History The Definitive Visual Guide 1

BOOKS
HISTORY

1.
Adam Hart-Davis
History: The Definitive Visual Guide

This is the definitive 4 million year-old story of human history. “History” is a visual feast covering everything from our remote ancestors up to the 21st century. With over 3,000 images, you’ll discover the complete story of the people, events, themes, ideas and forces that have shaped human existence from the origins of mankind to Sputnik, Machu Pichu and recent events. You can find out about history’s turning points through eyewitness accounts and biographies that give a personal angle to major events. You can explore humankind’s legacy from architecture and artefacts to the big ideas that have changed our world. You can examine the effect we’ve had on nature and vice versa. And discover how the past has been unlocked, from interpreting ancient documents to analysing ice cores. “History” is a compelling look at human existence and a must-have reference book for the family bookshelf.

2.
George Grote
A History of Greece (Cambridge Library Collection – Classics)

Widely acknowledged as the most authoritative study of ancient Greece, George Grote’s twelve-volume work, begun in 1846, established the shape of Greek history which still prevails in textbooks and popular accounts of the ancient world today.

Grote employs direct and clear language to take the reader from the earliest times of legendary Greece to the death of Alexander and his generation, drawing upon epic poetry and legend, and examining the growth and decline of the Athenian democracy. The work provides explanations of Greek political constitutions and philosophy, and interwoven throughout are the important but outlying adventures of the Sicilian and Italian Greeks. Volume 4 continues the review of Greek contacts in the wider Mediterranean world, and also covers political developments, especially in Athens, from the rise of the Peisistratids to the battle of Marathon.

3.
Cynthia Talbot
Precolonial India in Practice: Society, Region, and Identity in Medieval Andhra

The society of traditional India is frequently characterized as static and dominated by caste. This study challenges older interpretations, arguing that medieval India was actually a time of dynamic change and fluid social identities. Using records of religious endowments from Andhra Pradesh, author Cynthia Talbot reconstructs a regional society of the precolonial past as it existed in practice.

4.
John Julius Norwich
Sicily: An Island at the Crossroads of History

Critically acclaimed author John Julius Norwich weaves the turbulent story of Sicily into a spellbinding narrative that places the island at the crossroads of world history.

“Sicily,” said Goethe, “is the key to everything.” It is the largest island in the Mediterranean, the stepping-stone between Europe and Africa, the link between the Latin West and the Greek East. Sicily’s strategic location has tempted Roman emperors, French princes, and Spanish kings. The subsequent struggles to conquer and keep it have played crucial roles in the rise and fall of the world’s most powerful dynasties.

Yet Sicily has often been little more than a footnote in books about other empires. John Julius Norwich’s engrossing narrative is the first to knit together all of the colorful strands of Sicilian history into a single comprehensive study. Here is a vivid, erudite, page-turning chronicle of an island and the remarkable kings, queens, and tyrants who fought to rule it. From its beginnings as a Greek city-state to its emergence as a multicultural trading hub during the Crusades, from the rebellion against Italian unification to the rise of the Mafia, the story of Sicily is rich with extraordinary moments and dramatic characters. Writing with his customary deftness and humor, Norwich outlines the surprising influence Sicily has had on world history—the Romans’ fascination with Greek civilization dates back to their sack of Sicily—and tells the story of one of the world’s most kaleidoscopic cultures in a galvanizing, contemporary way.

This volume has been a long time coming—Norwich began to explore Sicily’s colorful history during his first visit to the island in the early 1960s. The dean of popular historians leads his readers through the millennia with the steady narrative hand of a master teacher or the world’s most learned tour guide. Like the island itself, Sicily is a book brimming with bold flavors that begs to be revisited again and again.

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