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100 Diagrams That Changed the World: From…
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100 Diagrams That Changed the World: From the Earliest Cave Paintings to… (edition 2012)

by Scott Christianson

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10118119,589 (3.11)8
Member:manatree
Title:100 Diagrams That Changed the World: From the Earliest Cave Paintings to the Innovation of the iPod
Authors:Scott Christianson
Info:Plume (2012), Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:Your library, books read: total, no longer owned, ER: LibraryThing Early Reviewers
Rating:*****
Tags:Book, History, Design, Drawing, Technological innovations, hardcover, Early Review Copy

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100 Diagrams That Changed the World: From the Earliest Cave Paintings to the Innovation of the iPod by Scott Christianson

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
This book is a fascinating tour of innovation from the Chauvet Cave Drawings of 30,000 BC to the present. It's interesting to see the scribbles and elaborate illustrations that moved the world forward - da Vinci, Newton, the Wright Brothers, Freud, Tim Berners-Lee and many other unknowns. These '100 Diagrams that changed the world' offer historical context and creative inspiration.
  newtonco | Jun 23, 2014 |
As is the usual preamble, I received this book as part of a GoodReads giveaway.

For most purposes this rather brief tome is serviceable as a coffee table book. Each entry is given one page devoted to the diagram with a half page of text to describe it. In general the author does a good job of choosing his topics and while most are already familiar to any individual of average erudition there are some new tidbits to be gleaned. As a book to be read from cover to cover it does become somewhat daunting because the author's text is often very brief and very high level and one can never quite settle into any particular topic before being shuffled off rather quickly to the next. The chronological ordering of the book is exactly what one would wish for in such a work and the full breadth of history has considered.

On the constructive side of my observations it seems evident that the author had some difficulty coming around to 100 'diagrams' for inclusion. Many of the entries can only marginally be called diagrams at all (or the diagrams are really only secondary to the significance of the achievement being documented) while others are of dubious significance to begin with. The idea that a sketch for the iPod should appear in a book alongside Copernicus and da Vinci is, in this reviewer's opinion, an affront to any reasonable view on how we could what is significant and what is not in the grand scale of history. Lastly in this vein the text at times seems rushed and perhaps suffers from over-editing. The chosen textual format is so short that no real background can be properly conveyed and the reader suffers a bit from whiplash.

In summary, this book would make a reasonable addition to the coffee table but cannot be considered for any serious reading. It would have been better served as a book containing half as many diagrams but with much expanded text. ( )
  slavenrm | Apr 10, 2013 |
I'm surprised drawings from Robert Hooke's Micrographia were not included.
  rwiringa | Mar 29, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was so excited to get a copy of 100 Diagrams That Changed the World, but alas, so disappointed when I read it. Usually I write up my Early Reviewer reviews lickety split, but my delay in this case grows out of my lack of enthusiasm. I’d wager that this volume was published to ride on the success of A History of the World in 100 Objects, but it falls way short of that mark.

First the design. I was expecting a book dedicated to exploring how graphics can convey information to be thoughtfully and intelligently laid out. While the paper is high quality, the design is awful! Each entry features the date of the diagram, its title, who created it, a short overview of its importance, and then a longer description of its history and impact. The opposite page shows the diagram itself. A caption for the image is bracketed { like this } with one bracket in grey and the other in orange. The overall layout is busy and distracting, detracting from the diagram in question. The overview is printed in light grey ink and small type, making it extremely difficult to read. Maddening. The brackets are way too heavy a font and seem simply fussy. The orange text of the page numbers and brackets is an unnecessary flourish that adds misplaced emphasis. The publisher clearly didn’t hire a designer who could produce a decent diagram! Is it too much to ask for a visually appealing book about visuals?

Now the content. I realize no single author could be an authority on all the topics the 100 diagrams illustrate. But the text itself confused as much as it enlightened, and skipped over information that I craved. You’d do just as well reading Wikipedia entries, better in many cases. I frequently found myself researching on my own the ideas presented -- arguably the urge to learn more about a subject is the sign of a compelling read. But in this case, it stemmed more from skepticism and frustration. I won’t get into issues with which “diagrams” made the cut and which didn’t, and the vague definition of what constitutes a “diagram.” That raised my eyebrows more than once, but didn’t bother me as much as it seems to have irritated other reviewers.

I’m giving 100 Diagrams That Changed the World two and half stars purely on the strength of the diagrams themselves. If you find this in the remainder bin at your local bookstore at a serious discount it could be worth picking up. But otherwise, don’t bother. ( )
  ElizabethChapman | Jan 19, 2013 |
This is the hardcover copy from the library - poorest job of printing I've ever seen. There's a preface to each "diagram" in type so light it's unreadable even in strong light, and the text is either 4 or 6 point. You have to be really interested to plow through it. That being said, the subject matter for the most part is interesting - thank heavens for Google, though, because there sure isn't much information about any of the selections. ( )
  JudiY | Dec 23, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0452298776, Hardcover)

Recommended by The New York Times Book Review  ["This handsomely designed volume makes a case for the diagrams...provoking many 'aha moments.'"]

A collection of the most important ideas, theories, and concepts of all time

100 Diagrams That Changed the World is a fascinating collection of the most significant plans, sketches, drawings, and illustrations that have influenced and shaped the way we think about the world. From primitive cave paintings to Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man to the complicated DNA helix drawn by Crick and Watson to the innovation of the iPod, they chart dramatic breakthroughs in our understanding of the world and its history. Arranged chronologically, each diagram is accompanied by informative text that makes even the most scientific breakthrough accessible to all. 

Beautifully illustrated in full color, this book will not only inform but also entertain as it demonstrates how the power of a single drawing can enhance, change, or even revolutionize our understanding of the world. With its iconic images and powerful explanations, 100 Diagrams That Changed the World is perfect for readers of The History of the World in 100 Objects, and is the ideal gift for anyone interested in culture, history, science, or technology. 
 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:47 -0400)

From primitive cave paintings to deciphering the DNA helix, this chronological guide describes the important sketches, plans, and drawings that had profound and dramatic effects on history and the way people viewed the world.

(summary from another edition)

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