National Geographic Essential Visual History of the World

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Overview

From the dawn of civilization to the first decade of the 21st century, this straightforwardly written, superbly accessible reference distills the concentrated essence of world history into a single compact, 544-page volume that fits in the palm of your hand. Featuring more than 1,000 illustrations, it's a book as vivid as it is definitive, with an innovative design that invites readers to envision the human epic from a wide variety of revealing perspectives.

Here are history's ...

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Overview

From the dawn of civilization to the first decade of the 21st century, this straightforwardly written, superbly accessible reference distills the concentrated essence of world history into a single compact, 544-page volume that fits in the palm of your hand. Featuring more than 1,000 illustrations, it's a book as vivid as it is definitive, with an innovative design that invites readers to envision the human epic from a wide variety of revealing perspectives.

Here are history's greatest moments presented in self-contained, interactive spreads organized by epochal themes and cross-referenced to offer an in-depth and multi-dimensional view of major world events. The book is organized into eight fundamental eras from prehistory to the present day, with a timeline detailing each section and fascinating sidebars throughout which explore the full scope of the human experience. The illustrations offer a constant, vibrant counterpoint, carefully selected not only to complement the text and depict its important events and personalities, but also to provide the visual excitement that helps turn a wealth of informative facts into an irresistibly fascinating adventure.

A casual browser's delight yet authoritative and wide-ranging enough to engage lifelong history buffs or enlighten students in search of a panoramic overview, this amazingly affordable book is truly what its title describes: essential.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

National Geographichas used the same illustration-rich concept for this small-format (16" × 6.7" × 5.1") volume as for its larger National Geographic Visual History of the World(2005), although it claims this work is all new. The text is divided into eight sections, or epochs-"Prehistory," "First Empires," "Ancient World," "Middle Ages," "Early Modern History," "Modern History," "The World Wars and the Interwar Period," and "Contemporary World"-each of which opens with a double-page introduction. Every topic is covered in a double-page layout, although some topics (e.g., ancient Egypt; Napoléon) have been subdivided to give them several pages' coverage. The double-page layout includes a time-frame heading, a colored tab indicating the section, a time line, the main text, colored sidebars or additional boxes focusing on an aspect of the topic, cross-references, and four to seven high-quality color and black-and-white illustrations-portraits as well as photos of artwork and artifacts (1500 in all). The photos have the clarity and color intensity we have come to expect from this publisher, but they are frustratingly small. As in the larger Visual History, maps are conspicuously absent. The general index includes no subdivisions, which makes some entries (e.g., on the United States, Great Britain, and the Holy Roman empire) essentially a long list of undifferentiated page numbers. Certain index entries one might expect as subdivisions (e.g., those on individual U.S. presidents) are given separate entries rather than drawn together under a main heading.
—Rosanne M. Cordell

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781426200915
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 5/15/2007
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 986,655
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.15 (w) x 6.72 (h) x 1.55 (d)

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