Friday, December 23, 2011

World History - 50 key milestones you really need to know

Author:         Ian Crofton
Published:   2011
Publisher:    Quercus
Hardcover:  210 pages
The aim of this book as per the author is to focus on 50 key developments and events of the world history and lay basic foundations for the readers to build on. The economic, social, geographic and cultural factors surrounding these events are covered.
The time period covered in this book ranges from beginning of agriculture 10,000 years ago to the 9/11 attack on Twin Towers in 2001.
The author allocates four pages to describe each milestone . 
A detailed timeline of dates and events accompanies the main text. 
The main text is also supported by selected contemporary quotations to bring the flavor of the period being described.  Personalities as diverse as Aristotle, Saladin, Christopher Columbus, Galileo, Thomas Jefferson, Mary Wollstonecraft, Lincoln, Winston Churchill etc. are quoted.
In addition there are one or two mini articles for every milestone being discussed. These articles cover a range of fascinating topics - Nazca Lines, Renaissance man, Confucianism, Alexander the Great's horse, Islamic science, Barbary corsairs, Enigma code, the atomic bomb etc.

It would have been better if in addition to the above if all the dates and events for all the milestones were captured in a single tabular column, with each column representing a milestone.Also this book lacks a bibliography.
Nevertheless an interesting, handy and well laid out reference book which may serve as an appetizer to know more about the milestones.

Milestones Described in this book:

The beginnings of agriculture; The first cities; Egypt of the pharaohs; Classical Greece; Alexander the Great; The spread of Roman power; The fall of Rome and its aftermath; The rise of Islam; The Vikings; The Crusades; The Black Death. 

OTHER WORLDS: Precolonial India; Imperial China; The Mongols; Japan, the island empire; Incas and Aztecs; Empires and kingdoms of Africa. 

THE EARLY MODERN PERIOD: The Renaissance; The Ottoman empire; The voyages of discovery; The Reformation; The Counter-Reformation; The English Revolution; The Scientific Revolution; The age of empire; The Enlightenment. 

GATHERING PACE: The American Revolution; The French Revolution; The Napoleonic Era; The Industrial Revolution; Nationalism in Europe; Slavery; The expansion of the USA; The American Civil War; The rise of socialism; Women's rights. 

THE 20th CENTURY AND AFTER: The First World War; Lenin and Stalin; The shadow of Fascism; The Great Depression; The Second World War - Europe; The Second World War - Asia and the Pacific; The Holocaust; The Cold War; The end of empire; The Vietnam War; The Arab-Israeli conflict; The fall of communism; The resurgence of China; 9/11 and after.

[Please feel free to leave your comments below or bookmark/share this summary]

No comments:

Post a Comment