Synopses & Reviews
The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon was the first book to be awarded the Newbery Medal for an outstanding contribution to children's literature. Written for his grandchildren, The Story of Mankind intermingles personal anecdotes with the history of Western civilization, covering the development of writing, art, and architecture, the rise of major religions, and the formation of the modern nation-state. Van Loon explains that he selected what to and what not to include by asking the question: Did the person or event in question perform an act without which the entire history of civilization would have been different? Well written, informative, and vastly entreating.