The Handy History Answer Book


A Walk through the Ages

Our country and the world is changing fast, and a knowledge of history helps us understand the hows, whats, and whys of modern civilization. Fully revised and updated, this new edition of The Handy History Answer Book answers over 1,000 how-what-why questions. A concise guide to all things historical, this feast of facts and compelling stories recounts the revolutionary ideas, acts, and inventions that have changed the ...

See more details below
Paperback (Third Edition, Third edition)
$16.95 price
(Save 22%)$21.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (13) from $10.91   
  • New (9) from $10.91   
  • Used (4) from $10.91   


A Walk through the Ages

Our country and the world is changing fast, and a knowledge of history helps us understand the hows, whats, and whys of modern civilization. Fully revised and updated, this new edition of The Handy History Answer Book answers over 1,000 how-what-why questions. A concise guide to all things historical, this feast of facts and compelling stories recounts the revolutionary ideas, acts, and inventions that have changed the world from the Stone Age through the 21st century.

The Handy History Answer Book follows the Celts, Vikings, Normans, Huns, and other ancient tribes, surveys early civilizations, including Greek, Chinese, Roman, Mayan, and Egyptian, exhumes the British Empire, tracks the expansion of the United States, and examines the lights, action, cameras and fast-paced swirl of modern life. Politics and war, exploration and settlement, science, religion, arts, technological advances, and more, this book chronicles the big news whenever and wherever it has been made. What was trial by ordeal? When was the flush toilet invented? Who started the Boston Tea Party? What is Gray’s Anatomy? How old is the U.S. income tax? When did mobile phones first come into use?

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Blending trivia with historical review, David L. Hudson Jr. presents a thematic glossary of various factoids major and minor, including: historical eras, religion, war, politics, law, economics, social movements, disasters, medicine, philosophy, science, and recreation."— Book News

"Trivia buffs who are also historians will want to read The Handy History Answer Book. This book is perfect for browsing, easy to pick up and put down, and it's a great argument-settler."— Bookworm Sez

"The Handy History Answer Book is an opportunity for your family to walk through history in short segments. Written in a conversational tone that is very approachable and understandable, it can serve as a supplement to a history curriculum, or as a resource for those who just want to know more. This is a great resource."— Practical Homeschooling

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
As part of the "Handy" reference series (preserving its question and answer format), this title has been updated by Hudson, author of similar volumes on law, the Supreme Court, and American presidents. Hudson chooses keywords or names that history buffs may have encountered and want to identify quickly, producing short answers to often complex questions covering the entire history of the world. Actually, it is more the history of Europe and the United States, though other countries of Africa and Asia often appear in entries where you might not expect them. Questions are arranged in chapters, beginning with "Eras and Their Highlights," proceeding through categories including religion, exploration (by Europeans) from the Vikings to space, and "War and Conflict," mostly European and American, though this section does include questions about the Sino-Japanese War and—presumably part of the updating—some information about recent wars in the Middle East, Rwanda, Darfur, and Afghanistan. Still, there is something lacking in an account of the Crimean War that does not mention Sevastopol, or World War I without Lawrence of Arabia. In a Q&A format "Government and Politics" is difficult to explain, one answer often overlapping another, causing confusion (in one case) over who was really the first Holy Roman Emperor—Otto I in 962 or Charlemagne in the year 800? In "Politics and Movements," teens will most likely enjoy entries on the Beats, hippies, and the recent Occupy movement, while young feminists will be enlightened about suffragist heroes Alice Paul and Emmeline Pankhurst—but this section is perhaps better for browsing than for locating specific answers. Chapters on science, philosophy, and medicine hit the highlights, offering young adults ideas for longer reports. Though Hudson is certainly to be commended for including a section on "Culture and Recreation," he crams in short entries about topics ranging from "written language" through nearly all the arts and sports, each of which could easily fill a volume of its own—it is hard to take seriously a history of dance, for example, that leaves out George Balanchine! Overall, seekers will find this reference not so handy if they do not already know the key questions; there is, of course, an index of everything mentioned. Especially for readers just discovering history, Internet sites with their links are probably much handier for quick access to both information and images. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—This update of the 2006 edition retains the question-and-answer format of previous editions, with answers ranging from a single paragraph to about a page in length. Topics are an interesting mix of events, people, and ideas, and chapters are arranged chronologically. Most topics are unchanged, but sports, which was formerly covered in "Culture and Recreation," now has a section of its own. New questions are added throughout, most of which fill gaps in information, provide more diverse coverage of ethnic groups and international topics, or discuss recent events-the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, for example. Some questions about ongoing controversies, such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, have been revised, and a few questions regarding obscure and dated topics have been removed. Changes include the addition of bullet points and lists to improve clarity, a smaller but still easily read font, and the removal of the chronology and bibliography. This edition also adds maps and replaces almost all of the black-and-white illustrations, but the new ones are small, dark, and minimally captioned and thus add little to the text. Although generally well written and succinct, this book offers little background and analysis and much of its information can be easily found in other sources, including online. There is not enough new material to justify replacement for libraries that hold the second edition, and, while the format may draw browsers, the material lacks the depth to be useful to researchers, making it additional even in libraries that lack the earlier work.—Mary Mueller, formerly at Rolla Junior High School, MO
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578593729
  • Publisher: Visible Ink Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2012
  • Series: The Handy Answer Book Series
  • Edition description: Third Edition, Third edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 600
  • Sales rank: 517,311
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

David L. Hudson Jr. is the author or coauthor of more than 20 books, including "The American Bar Association Guide to Credit and Bankruptcy," "The Encyclopedia of the First Amendment," "The Handy Law Answer Book," and "The Handy Supreme Court Answer Book." He works as a First Amendment scholar at the First Amendment Center and teaches at Vanderbilt Law School, the Nashville School of Law, and Middle Tennessee State University. He lives in Smyrna, Tennessee.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)