The Cartoon History of the Universe III by Larry Gonick
From the Rise of Arabia to the Renaissance

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Synopsis

An irreverent survey in comics spanning world history from the birth of Islam to the Byzantine Empire to the Italian Renaissance.

Larry Gonick's celebrated series The Cartoon History of the Universe is a unique fusion of world history and the comics medium, a work of serious scholarship and a masterpiece of popular literature. Praised by historians as a narrative and interpretive tour de force, Gonick's clever illustrations deliver important information with a deceptively light tone, teaching us about the people and events that have shaped our world.

This long-awaited new volume covers the Middle Ages around the globe, including the origin and spread of Islam; West Africa and the cross-Saharan trade; Central Asia and the Byzantine Empire; the European Dark Ages and the Crusades; the Mongol conquests; the Black Death; the Ottoman Empire; the Italian Renaissance; and the rise of Spain, leading up to Columbus's departure for the New World. Highlighting key events and retrieving oft-neglected historical connections, Gonick offers an historical survey that is at once multicultural, humanistic, skeptical, and laugh-out-loud funny.

 

About Larry Gonick

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Larry Gonick has been creating comics that explain history, science, and other big subjects for more than forty years. He wrote his first guide, Blood from a Stone: A Cartoon Guide to Tax Reform, in 1977. He has been a calculus instructor at Harvard (where he earned his BA and MA in mathematics) and a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT, and he is staff cartoonist for Muse magazine.
 
Published October 21, 2002 by W. W. Norton & Company. 300 pages
Genres: History, Comics & Graphic Novels, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Cartoon History of the Universe III

Kirkus Reviews

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While most texts map equations onto lines or curves on a standard x-y axis, Gonick introduces parallel lines with arrows connecting an x value on one line to its f(x) value on the parallel line.

Jan 01 2012 | Read Full Review of The Cartoon History of the Un...

Kirkus Reviews

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Problems of succession lead to lots of lurid anecdotes about perverse and insatiable emperors, violent entertainments, brutal conquests--all of which Gonick records with Mad-like irreverence.

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The Guardian

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(The Byzantines were very fond of eye-gouging, and although he depicts this off-frame, as it were, you do see the odd pair of eyeballs skittering across the picture from time to time.) There are some things that defy the flippant approach, though - the effects of plague, for instance - and Goni...

Feb 22 2003 | Read Full Review of The Cartoon History of the Un...

Publishers Weekly

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Despite the occasional generalization (""Looks matter to everyone, but they matter more to men""), the authors do a good job of conveying lots of information within an inherently limiting format, whether they are detailing methods of contraception, discussing the effect of the media on sex crimes...

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Publishers Weekly

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The final installment of Gonick's deeply funny and impeccably researched series has finally arrived, and like the rest of his Cartoon History series, the book covers a wide range of key and fascinating historical events and topics that have managed to slip through the gaps of common knowledge.

Oct 12 2009 | Read Full Review of The Cartoon History of the Un...

Publishers Weekly

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(In the chapter on the life of Muhammad, for instance, he makes a running joke of keeping the prophet permanently off-panel.) Gonick is fond of wacky little digressions, and the book includes plenty of learned slapstick (one ongoing gag concerns the "amazing amount of eye-gouging" in Byzantine hi...

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