Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Book Review: The Complete Idiot's Guide to World History by Timothy C. Hall

ISBN: 1592577121
Published: March 4th, 2008
Publisher: Alpha
Read from August 8th to 16th, 2012
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Don't know much about history? 
Which societies are the most important? Which periods of time saw the most change? How have cultures differed and remained the same across this vast time and space? This guide gives readers the whole world, and then some! Including key ideas as well as lesser- known facts, salient quotes, and crucial terms defined, it prepares readers not only to excel in exams but to become 21st century citizens of the world.

Overall I really liked this book.  The problem is I found at least one mistake, and it left me worrying that there were even more that I didn't catch.  At one point in the book (I'd give a page number, but I left the book at home when I came to college), the author talks about a French colony on the island of Cuba.  He's obviously referring to Haiti and means the island Hispaniola because I think most people could tell you that Cuba was a Spanish colony.  And Cuba and Haiti are not on the same island.  Haiti and the Dominican Republic (which was a Spanish colony) share the island of Hispaniola.  It isn't that big of a deal I guess, but I don't know how that mistake was made...  That's not an easy typo to make, and a historian should know the difference between Haiti and Cuba.  It's a mistake that definitely should have been caught during editing.

Other than that I didn't see any mistakes though, so I can't tell you if there are more than that in the book.  It does provide a good summary of world history if you're looking for that.  I can't say I learned anything new, since I'd already learned absolutely everything in the book during AP world history in high school.  In fact, this book reminded me of our AP world history textbook except more brief and written in a way that was much easier and less boring to read.  I definitely recommend checking it out if you want to read about world history, but I'd be wary of trusting some stuff after I found that one mistake.

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