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The Story of Mankind

Hendrik Willem Van Loon

Book Overview: 

Relates the story of western civilization from earliest times through the beginning of the twentieth century, with special emphasis on the people and events that changed the course of history. Portrays in vivid prose the achievements of mankind in the areas of art and discovery, as well as the political forces leading to the modern nation-states. Richly illustrated with drawings by the author.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Greek mind. The people must be taught the Greek language—they must live in cities built after a Greek model. The Alexandrian soldier now turned school-master. The military camps of yesterday became the peaceful centres of the newly imported Greek civilisation. Higher and higher did the flood of Greek manners and Greek customs rise, when suddenly Alexander was stricken with a fever and died in the old palace of King Hammurabi of Babylon in the year 323.

Then the waters receded. But they left behind the fertile clay of a higher civilisation and Alexander, with all his childish ambitions and his silly vanities, had performed a most valuable service. His Empire did not long survive him. A number of ambitious generals divided the territory among themselves. But they too remained faithful to the dream of a great world brotherhood of Greek and Asiatic ideas and knowledge.

They maintained their independence until the Romans added western Asia and Egyp. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I might be a little crazy, but I would like to try to read all the Newbery Medal winning books. There are over 90. I have already read several, but I decided to start at the first medal book for this journey. This book got the award in 1922. I think it is cool that it is a non-fiction book about his

I have finished The Book. Mr. van Loon's Narcoleptic Affect (thanks for that, Jen) notwithstanding, I enjoyed it. Seriously, I have never in my life fallen asleep reading a book as many times as I did this one. I lost count, but am pretty sure it was upwards of 10.

That said, I marked a TON of things

Years ago, I resolved to read all Newbery Medal winning books by the award's 100th anniversary. Entering 2021, I had only four more to read, and I decided to start with the one I dreaded the most: the very first winner, a sprawling history of mankind. The scuttlebutt has always been that it's dry, d

Newbery Winner. The author gives a child’s version of All History. What can possibly go wrong? Well, it’s dated, chauvinistic, and unapologetically Eurocentric. (Hey—just like my undergrad education! :) In addition, back in 1924, the Newbery committee took the approach of honoring books which a chil

We found this in my grandma's basement after she died. I picked it up again at my folks' house, when I was looking for bedtime reading, and I went through it in bits and pieces, over the course of several visits.

I went in with an open mind: I always try to love the book I'm reading, but then I alway

Wow, where to start? This book was originally published in 1921, and covers a very general history of the world up to that time. There were a lot of things that surprised me about it. For one thing, I assumed the author would have different (more "old-fashioned") ideas. I expected some slant, but th

This is a book that belonged to my grandfather, it's the 1947 edition. I fell in love with the illustrations and is probably one of the reasons I love history. I've added 3 photographs of pages with illustrations that took my fancy. The first - of the universe with the sign (Here we Live) at first w

My journey through the Newbery winners begins here with the Story of Mankind. I’ve never been a great book review writer. It’s hard for me to talk about a book without giving too much away, so for these Newbery winners, I think I will stick to a format. I will answer the following questions. What di

The Story of Mankind is the 1922 Newbery winner, and the first book to receive the award. It chronicles the history of "mankind" from its single cell origins through the end of World War I. I'm not sure what inspired the Newbery committee to choose a nearly 500 page book with such an ambitious scope

993 - 2014

Dalam rangka berpartisipasi dalam event BBI pada bulan November ini yang bertema Newbery Book List, aku mengintip daftar buku Newbery di Wikipedia. Ternyata aku sudah punya beberapa, sudah kubaca tapi belum pernah kureview, tapi bukunya sudah tidak ada di Jakarta. Ya sudahlah, setelah dipi

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