Brief, Briefer, and Briefest History

or A Brief History of Brief Histories.

Once upon a time, history was long, boring, and cumbersome. It was full of facts, and it went on and on. Nobody could read more than a page of it without falling asleep at their desk. Something needed to be done.

What if we could condense a history down to its main message, and just summarize the good parts, then cut straight to the conclusion? And with this thought, the brief history was born.

Where comprehensiveness was once a virtue, brevity now reigns. There is a brief history of nearly everything. A brief history of the United States, a brief history of the world, a brief history of time,  even a brief history of briefs, and a brief history of briefcases.  All linked, so you don’t think I’m making this up.  The editors at Harvard Business Review label every other history article in their publication “a brief history” of something or other.

The briefest of possible histories must be only two words, a noun and a verb like: “It failed”, “Something happened,” or “Jesus wept.”

Now, of course, the briefest of history is rather short of facts and context, but on the bright side, it is quite brief, and I’ll willing to bet that a majority of high school students could read through a two-word-history without crying out “this is boring!”

After all, who wants to read a brief history, when they can read a briefer history, like a wikipedia summary of what happened?  And why read the wikipedia summary if a simple, two-word “briefest” history is available?

I propose then, to produce a whole series of histories in my new “Briefest History of” Series.

In “The Briefest History of World War Two,” the main section of the book would consist of the words “Hitler lost.”

The Briefest History of England is equally to the point: “London burns.”

and the History of Greece “Socrates poisoned.”

The series is bound to be successful, and I predict great profits. It is perfect for magazines and newspapers that have restricted article word counts. The books would be lighter, thus relieving the stress of heavy backpacks.

The “Briefest History of…” series plans eventual expansion into the world of literature. Our team of writers is already experimenting with combining the names of Shakespearean characters and the verbs “stabbed” and “poisoned.”

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