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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I used this book for two courses at Columbia College and I have to say that reading it was like pulling out my own fingernails. Some chapters were written enthusiastically, but overall the book lacked energy... how am I supposed to get excited about this subject when the writer doesn't care about it himself? Some chapters even wander around chronologically without making that obvious on the first reading, leading to confusion and frustration (and loss of my time having to re-read chapters repeatedly).

The insets were nice (original documents, etc), but always appeared in weird spots where you'd have to keep reading before they made much sense.

My other major complaint is that many chapters contained blatant usage and grammar errors. Did no one proofread this book? Sentences don't start with the word "And," just so you know, Kishlansky.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Quite readable. My only two objections, and this applies to almost all history books:
1) Assuming the student will be able to figure out who is who in the various pottery, frescoes, sculptures, etc. Which is the King and which is the God? These visuals can be a big help on tests, but they never label them clearly.
2) Tossing in alternate names for things without explaining them. "To Homer, all
Greeks were Achaeans". OK. So what? What is an Achaean? The index has 2 references, neither of which defines the term nor why it is significant that Homer thinks what he does, nor how we know he did.

The problem is that these books are written by people so familiar with the material, they forget there are a lot of us that are not. If these authors were in an Astronomy course, we wouldn't use terms like Roche Limit or the earth-moon L2 point without defining them, even though I often forget not everyone knows those terms. Hey, guys, have an intelligent person read your book that knows nothing about history. If they ask a question, it's not because they are dense, it's because you didn't include something you should have.

Still, a better book than any other History text I have used, so I think you will be just fine if you take a few seconds to snuggle up to Google for those weird terms that pop up.
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on December 8, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is the worst textbook I have ever read. The chapters bounce back and forth between being insulting ("Homosexuality was rampant because of a short of women" during the Renaissance) by implying that it is a choice and mentioning frequently in way that does educate me about the times they are speaking of: (ALL Spartan males took their students as lovers ). I am pro-equal rights, but this text mentioned homosexuality so much and in ways that I did not feel educated me about the era that I questioned it's creditability as a historical text. If it doesn't add a meaningful point, don't try to make it fit in the text.
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on September 26, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
this history book is very broad and has a lot of great information. You are able to learn from ancient Egyptians to all the way to Modern America and different cultures and religions. Very informative and useful book.
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on May 13, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I received my book in a timely matter, all needed information was in-tact. The book shows a lot of signs of use, but it did not affect me at all.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Thought renting books would be a good idea and at first loved the "extend rental" option. I needed the book for a second class so I extended, which turned out to be a horrible decision as amazon just had me purchase the remaining amount for the book. I should have just out-right purchased it elsewhere. Contacted customer service several times and got the same round-about answer. Going through bookrenter or elsewhere for my books from now on.
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on January 5, 2015
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Required for school. No issues.
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on August 5, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
good
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The book is an easy enough read with lots of nice pictures. All in all though, it's a textbook... nothing special.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
A history book that is not at all too boring to read. I think it might be one of the better history books I have read.
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