The Story of Mankindby Hendrik Willem van Loon, Robert Sullivan, John Merriman
Winner of the first John Newbery Medal, here is Hendrik van Loon's renowned classic, updated for the twenty-first century. First published in 1921, The Story of Mankind has charmed generations of readers of all ages with its warmth, simplicity, and wisdom. Beginning with the origins of human life and sweeping forward to illuminate all of history, Hendrik van Loon's… See more details below
Winner of the first John Newbery Medal, here is Hendrik van Loon's renowned classic, updated for the twenty-first century. First published in 1921, The Story of Mankind has charmed generations of readers of all ages with its warmth, simplicity, and wisdom. Beginning with the origins of human life and sweeping forward to illuminate all of history, Hendrik van Loon's incomparable prose enlivens the characters and events of every age. His unique ability to convey history as a fascinating tale of adventure has endeared the book to countless readers and has accorded it a unique place in publishing history. This new version, which retains van Loon's original illustrations, has been brought up to date by John Merriman, professor of history at Yale University. It incorporates the most important developments of the last two decades--including space exploration, the emergence of the developing countries, the Cold War, the Internet, and the astounding advances we have witnessed in medicine and science--and looks forward into the prospect of the twenty-first century. Over 500,000 copies sold; translated into eighteen languages, the #2 best-selling nonfiction book in 1921, the year it was first published.
Further cementing its status as a living classic, the first Newbery winner (1922) returns sporting an eighth update. Following the practice of van Loon himself and subsequent co-authors over the years, Sullivan leaves the original text, with its often puckish line drawings, virtually untouched and seamlessly appends topical chapters (12 in all) written in the same conversational style. The previous update having appeared in 1999, Sullivan covers major events from the Y2K panic and 9/11 to Barack Obama's re-election in 2012. He also glances at China (in a chapter characteristically titled "China Is Back / Not that it ever went away") and offers overviews of the Arab Spring and the late worldwide economic "Downturn." On more thematic notes, he also comments in a cautionary way on the rise of new social media and more approvingly on how the notion that governments owe official apologies for historical atrocities committed against minority or other groups has recently taken hold. Readers of the 77 chapters that precede the new content will find that though some of the language ("Wherever food was plentiful, thither man has travelled") and, surprisingly rarely, attitudes are dated, the vivid storytelling and steady focus on the human element exert an appeal that hasn't aged a bit. Still valid in broad outline if not detail and, as ever, a grand and thought-provoking read. Those early Newbery voters knew value when they saw it. (timeline) (Nonfiction. 11-14)
Meet the Author
Hendrik Willem van Loon received worldwide acclaim for the many books that he both wrote and illustrated. Among his most beloved are The Story of America, The Story of the Bible and The Life and Times of Rembrandt. European born and educated, van Loon was a professor at Antioch College and lectured at Harvard, Cornell, and the University of Munich.
Robert Sullivan is the best-selling author of Rats and My American Revolution.
John Merriman is the Charles Seymour Professor of History at Yale University. A specialist in nineteenth century French history, Merriman earned his Ph. D at the University of Michigan. He is the author of many books, including The Margins of City Life: Explorations on the French Urban Frontier, 1815–1851; Red City: Limoges and the French Nineteenth Century; The Agony of the Republic: The Repression of the Left in Revolutionary France, 1848–1851; and, most recently, The Stones of Balazuc: A French Village in Time (Norton, 2002). He regularly teaches the survey of modern European history at Yale.
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >