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100 Diagrams That Changed the World: From the Earliest Cave Paintings to the Innovation of the iPod Hardcover – October 30, 2012
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For most purposes this rather brief tome is serviceable as a coffee table book. Each entry is given one page devoted to the diagram with a half page of text to describe it. In general the author does a good job of choosing his topics and while most are already familiar to any individual of average erudition there are some new tidbits to be gleaned. As a book to be read from cover to cover it does become somewhat daunting because the author's text is often very brief and very high level and one can never quite settle into any particular topic before being shuffled off rather quickly to the next. The chronological ordering of the book is exactly what one would wish for in such a work and the full breadth of history has considered.
On the constructive side of my observations it seems evident that the author had some difficulty coming around to 100 'diagrams' for inclusion. Many of the entries can only marginally be called diagrams at all (or the diagrams are really only secondary to the significance of the achievement being documented) while others are of dubious significance to begin with. The idea that a sketch for the iPod should appear in a book alongside Copernicus and da Vinci is, in this reviewer's opinion, an affront to any reasonable view on how we could what is significant and what is not in the grand scale of history. Lastly in this vein the text at times seems rushed and perhaps suffers from over-editing. The chosen textual format is so short that no real background can be properly conveyed and the reader suffers a bit from whiplash.
In summary, this book would make a reasonable addition to the coffee table but cannot be considered for any serious reading. It would have been better served as a book containing half as many diagrams but with much expanded text.
The size of this book appeals to me, because, unlike other books with beautiful illustrations, it fits on a normal size bookshelf.
214 pages (not including index, etc).
So, with 214 pages and 100 diagrams, it works out to about one page for each diagram, and one page devoted to an explanatory note by the author.
Diagrams in chronological order, of course.
Leonardo da Vinci: credited with three drawings.
Steve Jobs: one drawing.
Apple Corp (the computer company): one drawing.
Absent: Stephen Hawking. Albert Einstein. Bohr. Atom. Christopher Columbus. Board games (Monopoly). Story boards (Star Wars, The Lord of The Rings).
Most surprising: "graded sewing patterns."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not at all what I expected ...very disappointing not printing ! Would love to get my money back !!Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
This book is engaging and wonderfully interesting to my curious mind.
The book could have been better by including places and designs from such kingdoms as Axum.
I actually bought this by mistake, but it turned out to be the perfect gift for my genius nephew and architect brother. They were fascinated.Published 6 months ago by Queenie Taylor
It's too vast a subject to be covered adequately by 100 diagrams - and the explanations were very inadequate.Published 9 months ago by C Martin
This is a fascinating book and a great idea, but the production value is terrible. It's a picture book, so why not a larger format? grayed out title lines are impossible to read! Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a great book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in how things evolved and change the world.Published 12 months ago by GD