A Little History of Philosophy.
by Nigel Warburton. I ran across this little gem in the bookstore with
my Christmas-stocking-giftcard in hand. I highly recommend this little book which is just about 200 pages long and very readable.
The book is organized into around 30 chapters, each of 6-8 pages covering the major contributions of individual philosophers as well as some of their life experiences that contributed to their philosophical outlook. No philosopher is an island so the book also gives some historical and political context to each story.
The book starts with Socrates and broadly covers philosophers into the 21st century.
I found this book to be informative, readable, and entertaining. Voltaire once said that it was more important to understand how people thought than how people acted. For a student of science, or history, or theology (or all three), this book can give a very good overview and important backdrop for understanding the ebb and flow of those disciplines.