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The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van…
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The Story of Mankind (1921)

by Hendrik Willem van Loon (Author)

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7381012,638 (3.55)37
Member:sjmccreary
Title:The Story of Mankind
Authors:Hendrik Willem van Loon (Author)
Info:Liveright, Black & Gold edition
Collections:Your library, To read, Nook
Rating:
Tags:nonfiction, historical, Newbery award, @ 909

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The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem Van Loon (1921)

Recently added byakunzeman, Colonino, private library, tomlaight, Colin.C.Clark, ohdrat
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» See also 37 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
This is a book that belonged to my grandfather, it's the 1947 edition. I fell in love with the illustrations and is probably one of the reasons I love history. I've added 3 photographs of pages with illustrations that took my fancy. The first - of the universe with the sign (Here we Live) at first worried me a little - the vastness OUT THERE but I was very very young at the time. Now it reminds me of something that might come from a Douglas Adams book...perhaps he read Van Loon too. ;) ( )
  velvetink | Mar 31, 2013 |
I absolutely loved this book. Even if you are interested in history, you can't possibly learn it all. This book hits the most important highlights of world history with just enough in-depth information to let you figure out if you want to do further reading into particular topic. I like the storytelling way it is written,Van Loon adds a smattering of wit to keep it from being dry and unreadable as history can be. It may perhaps be a bit dated from a scientific standpoint, just because it was written a long time ago, but that is easily overlooked and may even add a bit of charm to the book. The copy I bought was a 1939 pocketbook print, but I have now bought an illustrated copy that has been updated to include the breakup of the USSR. I'm looking forward to flipping through the pictures and reading the updated bits just to see if the feel of the original book has been kept. I believe the additions were partly written by the original author's son and one other person. ( )
  Twikpet | Mar 29, 2013 |
I absolutely loved this book. Even if you are interested in history, you can't possibly learn it all. This book hits the most important highlights of world history with just enough in-depth information to let you figure out if you want to do further reading into particular topic. I like the storytelling way it is written,Van Loon adds a smattering of wit to keep it from being dry and unreadable as history can be. It may perhaps be a bit dated from a scientific standpoint, just because it was written a long time ago, but that is easily overlooked and may even add a bit of charm to the book. The copy I bought was a 1939 pocketbook print, but I have now bought an illustrated copy that has been updated to include the breakup of the USSR. I'm looking forward to flipping through the pictures and reading the updated bits just to see if the feel of the original book has been kept. I believe the additions were partly written by the original author's son and one other person. ( )
  Twikpet | Mar 29, 2013 |
I had never heard of "The Story of Mankind" until I decided to take on the Newbery challenge (read all Newbery awarded books). In fact, I thought for sure that I wouldn't be able to find the book but eventually I did and I'm so glad for that. I loved this book personal. I thought the writing was well done and fitting. I found it informative and entertaining all at the same time. I'm actually shocked by some of the reviews on this book. Many people are upset about the "racism". People can't believe that a book for children would have it. It is not so much racism, well in our days yes it is but what people are failing to remember is that in 1921 it was just normal talk. These were the views held against others, these were the terms used back during this time. It was common, just like the "N" word used in Tom Sawyer. All fitting if you take in the era. And try to remember, this was written in by a white man in the 1920's... good chance it would have something not deemed appropriate for our days. Another issue people seemed to have was the fact that the book didn't cover ALL of history. Many comments about it only covering "white man's history" make me just want to roll my eyes. Loon clearly states, twice, in his book, that he had no intentions on covering all of history, only that which has shaped pretty much western society. Let me quote him for anyone/everyone who is confused by what his intentions are before there are more assumptions of him being racist (I have no clue if he is or not and honestly don't care.) are thrown around in a round about way.

"In this book I am trying to give you only those events of the past which can throw a light upon the conditions of the present world. If I do not mention certain countries, the cause is not to be found in any secret dislike on my part. I wish that I could tell you what happened to Norway and Switzerland and Serbia and China. But these lands exercised no great influence upon the development of Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. I therefore pass them by with a polite and very respectful bow. England however is in a different position. What the people of that small island have done during the last five hundred years has shaped the course of history in every corner of the world. Without a proper knowledge of the background of English history, you cannot understand what you read in the newspapers."

Hendrik Willem Van Loon. The Story of Mankind (Kindle Locations 2966-2970).

Truth is that Loon is an historian who writes well. He's got a way of connecting history to his readers and his passion clearly shows throughout the book. I managed to post up some of my favorite quotes of his and still, I know, I missed many. There was just so much good in this book. For a book on history, it kept my attention all the way through and I can't wait to read more from the author. ( )
  Katrinia17 | Jan 25, 2013 |
Although I thoroughly enjoyed Van Loon's amusing anecdotally-structured history of mankind from the first organisms to the world wars, it was VERY history-heavy. Sadly, I feel like nonfiction isn't very appealing to the general young adult these days...though if there are any young adults marginally interested in the subject, this is the book for them. His method of delivery, his parenthetical asides, and his unmistakable passion all conspire to bring the reader an enjoyable, fact-filled experience.
1 vote zzelinski | Mar 3, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hendrik Willem Van Loonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sperry, ArmstrongIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"What is the use of a book without pictures?" said Alice.
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To Jimmie
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We live under the shadow of a gigantic question mark.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0871401754, Paperback)

Anyone who can chronicle world history from 500,000 B.C. to present times--and do so in a lively, entertaining style--deserves a medal. Luckily, the bestowers of the very first Newbery Medal in 1922 thought so, too. The warm, personable tone of Hendrik Willem van Loon's writing lends itself to true learning in a way that stern, dry textbooks never do. In the introduction, he describes climbing a tower in Rotterdam in his youth. Years later, the perspective at the top inspired the author to develop a metaphor of history as a "mighty Tower of Experience, which Time has built amidst the endless fields of bygone ages."

This genuinely enjoyable charmer, for history buffs and the historically challenged alike, covers human history from prehistoric times, when our earliest ancestors were learning to communicate with grunts, right through to the issues of the latter 20th century: gay rights, Arab-Israeli conflicts, and health and fitness. Revised and updated several times since 1921, van Loon's inviting classic is filled with stories (and witty parenthetical asides) that bring history alive. His pen-and-ink illustrations, maps, and animated chronology contribute to the cozy, round the fireplace aspect of the book. (Ages 12 and older) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:53 -0400)

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The classic history of all ages, for all ages, updated in a new version for the twenty-first century.

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