H.G. Wells's World Reborn: The Outline of History and Its Companions


"In 1919, the novelist H. G. Wells published the first edition of The Outline of History, a work destined to be one of the enduring cultural documents of the twentieth century. Aimed at the general reader, the 500,000-word effort was intended by Wells to provide the necessary background so that educated citizens (from any part of the globe) could start to discard their nationalistic and theological blinders and start to see the world as it really was. To Wells's way of thinking, the only way to prevent disasters like World War I, which had just ended, was to drop outmoded prejudices altogether and create a one-world government. The work was an immense success, selling over two million copies in various editions and translations in its first ten years. It was especially popular in the United States, staying in print until the 1970s. In the first extended study of these works, Ross analyzes them as products of a progressive mindset convinced that the Enlightenment tradition of science and reason was the perfect antidote to the current disastrous situation. In addition to asking how far Wells's rhetoric and organization allow his reformist aims to be realized in the Outline, Ross also interrogates all three works on a number of critical topics to see how well Wells's views hold up against contemporary attitudes." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Selinsgrove, PA
Publication year:
  • 2002


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