used as an encyclopedia.
Part I covers the Ancient World going from the Toba eruption around 75, 000 BC through to the fixing of the Christian calander in 525 AD. That also deals with the emergence of the first empires and all of the major religions prior to Islam.
Part II deals with the era spanning the Medieval and Renaissance World – a period of profound change and discovery, as well as the major set back of the Black Death, besides the turmoil stemming from the Reformation.
Part III deals with the Enlightened World, basically from the onset of the Seventeenth century through to the start of the French Revolution. Main events include the Boston Tea Party and the Great Fire of London.
The Nineteenth Century World is the theme of part IV, starting with Napoleon been crowned through to the use of heroin as a medicine. This was an era of new inventions that literally made the world a smaller place, but some of the European Empires even larger.
Finally part V deals with the Modern World from the opening of the Flatiron Building in New York City to the devastating Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004. Ironically this era is the most creative and the most destructive one in history, covering the First World War, the Second World War, and nuclear weapons, contrasted with the onset of the digital age.