History – The Definitive Visual Guide

I recently received a free review copy of History: The Definitive Visual Guide (From The Dawn of Civilization To The Present Day) from DK Publishing. 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. When I reviewed the DK book Abraham Lincoln I said that the book reminded me of the wonderful travel guide books that DK publishes. History is even more like a DK guidebook, 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 recent examples of this.

When we visited the ancient bristle cone pines last month we were told that the study of the bristle cone pine tree rings resulted in recalibrating radio carbon dating and as a result historians understanding of ancient dates and the spread of civilization.. It 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 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!