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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sweeping view of the development of civilisation .........
This book attempts quite a bold brief: 'Global Events at a Glance'. And in many ways it achieves that goal quite effectively. Essentially a combination of pages of illustrated timelines interleaved with the 54 global maps positioned chronologically within the text, the book makes an interesting browse. The maps show types of human subsistence, technological development,...
Published on 22 Nov 2011 by S. J. Williams

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but could have been great
A good book that endeavours to encapsulate world history and significant world events from the pre-ice age 6 million years ago (yep, the world is more than 5 thousand years old!) to the present day (2010)
The format of the book is that the world map is laid bare over two pages with countries/continents colour coded according to various criteria eg European...
Published on 14 Dec 2011 by All of them Witches


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sweeping view of the development of civilisation ........., 22 Nov 2011
By 
S. J. Williams "stevejw2" (Leeds, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The New Atlas of World History: Global Events at a Glance (Historical Atlas) (Hardcover)
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This book attempts quite a bold brief: 'Global Events at a Glance'. And in many ways it achieves that goal quite effectively. Essentially a combination of pages of illustrated timelines interleaved with the 54 global maps positioned chronologically within the text, the book makes an interesting browse. The maps show types of human subsistence, technological development, migrations, trade patterns, empires and dominions, religious and political affiliations, alliances etc and flicking through one can easily see the ebb and flow of political power and other elements in human cultures. The running world population graph at the bottom of selected timeline pages is fascinating (estimated population falling significantly post Black Death ravages, for example) and biggest 5 cities chart which accompanies each of the maps immediately illustrates our Euro, and then western-centric attitudes. Eastern cities which I often haven't heard of dominate for centuries. There are also two pages of reference maps at the end showing key cities and with 5 inset enlarged views. There is an A-Z of Peoples and Nations and substantial index.

The timelines are divided into 4 bands: Politics and Economy; Religion and Philosophy; Science and Technology; Arts and Architecture: these seem to be colour-coded to link with the map which precedes the timeline. There is a mass of information: for example, in Religion and Philosophy between 1600 and 1610 I can quickly see significant events occured in China, Japan, the Mughal empire and Macassar, though I struggle to see where Macassar is shown on the map, or how the colour used ties in with the information, unless the colour is decorative, in which case it is really confusing. The information, more particularly any related image, is not always clearly positioned on the these pages: it took me some time to find the confirmation that what I presumed was Stonehenge actually IS Stonehenge on pp28-9.

Clarity is, I would suggest, the central problem with this book. The colour key used to delineate the various features each map might be focusing on is not always sufficiently differentiated to be clear. The same is true of the attempts to itemise smaller areas by using coloured and numbered shield-like shapes: the keys for these are not uniformly positioned and can be clumsy to access. The author has decided, for good reason, to use global maps only, but that can lead to a specific region in a specific era when a lot was happening, seeming to be very jumbled and squeezed. Perhaps the European scramble for African colonies, say, deserved a bigger, more focused map, though at a loss of other advantages. I also feel that at least once, there should be a global map which shows a more realistic representation of the various land masses. The UK is as big as Spain throughout in this projection used: that's necessary for clarity of information, but just once let's be shown how it really is.

The book is beautifully produced, as one would expect from Thames and Hudson, but I'm not at all sure how useful I would find this as a reference tool. If I wanted to know about the Sumerians, would this tell me much that I couldn't access in greater detail quite easily elsewhere? Probably not. But the purpose of this book, I suppose is to map the flux of civilisation(s) over time, and this book certainly gives a vivid sense of that process and makes for a very interesting browse. What it might well do is prompt taking insights further by doing other research elsewhere, and it is perhaps unreasonable to expect too much more of a book with the ambitions this has within the constraints of size and cost.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but could have been great, 14 Dec 2011
By 
All of them Witches (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The New Atlas of World History: Global Events at a Glance (Historical Atlas) (Hardcover)
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A good book that endeavours to encapsulate world history and significant world events from the pre-ice age 6 million years ago (yep, the world is more than 5 thousand years old!) to the present day (2010)
The format of the book is that the world map is laid bare over two pages with countries/continents colour coded according to various criteria eg European colonialism, migrating populations etc. This is followed by a two page timeline which details significant events in the years preceeding and following the year presented in the world map overview with text and illustrations.
Both the world map pages and timeline incorporate a left hand side synopsis column explaining the events as shown.
Obviously the point of the book was to have an entire world map on display for each year depicted but I personally prefer the format utilised by other guides whereby just the pivotal countries are focused upon. I thought the inclusion of the whole globe each time was a bit distracting and took up unneccessary space from regions directly impacted upon having the rest of the unaffected globe presented decade after decade largely unchanged. Sometimes things seemed a bit crammed in due to limitations on space.
I also thought the format of the two page timeline was quite confusing, the colours, years, interplaced sentences gave me quite a headache trying to focus upon it. It has at first glimpse a disorganised random feel to it (it's not) and I felt it could have been laid out asthetically much more pleasing to the eye.
What it presents on a global sense it presents very well though and it also has a nice index including a good section on 'Peoples, Nations and Cultures; it was all just a little bit too over encompassing and generalist compared to other similar books for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful as a supplement to another atlas, 18 Nov 2012
By 
Michael Baxter (LONDON United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The New Atlas of World History: Global Events at a Glance (Historical Atlas) (Hardcover)
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This historical atlas adopts a novel approach. Many of the maps show the whole world as it was at a specific date. The advantage of this is that you can see at a glance what events in say China were contemporaneous with events in Europe. The downside is that a map of the whole world can show relatively little detail. Thus this book is best used as a supplement to a conventional historical atlas such as the Times Atlas of World History.

