The Penguin Atlas of World History: Volume 1: From Prehistory to the Eve of the French Revolution (Penguin Reference Books)
This wide-ranging, chronological summary of the main cultural, scientific, religious, and political events from the beginning of world history to the eve of the French Revolution is accompanied by detailed maps that clarify complex historical situations and make this an essential reference book for students and for the home.
I Rate and Compare World History Atlas Books
By J. Robinson - December 16, 2005
As a reader I like to have quick reference books at my finger tips including a new version of the Oxford English Dictionary about 3500 pages long - that I use almost daily. So I decided to add a "history atlas". In the process of doing my research I read the other amazon.com reviewers and then made three trips to two large book stores to actually look at the books and get a better feel for which was the best. I ended up buying the Oxford Atlas of World History. Here are my picks and rankings.
Listed by My ranking, #1 is the best, #2 is a creative alternative but no substitute.
1. Atlas of World History, Oxford University Press 2002, 368 pages, $57.80, 13.5" x 10.3" x 1.62" ranked 46,632 on Amazon.com. Hands down winner - professional - good text descriptions, outstanding maps and drawings, covers most things from the cave man forward. Negatives: Big and heavy. If you want to save a few dollars buy the "concise" version.
Note the small size of this atlas (7"x4.5"), and you'll understand the low cost. Therein lie many compromises. This atlas does continue a lot of useful information, but it often fails as a self-contained atlas. The biggest problem is the maps themselves, which are quite "pixilated"; not sure if that's because of the way they were drawn, or something to do with the printing process. But the final effect is one that makes many of the maps difficult to use; I kept having to pull out a larger map or atlas to understand where it was that I was looking at on the Penguin map. I found the complete loss of artistic quality more troublesome than the actual loss in content. I learned using this atlas, but did not enjoy the experience.
The atlas will surely fail to satisfy anyone that loves maps and higher quality atlases. We have to suppose this is an atlas meant for students, and for that purpose, it likely is a useful resource at a reasonable price.
Pound for pound the best there is...no contest
By Jacques Talbot - January 6, 2010
I have loved maps and history for longer than I care to admit and I was fortunate enough to have a father who shared these interests and provided a fertile and far-ranging "garden" of books for my edification and enjoyment growing up. One of my favorites was this book. The story skips ahead many years--I decided to look for this book, which had been out of print or at least unavailable for a long time. I found it here on Amazon and ordered it, along with another larger highly touted atlas from another publisher (rated #1 by another reviewer). Much to my delight and surprise, the Penguin atlas has aged quite well (to be expected given the period covered). Its strength lies in the abundance and thoroughness of the map coverage--where other atlases give one map, this one often gives three or more--and in the "extracurricular" material such as diagrams illustrating governmental organization. Incidentally, I was sorely disappointed in the other atlas, which cost far more and sported... read more
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