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"Follow the fascinating threads of human history in this monumental volume."
Book Review in Culture Buzz, October 7, 2021

UVHOW cover.jpg
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ National Geographic (October 19, 2021)

  • Language ‏ : ‎ English

  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 656 pages

  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1426221894

  • Price: $45

In the course of our lives, there are special books which vividly etch themselves into minds, stimulating our curiosity to pursue a path of inquisitive gratification. These weren’t the spare, boldly illustrated children’s books that were the building blocks of our nascent reading life. These books were memorable anchors that seemed massive in size, content and impact. They were gateways into other times, worlds and experiences, leaving us in awe and wonder as we became hooked on lifelong learning.


Jean-Pierre Isbouts’ Ultimate Visual History of the World: The Story of Humankind from Prehistory to Modern Times (National Geographic) is such a book; dynamic, richly illustrated and meticulously researched. It is a new epic, capturing its expansive subject matter with a special millennial-covering panache while delivering one of the most complete and comprehensive gateways into historical appreciation to be written.


Such books have captivated our attention, from the earliest memories of thoughtfully absorbing every colorful illustration, through the beginnings of understanding the words, to the time when a barrier is broached and we completely dive in for the worlds being offered. We may not realize this at first, because these books subtly spin a positive, seductive spell on our souls, encouraging our growing sense of cultural adventurism.


Through his gift of historical storytelling, Isbouts lets the reader experience a hunt with prehistoric man, travel the ancient world along trade routes, and experience and better understand the evolution of humankind. Bygone cities, civilizations and peoples are resurrected through his expressive sharing of their stories. This book offers a tantalizing immersion into times and worlds that have passed, while helping us understand the cultural foundations that contributed to our modern world.


Isbouts’ National Geographic Ultimate Visual History of the World adds an ‘instant classic’ to this pantheon of special, formative books. He is a master spell-weaver, steeped with the reality that historical truth is greater than fiction. His descriptive narrative explodes into a series of eye-catching snapshots through the masterful blending of imagery, ranging from photographs of locations and artifacts to paintings from bygone masters to intricate etchings to detailed maps. This alluring work will draw countless fans deeper into exploring history, and discovering its relevance in their own lives.

John Busbee, Culture Buzz

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