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Download Globish: How the English Language Became the World's Language Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Globish: How the English Language Became the Worlds Language, by Robert McCrum Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (233 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert McCrum Narrator: James Langton Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2010 ISBN: 9781400187430
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It seems impossible: a small island in the North Atlantic, colonized by Rome, then pillaged for hundreds of years by marauding neighbors, becomes the dominant world power in the nineteenth century. Equally unlikely, a colony of that island nation across the Atlantic grows into the military and cultural colossus of the twentieth century. How? By the sword, of course; by trade and industrial ingenuity; but principally, and most surprisingly, by the power of their common language. In this provocative and compelling new look at the course of empire, Robert McCrum, coauthor of the bestselling book and television series The Story of English, shows how the language of the Anglo-American imperium has become the world's lingua franca. In fascinating detail he describes the ever-accelerating changes wrought on the language by the far-flung cultures claiming citizenship in the new hegemony. In the twenty-first century, writes the author, English + Microsoft = Globish. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Robert McCrum argues, brilliantly and provocatively, that England’s greatest contribution to the world is English. The empire may be gone. But Globish explains why the language still rules.”

    Malcolm Gladwell

  • An overall effective work.... This book successfully appeals to language lovers and history buffs alike. Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martin | 2/16/2014

    " Interesting story on how the english language became the de facto lingua franca of the world. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Thebookmistress | 2/13/2014

    " Both the author and I seemed to have problems focusing on the putative point of the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristopher | 2/7/2014

    " This was the "textbook" for my History of the English Language class. It's an interesting topic, but I really just didn't like this book much. It only focuses on the English language about half the time, and only half of that is about the English language spreading beyond the Angleo-American sphere to become the world's language. The rest is a standard history text of Britain running from the Celts up through the British Empire and then Churchill. I wish McCrum had focused more on language, even at the risk of making his book less "acceptable" to a general audience. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nathan Shepherd | 1/24/2014

    " Contains lots of interesting British and American history, much that I did not know. However, the book seemed to have a difficult time coming to its point / making its point. The argument was disjointed and difficult to follow. That said, I really enjoyed the historical tidbits... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Margaret Sankey | 1/20/2014

    " 25 years ago, when McCrumb co-wrote the Story of English, fax machines were the height of technology and they figured English had evolved as far as it would go--little did they suspect the language was ready to assimilate text-speak, Bollywood, Chinglish and refudiate. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Caitlin | 1/18/2014

    " I was unsatisfied by this book. It seemed to talk its way around the topic, and it jumped from idea to idea while being too vague in it's analysis and conclusions. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sannie Hald | 12/14/2013

    " A really fast general overview. Written clearly for a mass audience "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ralph Lavelle | 12/10/2013

    " More of a history book really, but luckily a well-written and interesting one. I wish more of it had been set in contemporary times: I was fascinated with his exploration of modern-day Singapore and China. The stuff about the Norman invasion of England etc, is a well-worn path. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rianna | 12/10/2013

    " interesting review of history and the evolution of the language "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 12/3/2013

    " This is a somewhat similar book but is based strictly on the history of England and America, describing how our language has changed and adapted through historical events. Very well written. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rachel | 9/3/2013

    " I was really only interested in the most modern parts of history in the book. I realize background is necessary but it really slowed te book down for me. It was good enough but not spectacular. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rick | 8/29/2013

    " This book is disappointing in that it offers very little new information -- especially to those who frequently read articles and books on the topic of world Englishes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan | 5/10/2013

    " A somewhat interesting book about the rising dominance of English as the world lingua franca. If has a lot of language history but is far too breezy and buys into stereotypes. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Wil | 9/14/2012

    " This was surprisingly disappointing. The author couldn't keep the narrative on track, going off on odd discursive things all the time. Some of his off-handed interpretations of history and culture were quite unusual. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J | 5/6/2012

    " A fascinating history of the development and spread of English but he never quite gets around to discussing what Globish is, aside from "a utilitarian vocabulary of some 1500 words...designed for use by non-native speakers." Kinda leaves the native English-speaker hanging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 4/14/2012

    " Not the history of English, but the history of the SPREAD of English around the world, in all its global variations. English is now the language of business everywhere. Very interesting as history; but more important for understanding the uses of English today in the culture of the world. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Debra | 11/12/2011

    " The audio just couldn't hold my interest! Sorry, this was wasn't finished! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenna | 5/21/2011

    " Wonderful, nice tight writing and a topic that touches on history, culture, and other favourite topics of mine. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenna | 4/4/2011

    " Wonderful, nice tight writing and a topic that touches on history, culture, and other favourite topics of mine. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rick | 2/27/2011

    " This book is disappointing in that it offers very little new information -- especially to those who frequently read articles and books on the topic of world Englishes. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gail | 1/1/2011

    " Don't waste your money. Very superfical. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Thebookmistress | 12/29/2010

    " Both the author and I seemed to have problems focusing on the putative point of the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jay | 11/23/2010

    " Another book that could be so much more. Poorly organized, full of distracting anecdotes, mediocre and meandering. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 11/1/2010

    " This is a somewhat similar book but is based strictly on the history of England and America, describing how our language has changed and adapted through historical events. Very well written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J | 8/8/2010

    " A fascinating history of the development and spread of English but he never quite gets around to discussing what Globish is, aside from "a utilitarian vocabulary of some 1500 words...designed for use by non-native speakers." Kinda leaves the native English-speaker hanging. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 michaelben | 8/1/2010

    " Interesting that many examples used to argue his thesis and the language used to articulate those examples are extremely similar to what's in Bill Bryson's 1990 _The Mother Tongue_. There's no originality here. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 7/28/2010

    " Not the history of English, but the history of the SPREAD of English around the world, in all its global variations. English is now the language of business everywhere. Very interesting as history; but more important for understanding the uses of English today in the culture of the world. "

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