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Timelines of World History Paperback – February 20, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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The History Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained) by DK
The History Book
A fascinating journey through the most significant events in history. Learn more | See related books
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Depth is ruthlessly sacrificed to breadth in this atlas of world history. The material is arranged in separate timelines-for Asia, Africa, Europe and "Americas and Australasia"-running vertically down facing pages, with supplementary maps and short sidebar essays. The format is meant to give these regions equal representation and facilitate comparative history by correlating at a glance contemporaneous events across the globe. Unfortunately, while some developments-such as the early spread of agriculture, technology and cities-are occasionally illuminated by this approach, it is almost always historically incoherent. The division of timelines by continent is particularly thoughtless. Events in the Roman Empire are confusingly split up between Asian, African and European timelines, while the Asia timeline jumbles together the journeys of St. Paul with news from Han China. The "Americas and Australasia" timeline stays blank for pages on end as empires rise and fall elsewhere, taking up space better used to flesh out other too-terse entries; its spurious continuity implies that the United States is more an outgrowth of Olmec history than European history. While possibly of value for quick reference, the graphical juxtaposition of factoids presented here is no substitute for skillful narrative synthesis. Photos and illustrations throughout.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Intended for quick reference or for trivia buffs rather than for any kind of genuine historical research, this volume uses time lines to provide "a visual chronicle of human history and development" from 10,000 B.C.E. to the present. Time lines appear in four columns--one each for Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas and Australasia--and are accompanied by gorgeous illustrations and maps. The outer column of each page has sidebars containing summaries of key events, condensed biographies, or descriptions of places. There is no index but rather a concordance, which occupies more than 200 pages at the back of the book, containing its own individual country chronologies, more brief biographies, and cross-references.

As might be expected from a work of this nature, its breadth is so wide that it renders the depth of coverage extremely shallow. In terms of volume of information, there is not much more conveyed here per subject than there would be in a good dictionary. For example, there are a total of about five brief paragraphs on World War I and about seven on World War II. Because world events are segregated by continent and presented in parallel fashion on the page, Timelines seems most valuable for comparing contemporaneous significant events at a glance. This also means that numerous pages contain blank columns for Africa and the Americas because of the relative lack of historical information about those parts of the world. The book's greatest strength is its graphics--13 full-color, foldout maps; more than a dozen smaller color maps; and more than 500 attractive illustrations and trenchant photographs.

This is a kind of deluxe version of the popular The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events (3d ed., Simon & Schuster, 1991), though that work is subdivided by subject (history, literature, religion, science, etc.) rather than by continent. This new title can only be the starting point of any meaningful inquiry, but the colorful graphics may grab the attention of younger readers and casual browsers. Recommended for public libraries. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: DK ADULT (February 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756617030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756617035
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #307,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rebecca of Amazon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
"This work has been prepared with two major objectives. The first is to provide a reference work which looks at the world as an outsider - as though standing on the moon, a possibility which is no longer the stuff of fantasy. The second is to separate fact from interpretation." ~John B. Teeple

DK is well known for their interest in creating some of the most fascinating books you will ever read. Not only is this book filled with full-color maps, it is also illustrated with contemporary and archival photographs and artwork.

The features include: Entries organized according to dates and geographic regions, beautifully illustrated timelines, feature boxes and captions, cross-reference navigation tools, introductory narrative for each timeline, encyclopedic Subject Index and Glossary, comprehensive information on the arts, science and technology, exploration, philosophy and religion. The sidebars are used for detailed captions and additional chronologies.

I also loved the "snapshot" maps where the pages fold out and you can see how the world evolves over time. You can visually compare the world in 1000 BCE with the world in 1975. The quick reference timelines at the start of each chapter shows the most important events of that time period.

How is this book set up?

As you read through this book you will find four columns: Asia, Africa, Europe and Americas & Australasian.

On page 454 and 455 you will see lots of information, including the following facts:

ASIA: 2002 Musharraf wins Pakistan general election.

AFRICA: 2002 The threat of famine looms large in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Lesotho as crops fail due to droughts and floods.
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Format: Hardcover
As a reader I like to have quick reference books at my finger tips including a new version of the Oxford English Dictionary about 3500 pages long - that I use almost daily. So I decided to add a "history atlas". In the process of doing my research I read the other amazon.com reviewers and then made three trips to two large book stores to actually look at the books and get a better feel for which was the best. I ended up buying the Oxford Atlas of World History. Here are my picks and rankings.

Listed by My ranking, #1 is the best, #2 is a creative alternative but no substitute.

1. Atlas of World History, Oxford University Press 2002, 368 pages, $57.80, 13.5" x 10.3" x 1.62" ranked 46,632 on Amazon.com. Hands down winner - professional - good text descriptions, outstanding maps and drawings, covers most things from the cave man forward. Negatives: Big and heavy. If you want to save a few dollars buy the "concise" version.

2. Creative alternative: The Penguin Atlas of World History, Penguin Books 2004, $11.20, just a paperback sized, just published, 304 pages. Surprisingly impressive, lots of text and pictures mixed together and it is easy to carry around. A nice quick alternative but it will be printed in two volumes.

3. Timelines of World History, DK Publishing 2002, 666 pages, $27.20. 10.0" x 1.6" ranked 25,800 on Amazon.com. Second with lots of value but in some ways not as comprehensive.

4. National Geographic Almanac of World History, National Geographic 2003, 384 pages, $28.00, 9.6" x 7.8" x 1.17" ranked 24,426 on Amazon.com. Similar to but less impressive than Oxford books. More text, narrower coverage, fewer maps and drawings.

5. DK Atlas of World History, DK Publishing, 352 pages, $35.00, 10.96" x 14.66" x 1.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a good place to start research, but only if the reader uses it as an initial reference. Readers would be wise to cross-check facts, since in a few moments I found errors in the early eras: the Hyksos in Egypt at the wrong time, Naram-sin of Agade ruling at the wrong time, Babylon mentioned before it ever was founded, Eqypt ruling Crete.
Later eras may have more accurate information.
The book is a good over-all view for one who wants the whole picture before going deeper into any particular time or place.
For general knowledge of contemporaneous events Jacquetta Hawkes' book has yet to be equaled.
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Format: Hardcover
DK makes gorgeous books, and this is no exception. Other books are more comprehensive, but there's a different reason for adding this one to your collection. It has an embarrassing wealth of visuals, the timelines let you see what was happening simultaneously in different parts of the world, and the concordance provides a quick look-up for any topic (person, place, thing, concept). In the concordance, China, for example, has a brief geographic & political overview, a chronology (all in one place rather than spaced throughout time as in the first section), and lists of rulers. Page references are given to lead the reader to additional information.

This book would make an excellent resource for world history teachers and students.
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By A Customer on November 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Timelines of World History, written over a 15 year period, provides an impartial, world-wide look at human history. Most chronologies have an inherent cultural bias. The author states in his forward that he wrote this as if he were looking at the earth from the vantage point of space. What you would see would be continents, not countries or empires.
The narrative at the beginning of each major era provides an overview of the period and explains its place in the scheme of human history. The exquisite photos, graphics and sidebars highlight important personages, technological milestones and artistic wonders. The detailed maps featured on the reverse side of the gate-fold narrative provide a beautiful visual representation of the period.The Concordances at the end provide additional information on each country and pertinent historical figures. China, for example, has a chronology of its dynasties and contributions.This work is compact enough for handy reference, but detailed enough for an in-depth understanding of the contributions of cultures over time.
I work as a high school librarian. My teachers are enthusiastic about this new work. Some of us are finding this to be the perfect Christmas gift to anyone interested in the world around them!
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