The Pequod Review:
Theodor Zeldin's book An Intimate History of Humanity is a broad but endlessly curious survey that attempts to draw lessons from history to address our most personal concerns — fear, greed, sexuality, religion, love and hatred. His chapter titles reveal the intimate nature of his subject matter: "How Men and Women Have Slowly Learned to Have Interesting Conversations." "How Even Astrologers Resist Their Destiny." "How People Have Freed Themselves From Fear by Finding New Fears." Through 25 such chapters, Zeldin combines philosophical reflections with specific events in world history, and shows how many of our worries are in fact timeless and universal — as well as fixable, or at least manageable. While his analysis is sometimes too cursory, and his conclusions unsupported, Zeldin's insights are unique and often thrilling.