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1001 Days that Shaped the World

1001 Days that Shaped the World is an extraordinary doorstop of a book, that details the history of the world through life-changing events. Going from ancient times to the modern day, it covers wars, natural disasters, significant political moments and achievements. There is the birth of Jesus Christ, the story of Greenland being settled by Erik the Red, and Bologna becoming a student city in 1088, each story with illustrations usually taking a page in the book (some are two to a page). There is Genghis Khan uniting the Mongols in 1206, the execution of William Wallace in London in 1305 making him a Scottish legend, and Michelangelo’s David is displayed on the steps of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence in 1504.

Trading in slaves is given a royal seal of approval by Holy Roman Emperor in 1518, Anne Boleyn is executed in 1536, and Paradise Lost is first published in 1667. Income tax is first introduced after the costly Napoleonic wars in 1799, the first successful English Channel Swim was in 1875, and Van Gogh commits suicide in 1890. In 1893 New Zealand becomes the first country in the world to give women the vote, the Wright brothers take flight in 1903, and Pearl Harbour is bombed by the Japanese in 1941. In more modern times, there is the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, the Berlin Wall coming down in 1989 and Britain voting to leave Brexit in 2016.


Each event in the book is concise but informative, and the photographs and other images complement the text well. The book helps the reader to understand the modern world we live in, by looking at these significant world events. There are plenty of depressing events that are featured, but thankfully also some extraordinary, positive events as well. An excellent, well-researched reference book, first published in 2008, and now updated ten years later.


Reviewer: Karen McMillan

Murdoch Books, RRP $45.00

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