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5.0 out of 5 stars I receommend it as a textbook!!!
Now this is the way history ought to be taught! While I personally have always enjoyed history and found it fascinating how historical events have an impact on our lives today, I have also always been distressed that so many people haven't the faintest interest or knowledge of even basic history. I concluded that this was mainly a result of the way history is taught in...
Published on April 4 2004 by BasinBictory

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Hello, stranger
It's been eight years since the last volume of Larry Gonick's fitfully-amusing, often-infuriating and always-interesting chronicle came out. Was Volume 3 worth the wait?
Well, no, not really. I don't envy Gonick the task of squeezing three continents and 800 years into 300 pages, but he was able to do the second volume in four years, and many fans have been tapping...
Published on Nov. 19 2002 by Center Man


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5.0 out of 5 stars I receommend it as a textbook!!!, April 4 2004
This review is from: Cartoon History Of The Universe Iii (Paperback)
Now this is the way history ought to be taught! While I personally have always enjoyed history and found it fascinating how historical events have an impact on our lives today, I have also always been distressed that so many people haven't the faintest interest or knowledge of even basic history. I concluded that this was mainly a result of the way history is taught in schools, via boring, dry textbooks whose only pictures were paintings of kings or photographs of a Greek vase or architectural ruins.
Gonick's portrayal of history through the medium of comic illustrations is timely and wonderful. It is also remarkably well-researched and delves into history most in the West are unfamiliar with, such as the origins of Islam, the great empires of Africa and central and east Asia, and the history of Europe in the Dark Ages, between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the Renaissance.
While the presentation is at times hilarious and firmly tongue-in-cheek much of the time, it also doesn't sugarcoat the many wars, massacres, and other nefarious doings of human beings throughout history, but even in this Gonick is able to make light of the situation, making a running joke of the Byzantine's practice of always blinding a deposed emperor (so he couldn't return to the throne) and poking fun at his own Jewish heritage (the Jewish queen of Ethiopia putting a guilt trip on her soldiers: "Why don't you WIN more!? Don't you love me!?")
I would highly recommend this book to anybody with an interest in history, and even more highly to those with school-age children or relatives who might be struggling with history because of the poor presentation too many school teachers give the subject.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best History Book I Ever Read!, Jan. 7 2004
By 
Gary Carter "GaryCarter13" (Pearland, TX) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cartoon History Of The Universe Iii (Paperback)
In all my years of studying history, I have never come across a better, more even-handed survey than Gonick's "Cartoon History" series. He minimizes what should be minimized (Europe in the Dark Ages), and he emphasizes what has been neglected (the role of the Byzantine Empire, the rise of Islam and the Turks). He gets more out of his carefully drawn panels than many authors get out of 500 more pages. Out of the series, I'd rate this installment second, right behind the first volume. The second volume got a bit too bogged down in India for my tastes. I'd recommend this third volume to anyone, regardless of whether you've read the first two or not, because of its illumination of Islam's roots, as well as the root cause of so many of the middle east's conflicts (Muslim vs. Jew, Muslim vs. Christian, Muslim vs. Hindu, Shiite vs. Sunni, Turk vs. Greek, etc.).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not great, Dec 12 2003
By 
Patrick Beaudry (Winston-Salem, NC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cartoon History Of The Universe Iii (Paperback)
I was eagerly anticipating the third installment of the Cartoon History of the Universe, as I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the first two installments. I have to say that, although this is a good representation, it was a little disappointing. The book is quite a bit shorter than the two previous volumes, and Gonick seems to have lost a little of his irreverent attitude. Perhaps it is because the subject matter (Mohammed and the rise of Islam, as well as the Crusades) don't quite lend themselves to irreverence. That being said, Gonick still does an excellent job researching and communicating the finer points of history, and his artwork is still way up there in my book.
Because of the limitations listed above, I would recommend reading this book first for anyone who doesn't need a linear history, as all three books are relatively self-contained. However, if you are a reader who needs to start at the beginning and go from there, this book is still a good addition to the series. I would recommend this book to any history enthusiast or comics fan.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Made me question............ EVERYTHING!!!, Sept. 18 2003
By 
Barry Fitzsimmons "Promo Cowboy" (Greater NYC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cartoon History Of The Universe Iii (Paperback)
I'm not a terribly religious guy. And, for better or worse, Gonic's graphic "novel" -- if it can be called that -- made me take long-held beliefs, many of which were based on legend, superstition and the heresay of institutional elders, and flipped the flippin' things upside down!
I read "Cartoon History... III" during a time when my already-loose faith in Christ and the church that represents him was on the wane; and this book gave me the chance to reconsider religion's place in my life -- religion, as opposed to spirituality and a hopeful belief in God. It -- religion -- was not crushed in value, but perhaps it was diminished. OK, it was really, really diminished, and perhaps my sense of spirituality and belief in a higher power was, too, though not AS diminished.
But never mind all that. Read "Cartoon History" for the comedy within. It is poignant, brilliant, subtle, irreverent and questioning. Gonick is a freakin' genius.
