rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow. Not for dumb kids. This is one of those books that exposed me to a flood of history, ideas, cultures, facts, and theories that I had never before managed to encounter. It filled in lots of gaps I knew I had along the way, like how New York changed hands from being Dutch to being English, or how Phoenician language became Punic and the language of the Carthiginians. It is a remarkable book in the same way that Guns, Germs and Steel or A Short History of Nearly Everything are remarkable - on nearly every page you will have learned something that will fascinate you.
If you're in the right mood, that is. This book took me nearly a year of stops and starts to get through. It can be, let's say, a little dry. But it's still the kind of book I want to make other people read just so I can have the pleasure of discussing it with them. But it is NOT an undertaking for the faint of heart or short of attention span. Anyone up to the challenge?
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