Top critical review
What separates BCE and CE? Was there a notable figure born around that time?
Reviewed in the United States on December 25, 2019
The book is classic DK. Lots of great, easy to digest information. Brilliant photographs and illustrations, including many wonderful schematics and cross-sections. However, this book has one puzzling omission. Jesus.
I don't expect a neutral history book to accede to any of the supernatural claims made by Christians, and I'm not writing this review from the position of a Bible thumper, but the historical person of Jesus is pretty important in a secular understanding of world history!
Given the Western timeline is literally predicated on the birth of Jesus, it's bizarre that there's not even a single mention of him by name in the book — though Osiris, Zeus, and Muhammad do merit inclusion in the index.
This book jumps from "A day in the life of a Roman citizen," to Medieval Europe circa 300 CE. Constantine's conversion is noted in a timeline, but there's no explanation for the origins or growth of the Christian sect. Shirley Temple is featured, but the Apostle Paul is nowhere to be found. FWIW, I don't think this is a nefarious plot, the publisher, DK, has many books about Christianity in its catalog which makes this omission even more odd.
Perhaps being a British company, DK assumes a baselines familiarity of knowledge with Christian history, but in a volume where the Hippie movement and energy-efficient housing get prominent placement, there'd be a bit more emphasis on one of history's prime movers.
All that said, this is a handsome book at a fair price.