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History: The Definitive Visual Guide - From the Dawn of Civilization to the Present Day [Hardcover]

Adam Hart-Davis , Lindbriar Corporation , Richard Overy , J.A.G Roberts , Ian Harrison , Ann Kay , James Harrison , Rupert Matthews , Thomas Cussans , Simon Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 27 2010 History: The Definitive Visual Guide
This is the definitive, 4.4 million year-old story of human history. From the origins of mankind to the 21st century, spanning the globe and based on the latest research, this is the complete story of the people, events, themes, ideas and forces that have shaped human existence. Find out about our history's turning points: eye witness accounts and biographies give a personal angle to major events. Explore humankind's legacy from architecture and artefacts to the big ideas that have changed our world. Examine the effect we've had on nature and vice versa. And discover how the past has been unlocked: from interpreting ancient documents to analysing ice cores. This is a compelling look at human existence: perfect for the family bookshelf.

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About the Author

Adam Hart Davis has worked and presented on major TV series including Local Heroes, Top Ten Treasures, Tomorrow's World, What The Stuarts Did For Us, What The Victorians Did For Us, What The Romans Did For Us, and recently What The Ancients Did For Us. He lives in the West of England.

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In the 19th century, Charles Darwin, the father of the theory of evolution by natural selection (see pp.340-41), identified tropical Africa as the cradle of humankind. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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5.0 out of 5 stars Historic June 9 2012
By dice
Format:Hardcover
Being an university student studying the world of politics I found it imperative that I earn mastery of the study of history. So I did not hesitate purchasing this book. Growing up I often read books published by DK so I relished the idea of purchasing one in more modern times.

Generally I was not disappointed. My knowledge of history is quite specific to certain events. This put more things in context. However it's rather general. If you want specific information of events you'll have to specialize. The graphics of this book make it easier to remember things then just dry text.

I do have some complainants to levy against this book however. The first is already addressed and that is the general nature of the book. Some topics or events are too glossed over. My second grievance against the book is the fact they totally omitted the war of 1812. As far as I looked I did not see a single instance of this war. Of course in the United Kingdom this war is immensely overshadowed by the Napoleonic wars. This war is important for the United States and highly is remembered in Canada. (The star spangled banner was written during this war and the names of Brock and Tecumseh are highly remembered in Canada)The fact that it is totally omitted is baffling. It makes me wonder what other events are omitted as well. Obviously I did not purchase this book exclusively to study the war of 1812, but I am just surprised it is omitted.

My grievances aside, I recommend this to anyone who wants a basic understanding of history.
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5.0 out of 5 stars History is an awesome informative read Dec 5 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book makes a great gift. It is very informative, interesting, with great pictures and once picked up is very hard to put down. Anyone with an interest in history should enjoy this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  57 reviews
110 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have book for anyone fascinated by History Oct. 26 2007
By Marion R. Vermazen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I love this book. It starts with a chapter titled Our Remote Ancestors about how humans evolved and ends with a chapter titled Shrinking World about developments in communication and technology and how they have changed the world. The book is big. 12 x 10.5 x 1.75. It is full of pictures. This book reminds me of the wonderful travel guide books that DK publishes. History is a guidebook to the history of the human race. There are hundreds of wonderful pictures, maps, timelines and charts. This is a book that viscerally appeals to me. Since it arrived I have enjoyed opening it and browsing at every opportunity.

The other thing that I love about this book is that it allows me to find answers to the random historical questions that often come up when I am traveling, reading the newspaper or watching historical fiction on TV. I have three examples of this.

A recent visit to the ancient bristle cone pines made me want to understand more about ancient civilizations and human migrations. History: The Definitive Visual Guide allowed me to satisfy my curiosity.

History: The Definitive Visual Guide helps me to understand the historical backgrounds of the presidential biographies I have been reading.

A waitress recently told us she was from Moldova. I knew almost nothing about Moldova. One of the nice features of History: The Definitive Visual Guide is that it has a 110 page section that traces the individual histories of the world's 193 countries. When we got home I read up on the history of Moldova.

In my opinion History: The Definitive Visual Guide is a must have for anyone who is fascinated by history. I highly recommend this book. It would make a great Christmas present!
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book, useful resource, fun for the whole family Dec 16 2007
By Thomas E. Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
DK does for history what it has previously done for the universe, the earth, animals, and humans in gorgeously-illustrated large-format "visual guides" entitled, logically enough, "Universe," "Earth," "Animal," and "Human." Each book in the series is as comprehensive as possible, though of course none of them can be as endlessly expansive as the enormous subjects they tackle. But they do a wonderful job of categorizing knowledge and related fields, including copious detail, and inspiring curiosity and wonder.

