This is simply a great book. It's a concise version
(though rewritten, not abridged) of Roberts' History of the World,
which unfortunately I haven't read. But I can't imagine what he cut out.
This is spectacularly comprehensive and all-inclusive. It flows in chonological
order from prehistory to the early 1990s. The author really does encompass
the world, and one of the best features of the book is that he knows
how and when to make a transition. He focuses on a place and time and
then jumps across the world to a parallel culture, but each cultural
segment does not seem drawn out nor rushed.
All together, the book tied together great themes of
an ever-advancing global civilization of humanity. Roberts' unstated
thesis demonstrates humanity's noble progression and impressive achievements.
At no time does he make history sound random or disjointed. More than
anything else, the book made me appreciate history as never before.
One complaint - the book seems to have been created
for coursework, but I read this as an individual, not with a course.
Maybe because of that I didn't catch several of the more obscure geographical
references, such as ancient cities, names no longer in use, populations,
etc. So, I would have loved to see maps! The timelines included were
helpful as concise summaries, and the chapter subdivisions were well-done,
but one or two maps per chapter would really help put the pieces together