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The Story of Mankind

Hendrik Willem Van Loon

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .After a careful study of the subject, Solon gave Athens a set of laws which bore testimony to that wonderful principle of moderation which was part of the Greek character. He tried to improve the condition of the peasant without however destroying the prosperity of the nobles who were (or rather who could be) of such great service to the state as soldiers. To protect the poorer classes against abuse on the part of the judges (who were always elected from the class of the nobles because they received no salary) Solon made a provision whereby a citizen with a grievance had the right to state his case before a jury of thirty of his fellow Athenians.

Most important of all, Solon forced the average freeman to take a direct and personal interest in the affairs of the city.[65] No longer could he stay at home and say “oh, I am too busy today” or “it is raining and I had better stay indoors.” He was expected to do his share; to be at the meeting . . . 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

Having recently read this year's Newbery Medal book, I thought it would be interesting to read the winner of the first Newbery (awarded in 1922). I was a bit taken aback to find that it was a 662-page volume of history (what manner of children were these 1920s munchkins?) but I was pleasantly surpri

The Story of Mankind was written and illustrated by Dutch-American journalist, professor, and author Hendrik Willem van Loon and published in 1921. It was the first book to be awarded the Newbery Medal for an outstanding contribution to children's literature. Written for Van Loon's children, The Sto

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

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

Not to be a snob but this so called "history" could have been written by anybody. Almost everything in the book is common knowledge, and requires little if any referencing. I think that is why it got the original newberry because it would be really accessible to children. I almost threw the book out

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

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