The Human Story by James C. Davis
Our History, From the Stone Age to Today

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Synopsis

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."

 

About James C. Davis

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James C. Davis taught history at the University of Pennsylvania for thirty-four years. He is the author of four other books, dealing with Venice, the early history of European nations, and the lives of peasants and blue-collar workers.
 
Published October 13, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 480 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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He strives mightily to appear impartial regarding the claims of various religions, although he does not call Joseph the father of Jesus.

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The history of the human race in less than 500 pages - an impressive achievement or a human folly? Kevin Holtsberry explores...

May 20 2005 | Read Full Review of The Human Story: Our History,...

BC Books

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If you think history has to be dry, and full of dates and overwhelming detail, this book could change your mind.

May 20 2005 | Read Full Review of The Human Story: Our History,...

BC Books

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Davis's The Human Story I was fascinated: the history of the world in less than 500 pages?!

May 20 2005 | Read Full Review of The Human Story: Our History,...

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