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The Story of Mankind

Overview

“Remains a marvel: a sparkling, erudite, idiosyncratic tour through the human experience. . . . What a pageant this charming narrator continues to offer us!”—Wall Street Journal
Winner of the first John Newberry Medal, Hendrik Willem van Loon’s The Story of Mankind, originally written for the author’s grandchildren, has charmed generations with its warmth and wisdom. Beginning with the origins of human life and sweeping forward to illuminate all of history, van Loon’s incomparable prose and illustrations ...

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The Story of Mankind (Updated) (Liveright Classics)

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Overview

“Remains a marvel: a sparkling, erudite, idiosyncratic tour through the human experience. . . . What a pageant this charming narrator continues to offer us!”—Wall Street Journal
Winner of the first John Newberry Medal, Hendrik Willem van Loon’s The Story of Mankind, originally written for the author’s grandchildren, has charmed generations with its warmth and wisdom. Beginning with the origins of human life and sweeping forward to illuminate all of history, van Loon’s incomparable prose and illustrations presented a lively rendering of the people and events that have shaped world history. This new edition, updated by best-selling historian Robert Sullivan, continues van Loon’s personable style and incorporates the most important developments of the early twenty-first century, including the war on terrorism, global warming, and the explosion of social media. The result remains extremely “valid in broad outline if not detail and, as ever, a grand and thought-provoking read” (Kirkus Reviews).

This classic history, first published in 1921 and winner of the first Newbery Medal, was illustrated in pen and ink by the author. This version has incorporated recent events to make it an up-to-date world history.

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Editorial Reviews

Buffalo News
““[A] wonderful history of the world—a splendidly lucid way, still, for young people to get one view of Western civilization.”
Meghan Gurdon - The Wall Street Journal
“The Story of Mankind …remains a marvel: a sparkling, erudite, idiosyncratic tour through the human experience from the mists of prehistory to the smoking aftermath of World War I. In van Loon's charming, virtuosic pages we meet scoundrels and ruffians and poets; we engage with Pericles, Mohammed and Metternich, Confucius and Savonarola and Voltaire; we stand amazed anew before Egyptian hieroglyphs, Gothic arches, Florentine frescoes and the steam engine. Ninety-two years on, modern accretions and all, what a pageant this charming narrator continues to offer us!”
Kirkus Reviews
2013-11-03
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871408655
  • Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 12/1/2014
  • Series: Liveright Classics Series
  • Edition description: updated edition
  • Pages: 800
  • Sales rank: 356,223

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.

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