"History" will not replace standard textbooks on specific historical eras or regions of the world, but it serves as an excellent general introduction, particularly for those who might otherwise be turned off by the subject of history. It starts with the origin of our species, its spread throughout the globe, and prehistoric developments that ensured our survival. Early and classical civilzations are covered next, followed by the Dark and Middle Ages, the Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment, and finally the Industrial Revolution and the Modern Age. A lengthy appendix concludes the book with brief timelines for all of the world's nations.

Numerous maps, links, and period documents are included. There are special two-page features on such leaders as Rameses II, Alexander, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Ganghis Khan, Elizabeth I, Louis XIV, Napoleon, Lincoln, Victoria, Stalin, Hitler, and JFK, along with photo features on Egyptian, Celtic, Islamic, and Native Amerian artifacts, personalities like Columbus, Leonardo, Marx, and Einstein, decisive events like the Battle of Stalingrad, D-Day, the bombing of Hiroshima, 9/11, and many others. Recommended.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meet my new best friend! June 10 2008
By J. Arena - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is visually stunning, endlessly entertaining and educational, and explores history through every imaginable angle, holding it up to the clear light of academic exploration. You can read it from cover to cover, flip through it for quick, factual insights, or explore some area for specialized focus.

It is so well done, that it will (I guarantee) hold inexhaustable fascination for you and everyone in your household. Where did we come from and where are we going? Find your answers here.

Perfection! I adore it.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why did they do it??? Sept. 18 2009
By Joan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a pleasure to look at. I'm reminded of a combination of Life Magazine and National Geographic. Its got that visual quality to it. I'll let all the other reviews describe the other good stuff rather than be repetitive.

I have one concern and that is the text legibility. I wish to pass on to the publishers to please consider making the text larger even if it requires that some of the pictures be a little smaller. Also background images obscure the readability of the text. Some people actually do want to read the book and some of the text is a challenge for me to read because of the size of the print or the fact that the legibility is obscured by a background image.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweeping History in Dramatic Illustrations & Photographs Dec 23 2010
By F. Sharp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
DK Publisher's History: The Definitive Visual Guide is a grandiose and impressive tour of civilization from its dawn to the present age. I had read one of DK's previous book on world history called the History of the World published in 1994. I have read several DK books and all of them are of superb quality, especially the graphics in which they excel. This book is no exception. Their previous book on world history seemed to be too compacted with almost too many illustrations on one page. Their present book is in a larger format - the book seems to be a fourth larger which is a better size considering the sweeping scope of world history. This book is divided into Seven Major Sections covering the broad march of world history in the following seven major sections in chronological sequence:

1 ORIGIN - 4.5 million years ago to 3000 BCE
2 RULERS & HIERARCHIES - 3000-700 BCE
3 THINKERS & BELIEVERS 700 BCE-600 CE
4 WARRIORS, TRAVELERS & INVENTORS 600-1450
5 RENAISSANCE & REFORMATION 1450-1750
6 INDUSTRY & REVOLUTION 1750-1914
7 POPULATION & POWER 1914-PRESEN

At the end of the seven main themes, book sets out to survey NATIONAL HISTORIES by Continents:North and South America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania in altogether about 100 pages.

Each major section has a time line of five rows noting the highlights of a particular time span. Noteworthy also is the color-coding of the right hand edge with a distinctive color for each section making it easier to return or find a certain area.

This book is extremely well-organized. Each section is broken down into subsections. For example the first section, ORGINS, begins with Our Remote Ancestors. Each subsection has a BEFORE BOX in which key points are noted preceding this section and also a AFTER BOX which outlines the result of this time period. This pattern is followed throughout the book making it easier for students and others to see the period in a larger historic perspective. In this first section in the BEFORE BOX it looks briefly at the Human Family noting that chimpanzees are our closest living relatives, we share 99 percent of our genes , but the one percent difference is what makes us human. It surveys briefly our oldest prehistoric ancestors. Some of these ancestors may have end died-out. Next, it discusses the molecular clock which Started with the last common ancestor of man and dates the split between man and chimpanzees .The AFTER BOX for this section notes that the arrival of homo sapiens may have signaled the end of the Neanderthal Man.

Another outstanding feature of this book is that most all subtopic are cover in two facing pages which makes it much easier to grasp and understand. This book is packed full of wonderful color illustrations. This would make an ideal gift for almost any student in elementary, high school or college.

If you would like to see my last book review in the Search Box on Amazon type in Smithsonian's Earth. This is a wonderful book published by the Smithsonian Institute a few years ago but still may be on the market.
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