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Eyewitness to History

From prehistoric times through the early years of the 21st century, "Eyewitness to History" brings the world's saga to life through the voices of the great and humble in every era. From the long influence of the Greeks to the surprising lessons of the so-called Dark Ages, and from the dawn of the Renaissance to the birth of the modern era, readers will experience the highs and lows of both ordinary and extraordinary people. The lively narrative mixes contemporary documents, quotations, letters, poetry, art, maps, songs, menus, edicts, and graffiti to create an irresistibly rich reflection of world events. A centerpiece of each chapter is a milestone document (such as "The Code of Hammurabi", Martin Luther's "95 Theses", or "The Declaration of Independence"), examined closely, with commentary on its authors, historical context, and continuing relevance to today's world. The journey begins with Paintings on the Wall, a study of the world's first civilizations. It spans Lies on Parchment: The Classical Age in the Mediterranean; Living Scrolls: The Golden Age of the East; Burning Books: The Postclassical Era; Tales of Chivalry: The High Middle Ages; Secret Signatures: Exploration, Renaissance, and Reformation; The Orators: Enlightenment and Revolution; Promises for a New Century: Industry and Imperialism; Words of Anger, Regret, and Hope: The World at War; and, Divining the Future: The Modern Era. In all ten chapters, the innovative design focuses attention on tangible pieces of history. Readers examine the artifacts, speeches, art, architecture, and documents that bring each era to life, revealing how each piece fits into the chronicle of our times and continues to influence our world today. We discover why the names Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, and Napoleon live on, while others have slipped away into shadowy passages of time. Eye-catching features rate historical personalities, supply key dates, quotations, and cross-cultural connections, and provide a takeaway that summarizes essential knowledge. A detailed backmatter section features National Geographic's list of the 100 most influential voices of history, voted on by a panel of experts. From the most powerful leader to the least-known soldier or laborer or pioneer, every voice in this unique chronicle rings personal and real - reminding us that history is, at its core, a human story that catches us all in its adventure.
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About the Author

PATRICIA S. DANIELS, a freelance writer and editor, has contributed to many books, including the bestselling Almanac of World History and The Encyclopedia of Space for National Geographic.

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