File Size: 22114 KB
Print Length: 896 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (March 17, 2007)
Publication Date: March 17, 2007
I'm now in the middle of the second volume, the Middle Age. I recommend the first one, Overall, the publication succeeds at presenting a good high-level overview of the topic - the ancient history of the Mediterranean and Middle-eastern cultures, as well as of India and China. While the scope of the treatment is largely limited to political/military events, this is to be expected from a single publication covering such a long period of time and multiple geographic locations. The swift pace of the presentation is accompanied by a energetic, conversational style that greatly aids readability. Unfortunately, sometimes Bauer seems to forget herself and her efforts at inserting humor into the narrative seriously take away from her credibility - this situation is not helped by deficiency of cited sources in several key discussions. Perhaps the author can be excused in this by the very nature of the issue and by the scarcity of surviving accounts, however , the way she facets her text on common myths and religious texts can be very difficult to follow. It was frequently impossible for me to tell whether she is merely retelling a myth, joking, talking metaphorically or presenting facts (surely she does not mean to say that God actually, historically, do carve tablets with instructions for Moses? )
Typically the biggest problem with the publication, however, is how spread the account really is. Bauer tries to demonstrate interconnectedness of the events by describing the chronicles of the various physical areas in parallel. This specific can be seen as a strength, and an extent a comparative bank account of the different civilizations is successfully presented. Sadly, unless the reader has already been common with the subject, he eventually ends up confused and unable to quickly grasp how the events/personalities within one civilization relate to the other and much flipping again and re-reading inevitably results., I gave this publication to my son for Christmas. He is reading it with delight as it brings him again to home buying that we lived in Rome. It is just a detailed account of the location, and anyone who is interested in a brief history of the city will enjoy reading it., I teach with this text and it is superior to any other 9th grade ancient history textbook by a considerable margin., Love to read about background this author does a best wishes keeping things interesting., This is a pleasant, participating and very readable suite. The author's sometimes snarky footnotes can be laugh-out-loud funny, while her tips for more indepth reading are useful. Be aware, the author deals only with civilizations leaving written, readable records. Preliterate communities and those with undeciphered scripts may be mentioned as they impact "historical" societies, nevertheless they do not figure into the narrative themselves.
I do suggest you take those book in small bites. Summarizing so much history in so little a space focuses on humanity's "March of Folly" through war, invasion, usurpation, patricide, fratricide and large stupidity. I was especially struck by the author's cogent analysis of the impact of climate change and salinization on the Mesopotamian world between 2037 and 2004. Each chapter ends with a timeline to keep you clear how what was going on contemporaneously in each society discussed.
I've already purchased and appearance forward to reading the author's second volume covering history from Constantine's conversion to the First Crusade. I desire for a 3 rd quantity continuing to move forward to perhaps the Fall of Constantinople., Says like a novel of characters only they're real. It's great for fréquentation and note taking in a Charlotte Mason education and learning. I had been not a fan of her Story of the World series publication 1, which prompted me to buy this one. And I'm very happy that I did. This really is just what I wanted., I first started reading this from the library, but it was so good that I had to buy it. Both to read again in the future and for reference.
As the author explains, she's a historian (not an archaeologist), so it's mostly about cultures that have written things down. So for this time period, mostly the Middle East (Egypt, Mesopotamia) and China (with some on India)
Basically, in other words chapters (ranging from 5 pages to 30 or so) she explains what is going on in various parts of the world, working from the edge of history up to when Constantine became Emperor of The italian capital.
Very enjoyable to read, the author does a good job of explaining things and occasionally throws in an amusing statement (nothing off the wall, but entertaining).
Obviously, covering 4500 years of history in 700 pages it's going to be a little skimpy in places, but it gives you a good spring panel.
I would liked to have seen some coverage of stuff we sort of know that had not been written down (like what was happening in The european countries, or the Americas, or the associated with Africa). But again, I guess mcdougal considered that out of the scope of the book, as it had not been written down.
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