Adam Hart-Davis: Tells the history of the world in 600 pages

Historians in the News

A REMARKABLE NEW BOOK attempts to summarise the history of the world in one volume, with maps, pictures, timelines and boxed information on most of every page. Led by the popular television historian Adam Hart-Davis, a team of seven consultants and 40 contributors ensures that every continent, every nation receives expert attention.

The result is as imposing in its size and glossiness as it is in the extent of its coverage. Like a Bible in a parish church, it is made to be kept stationary, and consulted whenever needed. It is attempting to function, for the ordinary person interested in history, or needing to think about it from time to time, as the literary accessory to possess – an internet between covers.

So it is worth asking what this self-proclaimed definitive guide is actually defining. What does it tell us about how the present seems to want to view the past or, at least, how the large number of authorities represented here does?

One obvious aspect of the answer – and also the most distinctively contemporary – is that a global vision is needed for human affairs. ...
Read entire article at Times (UK)

comments powered by Disqus