Millennium: A History of the Last Thousand Years - Felipe Fernández-Armesto Closer, actually, to 2-1/2 stars.

I was very impressed by the first book I read from this author, Civilizations, where he argued that a "civilization" was any human society that altered its environment. Which lets him cover quite a wide range of topics. However, that initial conceit kept the book focused.

I couldn't find such a focus in this book. The chapters read like mini-essays that jump from topic to topic, never dealing with any one for any length of time. Many of the ideas he presents are fairly provocative, certainly forcing one to rethink conventional, European-oriented histories, but just when things get interesting, he's off to another country.