Another useful feature is a note of which were the largest cities in the world at the date of many of the maps. However, the editors have fallen into a common trap here. For some cities, the population given is that of the administrative area; for others, it is that of the conurbation, which is often considerably greater. Thus they are not always comparing like with like.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A broad-brush overview of history, 24 Nov 2011
By 
Sussex by the Sea (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The New Atlas of World History: Global Events at a Glance (Historical Atlas) (Hardcover)
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This atlas of World History is a bit of a one-trick pony. Whether you think it a worthwhile book depends very much on what you think of the trick.

The selling point of the atlas is that it shows the whole world on each of its 56 maps, and this enables you to see what was happening anywhere in the world at the time the map represents. The late arrival of humans to Madagascar or New Zealand becomes very obvious, and the myriad of vanished pre-Colombian civilisations in the Americas are made quite clear.

However, this approach causes a number of limitations. Firstly large parts of the map do not change over the years: most of Canada, for example, has the words "Sub-Arctic caribou hunters" on it for the vast majority of the 56 maps. This is true, of course, but it's also something that takes up a lot of space, and probably doesn't need to be said 45 times.

Secondly, each physical area is only a single colour, almost always representing the country or lifestyle that is predominant in the area. This makes the information about any location a simple binary one: it is either one thing, or something else, and conveys only a small amount of knowledge. Visually it is interesting, but it doesn't tell you very much. The scale of the world also means that small countries cannot be both seen and named, and by the twentieth century there are usually between 30 and 50 numbered sections on each map.

Finally, every second set of pages in the book is a timeline of contemporaneous world history. This isn't as interesting as the maps, and its hard to escape the wish that there were a greater number of maps and fewer timeline pages.

The pages on migration, religion, and trade were the most interesting to me - but those who haven't spent time with other more detailed historical atlases may find this a well-designed introduction.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fantastic objective visual overview of the history of the world, 13 Oct 2011
This review is from: The New Atlas of World History: Global Events at a Glance (Historical Atlas) (Hardcover)
This book is a great aid in grasping the gradual development of the world as we know it. I was really pleased to stumble across it because I often want insight into the context of a particular moment or period in history. Like what was happening elsewhere as the Roman empire was growing? etc The maps and time lines are great for this, providing a whole overview. Highly recommended to anyone interested in anything that has ever happened and how that may of fitted into the general development of our world. Its quite unbiased too, seems to not be overly euro-centric and maps Tibet as a country - probably much to China's annoyance. The only criticism I have is that as the book moves to present day it only divides countries into four categories: EU, communist or nominally communist states, members of NATO,and other states and territories, which seems a bit too general. All in all though it is an informative and accessible book. And its aesthetically pleasing!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The easiest way to get a grasp of world history, 16 Nov 2011
This review is from: The New Atlas of World History: Global Events at a Glance (Historical Atlas) (Hardcover)
There's a lot of world history atlases about but this one is unique. Other world history atlases divide the world up into regions and pay a lot more attention to Europe and North America than the rest of the world. This presents world history in a series of whole world maps, all at the same scale and same projection, from the Ice Age to 2010. This approach certainly sacrifices close in detail (if you want to know exactly where the battle of Waterloo was you won't fnd out here) but it gains in continuity, comparability, and overall global perspective. The maps are very clear and can be take in easily. There's also illustrated timelines and concise and surprisingly readable explanatory texts. What it adds up to is a wonderfully accessible history of the world. I can't think of a better starting place for anyone who wants to get out of the Eurocentric groove and widen their historical horizons. And like the first reviewer says, it looks good too.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Product, slight packaging issue., 20 May 2014
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This review is from: The New Atlas of World History: Global Events at a Glance (Historical Atlas) (Hardcover)
Book arrived packaged in cardboard - in almost-perfect condition. Some better protection for the corners would be good as one was slightly damaged. Overall I am happy with the product and am keeping it though. Postage was on time and other than the slight damage to one corner, in perfect condition.

The book is an excellent visual and well-written geo-history of the world. I recommend it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars No surprises., 18 May 2014
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This review is from: The New Atlas of World History: Global Events at a Glance (Historical Atlas) (Hardcover)
I'd done my research, and knew that I'd need to supplement it with more specialist publications; but it sets the global perspective very well, is most attractively laid out, and has the huge advantage of reflecting up-to-date 21st Century thinking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A valuable reference source, 7 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The New Atlas of World History: Global Events at a Glance (Historical Atlas) (Hardcover)
Chose this book as when watching or reading about world events I often used to wonder what was happening in other parts of the world at the same time. Now my questions are answered with a quick look in this atlas. The format is clear and concise and the timelines give a brief global overview of the history of each era featured. A useful addition to any bookshelf.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous!, 9 Feb 2012
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This review is from: The New Atlas of World History: Global Events at a Glance (Historical Atlas) (Hardcover)
This is a superb book. It is very helpful in being able to see the whole picture of what was going on at a particular time.
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