I am a history nerd – if you hadn’t already figured that out. When I was offered Atlas of Empires by Peter Davidson for review from the publisher I was happy as a clam. I accepted the book at no charge and my honest review is below.
About Atlas of Empires: The World’s Civilizations from Ancient Times to Today:
Atlas of Empires tells the story of how and why the great empires of history came into being, operated and ultimately declined, and discusses the future of the empire in today’s globalized world. Featuring 60 beautiful and detailed maps of the empires’ territories at different stages of their existence and organized thematically to reflect the different driving forces behind empires throughout history (such as faith, nomadic culture, nationhood and capitalism), each section discusses the rise and fall of the empires that existed in a region: their government and society, wealth and technology, war and military force, and religious beliefs. From the earliest empires of the Sumerians and the Pharaohs to the modern empires of the USSR and the European Union, this is a story that reveals how empires are created and organized, how later empires resolve the problems of governance faced by earlier empires, and how the political and cultural legacies of ancient empires are still felt today.
About the Author:
Peter Davidson is a freelance writer and has been, among other things, a restorer of antiquities from around the world, a writer and director of documentaries on World War II and related subjects for the History Channel, and a tutor on the Politics, Philosophy and History degree at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the co-author of Milestones of Civilization.
My degree is in history – European History – but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a deep and abiding love of that which came before. Researching the rise, and fall of the Great Empires through time has a lot to teach us if we would only bother to learn. This book is not the type of book you just sit down and read as you would a novel or biography. At least I didn’t. I just kept it on my reading table and I’d pick it up, choose an era and get myself lost in the history. It is richly illustrated and just deep enough to stir the interest for deeper reading if an empire should intrigue.
As it is a book that covers so much you can’t expect a deep dive on each period in history but the book offers the most import aspects of the Empire’s timeline. It provides what you need to know so that if you want to learn more you now have a grounding and an excellent starting point for moving forward. I truly found it to be very well written and I’m glad to have it.