The Human Story: Our History, From the Stone Age to Today
Has there ever been a history of the world as readable as this?
In The Human Story, James C. Davis takes us on a journey to ancient times, telling how peoples of the world settled down and founded cities, conquered neighbors, and established religions, and continues over the course of history, when they fought two nearly global wars and journeyed into space.
Davis's account is swift and clear, never dull or dry. He lightens it with pungent anecdotes and witty quotes. Although this compact volume may not be hard to pick up, it's definitely hard to put down.
For example, on the death of Alexander the Great, who in a decade had never lost a single battle, and who had staked out an empire that spanned the entire Near East and Egypt, Davis writes: "When they heard how ill he was, the king's devoted troops insisted on seeing him. He couldn't speak, but as his soldiers -- every one -- filed by in silence, Alexander's eyes uttered his farewells. He died in June 323 B.C., at the ripe old age of thirty-two."
In similar fashion Davis recounts Russia's triumph in the space race as it happened on an autumn night in 1957: "A bugle sounded, flames erupted, and with a roar like rolling thunder, Russia's rocket lifted off. It bore aloft the earth's first artificial satellite, a shiny sphere the size of a basketball. Its name was Sputnik, meaning 'companion' or 'fellow traveler' (through space). The watchers shouted, 'Off. She's off. Our baby's off!' Some danced; others kissed and waved their arms."
Though we live in an age of many doubts, James C. Davis thinks we humans are advancing. As The Human Story ends, he concludes, "The world's still cruel; that's understood, / But once was worse. So far so good."
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The human story: our history, from the Stone Age to todayUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Davis (history, emeritus, Univ. of Pennsylvania) has performed a small miracle by writing a history of humanity in under 500 pages, beginning with Homo erectus and continuing up to the current war in ... Read full review
In Chapter 10, describing the invasion of Spain and other European countries to Latin America, James C Davis describes in detail the devastating effects of smallpox (brought by the Europeans) on the indigenous population. He states that the smallpox bacterium killed many natives. Smallpox is not a disease caused by a bacterium, but by a virus!!! The difference is huge and it has many historical implications, since viruses can't be eradicated using antibiotics. When you write a book you must be accurate...
We multiply and shrink the earth
We wage a war to end war
A utopia becomes a nightmare
A Leader tries to shape a master race
20 We wage a wider crueler war
The Asian giants try to feed their poor
Some of us do well
We walk along the brink
We find each other
10 The New World falls to the Old one
n We suffer famine war and plague
We discover who we are and where we live
Here and there the people rule
We make more and live better
The richer countries grab the poorer
We do the unbelievable
So Far So Good