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The Cartoon History of the Universe II,…

The Cartoon History of the Universe II, Volumes 8-13 : From the Springtime… (1994)

by Larry Gonick

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I've read this book before, a long, long time ago, but my brother-in-law, Josh, didn't know that when he bought it for me for my birthday. What he did know is that I own (and love) The Cartoon History of the Universe I (especially for its cartoon depiction of the process of evolution), so this was a good bet, and even though I'd read it before, I devoured it fairly quickly after receiving it.

The subtitle of this book is From the Springtime of China to the Fall of Rome, and it is primarily about these two civilizations. Certainly, I am much more interested in learning about China these days now that Jefferson is learning the language. This was a fabulous primer on early Chinese history, though there were a few places where the plots were involved enough with so many names that I got a little lost. This may be a function of my primarily reading this book while "supervising" the kids playing outside.

The history of Rome was easier, as it is more familiar, and strengthening the connections in my brain between late Roman history and early Christian history is always satisfying. Just because it's something I feel I ought to know, I suppose.

One of my favorite things about these volumes is the frequent use of asides for the author to confess his biases, his degree of confidence in his sources, etc. Add in his obvious love of his subject, and the entertainment value of the comics format, and it's obvious why I'm a Gonick fan. ( )
  greeniezona | Dec 6, 2017 |
More comic fun with history from Larry Gonick; this edition covers India, China, and ancient Rome. It's always a little hard to absorb history because there's just so damn much of it. "Cartoon History" would make great companion reading for kids in their history classes, and adults will have fun with it too, and learn something besides. ( )
  gbill | Oct 2, 2010 |
Yet another fabulous addition that should be on every history lover's bookshelf. Heck, even if you don't like history, I bet you'll enjoy The Cartoon History of the Universe. This second collection of volumes includes a crash course in Hinduism (and early Buddhism and Christianity), and in Indian, Chinese, and Roman history. Quite a few wars are covered, including one of the shortest adaptations (a mere two pages) of the Mahabharata, one of the longest epic poems in the world. Gonick approaches world history with a quirky, wry sense of humor making his books engaging and amusing to read while still being informative. Granted, he doesn't delve into many of history's contradicting theories, but he does include a bibliography designed to encourage further reading.

Experiments in Reading ( )
  PhoenixTerran | Aug 9, 2007 |
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Hello again! Today we're going to try something strange: visit a country without a history - ancient India.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385420935, Paperback)

Continuing right where the first book left off, The Cartoon History of the Universe II once again combines Gonick's superb cartooning with the lessons of history. Find out what Lynn Johnston, creator of For Better of Worse, calls "a gift to those of us who love to laugh and who love to learn." Part II contains volumes 8 to 13, from the Springtime of China to the Fall of Rome (and India, too!).

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:36 -0400)

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An irreverent survey in comics spanning world history from the rise of ancient China through to the fall of Rome halfway through the first millenium.

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