Read my original review on CJLeger
. Where do I start? I have been asking myself why no one has made a widely sold book that spans the entirety of our human history and explains it all. That was until I found, and fell in love with, Phillip Parker’s version, published in 2010 by Sterling Publishing.
Unlike most history books which only cover specific eras in great detail, this title brings us all the way back to the prehistoric age and covers the first ever recorded humanoid, Australopithecus; and travels down to Homo Habilis and Homo Erectus, before covering the well known Neanderthal. The book spends less time detailing aspects of each era and can be used more like a timeline guide for history; speaking of which, the book does include a handy timeline conveniently placed at the commencement of the book and a reference guide towards the end; detailing every war, battle and ruler on respective tables.
In my personal opinion, this book is the perfect companion piece to any history text book used in college or high school. Most classes have a standard text book and a companion book to go with it; this book could eliminate all other companion books used for history courses, as it covers every era and presents all the reference guides one would ever need.
However, I’d also recommend this book for those not currently enrolled in a course, and seems to be the perfect alternative for someone who is interested in history, would like to know how and when certain things happened, but doesn't want to spend too much time figuring it out.
On average, the book spends 1-4 pages on each civilization which is divided into 3 sections for each historical occurrence for that time period. But as the book is a reference for the whole of human history, it covers each culture various times throughout, as the centuries progress. It is divided into 7 main chapters that begin with the prehistoric world and ends in the modern world.
An example of its breakdown is seen clearer in the chapter labeled “The Classical World” which spans between 400 BCE to 600 CE, in which Celtic and Germanic Europe, India and The People of Steppes are all covered in 6 pages as follows:
Celtic and Germanic Europe
-Successor States to Rome
People of Steppes
-Chandragupta and the Rise of the Mauryans
-Ashoka and Buddhism
Before entering into a periodical, 2 page centerfold examination of other interesting occurrences or relevant information, not directly covered in the book. There are a few of these that give the reader a bit more reference to understand what they are reading. This book is perfect for the person looking to get their information and go; all of these events were covered in just 8 pages and gave me the meat and potatoes of what I wanted and needed to know.
It covers the discovery of the Americas, all it’s voyages and details the great navigators of the time. Later on the modern world is covered, including the current world wars and conflicts. Everything you would ever want to know, about any time in history, is covered in this convenient 512 page book, that is small enough to fit in any small bag or purse.
The book comes complete with visual guides, pictures and captions relevant to the current text and opens with an explanation of what the meaning of history is.
Overall I would recommend this book, which I purchased at Barnes and Noble, and would recommend it as an essential companion piece to any history course.