The English translation of A Little History of the World came out in 2005 and has been on my to-buy list for ages, but somehow it always escaped my memory when I was at a bookstore. Finally, today I bought it at Mirvish Books.
Gombrich, best known now as an art historian, wrote the book in six weeks when he was 26 years old. In 40 chapters, he tells the story of mankind from the Stone Age to the atomic bomb, but it's a sympathetic story of sweeping experience rather than a stale recounting of historical events. The illustrations by Clifford Harper are divine too.