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Cartoon History of the Universe 2 Paperback – Sep 18 1994


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Cartoon History of the Universe 2 + Cartoon History of the Universe 1 + Cartoon History Of The Universe Iii
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; New edition edition (Sept. 18 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385420935
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385420938
  • Product Dimensions: 27.7 x 21.5 x 2.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 599 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
IN THE LAST VOLUME, ALEXANDER THE GREAT MARCHED INTO INDIA, WITH ITS SWELTERING HEAT, POISONOUS SNAKES, ARMORED WAR ELEPHANTS, AND MOSQUITOS THE SIZE OF CHIHUAHUAS... AND ALEXANDER'S REACTION-? Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
Even though this is a collection of cartoons and the text in the dialog balloons is generally meant to be frivolous, it is possible to learn a lot of history from the book. Unlike so many history books that concentrate on Western Europe and derivatives, this one deals extensively with India and China. Volume 8 deals with the early history of India and how the great religions that we associate with India arose. From it, you also learn the origins of the great early works of Indian civilization such as Bhagavad Gita.
The origins of the ancient Chinese civilization are covered in volumes 9 and 10. Most of the points deal with the battles for supremacy and feature court intrigue, deception and a lot of killing. We tend to think of massive deaths in war as being a modern invention, but that is a misconception. Well before the year 0, the army of Chin was ambushed and massacred, over 200,000 men were killed in one day.
Chapter 11 begins with the last days of Alexander the Great. It correctly points out that while Alexander was married to a Persian, that union was largely political. The great love of Alexander's life was Hephaestion, his male grand vizier. When Hephaestion died, Alexander grieved over the body for two days. The next sections chronicle the origin and rise of Rome as a great power. Once again, it is largely a tale of murder, intrigue and war. As the power of Rome grew, it was no longer possible to maintain the republican form of government. At first the supreme position was called the consulship, where the holder was powerful, but not yet a dictator. All this changed when Julius Caesar marched off to conquer Gaul and then returned to march on Rome. This began several decades of near constant warfare in the Empire, some of which was civil.
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Format: Paperback
As with Larry Gonick's other guides he manages to pull off the trick of being both amusing and edifying. He also has the artistic flare for painting history in broad yet revealing brush strokes.
The second instalment of his history of the Universe covers ancient India, China's early years and Rome from its mythical founding to its very real collapse.
Gonick is not afraid to offend. His depictions of Jesus, Krisna, Buddha and Confucius are all less than entirely flattering. While he is not the sort to be disrespectful through ignorance, Gonick will not fail to pick out the more obvious weaknesses of any institution or historical figure he comes across. He even takes a swipe at one of Afrocentrisms unjustified claims. Although in the end he pays due recognition to the achievements of each of these figures it is possibly best to avoid this book if you are the sort to yell "Blasphemy!".
Anybody else who has a sense of humour and an interest in history should get their hands on this book immediately.
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Format: Paperback
This second book in the Cartoon History of the Universe series is every bit as good as the first! This book is extremely well researched, and is a great overview of many of the periods and people that have shaped history. Although I would recommend that readers also take advantage of the extensive bibliography to learn more (and possibly contradictory) information on these periods/people, this book is an excellent resource. As an added bonus, it's also great fun to read!! Gonick has a knack of not taking himself (or his subjects) too seriosly, and a few noses get tweaked along the way.
Overall, this is an excellent history book, and an excellent comic book. I highly recommend this book to fans of either genre!!
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Format: Paperback
Never has history been so fun, or so understandable. Gonick really adds substance to dates and facts and his subtle humor can really make you question about long-held beliefs you may have had.
I will admit that at times, the book seems a little stretched thin, as if he's hurrying to get through everything, but on the whole, Cartoon History of the Universe allows the student of history to gain a quick insight to the events that shaped our world.
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By A Customer on Oct. 26 2003
Format: Paperback
One of the best books on history! I love this book! It has everything you will ever need to know about this timeframe. Just because I'm young doesn't mean it's geared for young people. If you know a lot or nothing about the period of time he covers, you will still understand, laugh, and learn.
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Format: Paperback
Not as interesting as the first one, but it still has its great parts, which is almost all of it. If you want your kids to learn about history, you probably can't do better than this. It does show a bit of cartoon blood and such, but history *is* violent! He does a good job of keeping most of it low-key though, although some parts are very gory in a cartoony way. I highly recommend this, along with the other two books.
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Format: Paperback
Gonick is not attempting to be the overall scholar that knows all and sees all about history. That is not the point of his "Cartoon History of the Universe" books. This probably is not the best way to read history, but it is a great introduction to that subject.
In Volume II he begins with the defeat of Alexander the Great in India, which never mentions his presence in any of their historical documentation of the time, and ends with the beginning of the "Dark Ages" and the appearance of visitors in a "surprising" direction between Europe and China.
None of this is a mystery, of course, it can be found in your history books, but most of it is a mystery to lay people because history books are inaccessible to most, and too dense in their materials.
And that is the point of the Gonick books: to give the average,on the street person a grasp of some sort of the history of the world. In the days where we seem to be trying to repeat some of history's mistakes (or maybe rectify them) this is a good way to find out just what those events were.
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