The Illustrated History of the World

The Illustrated History of the World

Book - 1999
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The Illustrated History of the World is a lavishly illustrated edition of J. M. Roberts's bestselling History of the World. Now completely revised and updated, each volume of this comprehensive reference work traces the tumultuous story of humankind from prehistory to the end of the 20th century. The rise and fall of civilizations; the impact of powerful individuals on world events; the interplay of state and religion; the social and economic factors that influence societies--these are some of the themes of this masterful, sweeping narrative. Over 2,000 photographs in color and black-and-white present a unique visual panoply of the march of history. In addition, more than 200 maps and artworks in full color underscore important events. Fully integrated sidebars and feature boxes narrow in on key themes, providing an additional layer of interest. Each volume also contains a double-page, illustrated chronology of major events, plus a bibliography and detailed index. Authoritative, brilliantly written, and superbly illustrated, this outstanding and popular work of scholarship makes the whole sweep of history vivid and accessible as never before.
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, 1999.
ISBN: 9780195215281
Branch Call Number: 909 ROB
Characteristics: 10 v. : ill, maps ; 30 cm.


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Jun 09, 2016

For V10: 3.5/5. This volume also has a gruesome photo: on page 36 there are two men carrying two heads each, one is clearly smiling (twas evil before ISIS); the epilogue is humane and contains numerous historians' truisms that are easily forgot by enthusiasts of history.
For V9: 3.5/5. This volume has puts more emphasis on political and technological changes and includes discussion of demographics. The pictures are better than for many of the preceding volumes, especially those on pages 28, 104, and 120. The one on page 104 is really powerful: the bullet has already been fired (see the trigger finger) but it has not taken effect yet (see the expression on the face of the executed): its a lucky photo (it takes about four tenths of a second to react to what one sees, so the decision to take the photo was made fractionally before the the executioner actually fired).
For V8: 3/5. This volume deals with the end of the 1800s up the the Great War; the scramble for Africa; freedom movements in colonies; declines and collapses of empires (European overseas, Ottoman (to a small extent), Russian, Chinese (also to a small extent), and the expansion of empires (Japanese, American, European overseas), and the impact of technological developments. Some good pictures, but not many.
For V7: 3/5. This volume is exclusively devoted to Europe and North America. There are fewer maps and timelines, but more images, especially paintings (especially of the 'social realist' sort). Thematically arranged; lucidly written.
For V6: 3.5/5. This volume deals only with Europe and its expansions around the world: a rather awkward subject, and considering the sort of book it is, lays it out and judges it (a little) fairly well. There are many good images in this edition, from high art to a postboard at the end.

For V5: 2.5/5. This is the worst so far of this set: the author goes through two or three thousand years of history in one place, and then another two or three thousand in another. The images, however, are perhaps the best so far.

For V4: the text is less clear than for V2 or V3, ranging widely in time and geography, and with numerous plots or episodes described and recounted. The images don't match the text as well as the previous two volumes.

For V3: repeat comments of v2 and I will add that this volume is almost totally focussed on the Roman mediterranean to the exclusion of all else and barely mentions other societies except as not bearing the flame of civilization.

For V2: For the sort of book that it is, its quite good: the text is clear and the pictures are excellent and even interesting in their own right. All sorts of artifacts are shown from ruined buildings and cities to religious items to daily use items. There are some maps, as well as timelines at the start of each chapter.

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