Bill Wurtz's 'history of the entire world, i guess' is a great overview of history


history of the entire world, i guess

On one hand it omits a huge amount of detail out of necessity, you can’t fit that much into 20 minutes. But it does manage to convey an incredible amount of information in the time it has.

It manages to convey the broad strokes and important concepts, and helps the viewer put their existing knowledge into context and better understand how it fits into history. As an example, people know about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. But most people probably only really know that there are two sides that have been fighting for a long time, and many think this has been going on ‘forever’. But now they know the history leading up to it.

The history classes I’ve taken were actually pretty great. Specifically they did a good job going into depth and developing an understanding of certain time periods and connecting that history to the present. But I feel that this sort of broad overview (the entire timeline, so to speak) is also valuable, and it’s something that my history education lacked.

PS. I wish he expanded on racism and the creation of the concept of race. He does go into it a little bit when he talks about Hitler but it fails to convey where that idea came from and makes it seems like this is just some weird quirk of Hitler. I feel a few seconds talking about people coming up with these ideas would have been really great.


Initially I thought it would be a great idea to cover everything and to put an end to the series as a whole. (something lots of creatives get wrapped up in) But although there is a lot of /content/ here it leans in a little too much into the fall traps of the /sequel/. For instance, its plain to see after the advent of civilization the video begins to cycle through the same geopolitical histories until the last few seconds. I think when telling the history of the world it can be easy to be complacent in telling the geopolitical side of things or the “these people were led by this guy and they fought these people who were led by this other guy” type of thing.

This is why I feel the first couple of minutes are stronger than the rest of the video, not because of the broadness of the first few minutes but the variety of concepts that are discussed in such a short amount of time.

I get that its a lot of work to make this and the craftsmenship is great but all that time starring at a map does not compare to stars bursting and life evolving etc. (which is much harder to produce and took probably way more time than it should to make the thing i understand). I just think there was a lot of trimming that could of happened but since it was a video about everything, it has to be long and geopolitics is always something that can get you to the 20 minute mark.


Audibly gasped when I saw this on YouTube, I’ve been dying for a follow-up to History of Japan.


I really have to admire not only the research, but the incredible amount of work that must’ve gone into condensing this mammoth thing down into a sub-20-minute runtime


I really liked it, but I also feel a little bummed out that it’s so… broad, I guess? The History of Japan was very rapid fire but this jumps between so many places and people and things that it’s a little difficult to keep pace with the video. A lot more of it bounces off.


wurtz’s super short vine-ish stuff is great, too