In the end, this set of volumes gives readers the chance to question their values, which all great works of art should aspire to. We need to do the proverbial soul-gut check every once in awhile, even if it means a few icons get smashed. This book does a pretty good job of giving readers an overview of the world's great religions, and takes what at least seems like a journalistic viewpoint to the layperson (aka myself) of the events that brought about Judaism, Christianity, Islam, etc. Non-religous history is in there too, but throughout this epoch, religion is history.
I was left with the conclusion that many, many souls -- far too many -- have been extinguished in the fight over "your God or mine," which, during the reading, troubled me deeply, but opened new windows in my own outlook. This book affirmed for me the great gift that life is, but proved that, to many thoughout history, life was, and is, cheap.
Be careful when you read this -- you may never be able to worship in quite the same way again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait, Aug. 20 2003
By 
Tim Lieder "Founder of Dybbuk Press" (New York, NY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cartoon History Of The Universe Iii (Paperback)
I waited 8 years for this book and I want to throttle whichever publisher neglected to promote the thing - thus depriving me of months when I could have been reading it. It's Gonick at his irreverent best - teaching and eschewing history simultaneously. The long-running jokes ("where's Muhammed? Off camera." - repetition of the "pooping in a church" incident from several perspectives, etc.) as well as the sarcastic way of presenting historical facts made the first two books excellent and continues to amuse in this book.
However, it's not as fun as the first two books. Maybe because there's too much time jumped in the from 1000 - 1492. Maybe because he's trying to capture the histories of too many simultaneously developing societies and keeps backtracking to the same point in time. Most likely it's because this is history less known. With the first volume we had Biblical history and Ancient Greece. With the second volume there was Roman and Christian history alongside lesser known (at least to Western readers) Chinese and INdian history. In this book the oft-neglected Byzantine history is what we get of Western history while African, Muslim, Chinese and Indian history fight for the spotlight.
While I'd like to enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed the first two books, I'm slightly disappointed. Still there's no way I regret buying this book and I eagerly await the fourth volume (hopefully sooner than this one)
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5.0 out of 5 stars When is the next one?!, Aug. 7 2003
By 
Lauren Ormston "axiluvia" (Auburn, WA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cartoon History Of The Universe Iii (Paperback)
Amazing stuff in this one! It even tells the start of the muslim religion, and other things as well. I thought the way he handled the muslim belief that people should not be drawn very well, and it gave me a new insight into thier religion. The stuff on the crusades was top notch, and the part on Christopher Columbus was good too. I would have liked more on the Black Death, but thats just me. I can't wait for book 4!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but filtered through modern perceptions, March 4 2003
By 
Eric Oppen (Iowa Falls, IA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cartoon History Of The Universe Iii (Paperback)
The _Cartoon History of the Universe_ is a good outline, on the whole, of the sweep of human history (and pre-human pre-history). For a quick newbie-friendly introduction, it's hard to beat.
About the only nit I can pick is the way Gonick insists on portraying ancient and medieval people as shocked at, or guilted out about, slavery. Back before machines, you _had_ slaves or _were_ slaves (or the equivalent)...there was no third choice. Slave-trading was a perfectly respectable trade for a very long time, until the West decided to end it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Had so much fun I almost didn't realize how much I learned., March 4 2003
By 
Stuart B. Baum "S. Baum" (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cartoon History Of The Universe Iii (Paperback)
Gonick does an excellent job mixing education (in this case a heaping third helping of world history) with entertainment.
For anyone who likes seeing the big picture - and perhaps finding places to dig deeper at a later date - this is the place to come.
Though it's a light way to read history, this is not history-lite.
There is a lot here and, from what I've been able to tell by checking with people who teach parts of this, Gonick is careful to get it right.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well written history painted with broad brush strokes, Jan. 15 2003
By 
Armitage Shanks (The British Empire, somewhere in 1925) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cartoon History Of The Universe Iii (Paperback)
This is a splendid read. Entertaining, and *gasp* educational! Gonnick has taught me more about African and Arab history in one book than twelve years of schooling and an avid interest in world history has in 31 years. His cartoons are simple, but stylistically his own, and his love for his subject matter is obvious. I might have had the odd disagreement with how he presents events, but then my speciality and interest in European History can allow me to be critical, but he has a lot of subject material to cover. Should be recommended reading for anyone studying world history, or who just wants to know how it all happenned.
Ballyho!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth the wait, Jan. 3 2003
By 
Frank J. Konopka (Shamokin, PA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cartoon History Of The Universe Iii (Paperback)
It's been almost eight years since the second book in this series was published, and I had given up hope that there would be another. Now, however, the wacky, wonderful third book is here, and I know that the wait was worth it! I just love this series, first of all as a History major and buff, for its accuracy. Secondly., I think that the snide comments in the well-drawn panels add so much to the stories, showing folks that history, when properly presented, is not a dry and dusty subject, but can really come alive. The artistry the author displays is often quite awesome, as in his drawings of Notre Dame, Hajia Sophia, and the Byzantine icons. You couldn't ask for better anywhere. I just galloped all the way through this book, enjoying it from cover to cover. Buy this book and read history, laugh and learn!
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Cartoon History Of The Universe Iii
Cartoon History Of The Universe Iii by Larry Gonick (Paperback - Oct. 29 2002)
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