18 September 2023
Who doesn’t love a map? With this history of the world, as told through the use of maps, you get 500 of them. Obviously this is a lot of history to get through, so there are going to be gaps somewhere, which I felt was the case with Ancient Greece. Still, the Egyptians, Phoenicians and Carthage are all covered and the ancient history on the spread of humanity from the Rift Valley is fascinating. By the time it gets to Napoleon individual campaigns and battles are given some attention, though having lavished lots of space on old Bony, Waterloo gets far too little. In fact, British activities in the 18th-20th centuries are woefully underplayed. The section on WWII seems particularly lacking in balance, assigning 6 pages to concentration camps and just one page to D-Day. Still, despite all this, there’s a vast amount of interesting information.
Thames & Hudson
404 pages. Hardback. £50
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