The Atlas of World History: Mapping the Human Journey, ed. by Jeremy Black

My Copy: 9780756653484 (image from my scanner–the book’s a bit big for the glass)

You could say I’ve already read and reviewed its “sister-atlas.” I thought perhaps I had two copies of the same one by accident (I do tend to be buy-happy with atlases in the bargain bin).

The Atlas of World History is a different animal by far.

All of us in school have had geography textbooks with an appendix or preface area of nothing but maps. Each one of the world, probably indicating biomes, climates, economic strengths, trade patterns, etc.

Other atlases of the world have a similar setup—a preface area of basic colorful maps.

Well, they finally gave those maps—just about every kind you can think of—their own book. And took out all those sidebar maps in geography textbooks and gave them their own pages as well.

The book is divided into two parts: Part One is The Eras of World History, and has all the assorted world maps you can think of with sidebars and little snippets giving more info for history. The maps are a bit small considering the book’s dimensions (about 13 x 9 inches) and most with a two-page spread. Yet, the detail is enough, and it leaves room for explanation sidebars.

Part Two is Regional History and gives a basic history of the world in maps with historical context. Some of the maps are very small, but they are the size needed to inform the reader about a particular country or area. There is much for the eye to take in.

If you like maps and are a teacher, or just a geography and history nut like myself, I can see you enjoying this book. I also recommend it as another good resource for students and a rather affordable one. Everyone thinks that we can get most anything from Google or a quick search online, but a well-drawn map is helpful—if not in the moment, than at least it’s a good eye opener. There are many maps I’ve looked at that made me ask questions and then I’d be off doing research.

Happy looking. Not many people “read” atlases, but even a good browse gives you a lot of historical info.

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