History Year by Year

It is a common complaint that children here and in England, where this book originates, have very confused ideas of history. This profusely illustrated large format book will go some way to remedying that. With a significant input from the Smithsonian in Washington DC, it begins some six and half millenniums ago and comes right down to 2011, ending with the ëArab Springí ñ on which two years have cast a long shadow.

Though the text is confined to brief paragraph on each year, it nevertheless tries to pack in a great deal and to show the development over human culture over time. This compression can lead to inaccuracies. Under c. 33 Common Era the text reads: ìJesus Christ, a charismatic Jewish leader, was put to death in Jerusalem. His followers believed he was the Son of God. They founded a new religion, Christianity, which was persecuted because they refused to make sacrifices to the Roman Gods.î 

It ought to be noted that the early Christians were actually persecuted for not recognising the Emperor as divine by refusing him sacred honours. The pragmatic Romans did not really care what gods one worshipped. The refusal was seen not as an offence against religion, but against the state.  

As a whole the book is imbalanced towards more recent centuries. Still learning about history has to begin somewhere and for many this may be a useful start.