Gentlemen, we're history.
–Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
I don't what made me pick up not one but two MORE history books at the library not long ago, but for whatever reason, I did. The two books take contrasting approaches to how one looks at history. The first book, 1688: A Global History looks at how the entire world looked during one year in the late 17th Century. The other book, The Way of the World, is a sweeping look from the first stirrings of civilization to the present age. And I must say, while I found neither book to be incredibly spectacular, I enjoyed them both.
In 1688: A Global History
by John E. Wills, Wills picks one year and travels all over the world
to give us a idea of what was going on during that pivotal period in the late 17th century. I
liked how Wills focused on specific people from this era to show us the
world almost through their eyes. Unlike many traditional historians, Willis covered the entire earth, detailing events and personalities in China, Japan, South America and the Muslim world. His scope as well as his writing style made for
interesting reading and kept this book from being a dry history
textbook. I liked it.
David Fromkin's The Way of the World: From the Dawn of Civilization to the Eve of the Twenty-Third Century
is a nice, well-written history of the last five thousand
years. Fromkin, known also as the author of the well respected A Peace to End All Peace, takes on the thankless job of writing a history of everything and pulls it off
.It won't win any awards, but it give you a nice, readable introduction to the history of the world. No complaints-I liked it.