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The Cartoon History of the Universe III: From the Rise of Arabia to the Renaissance
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The Cartoon History of the Universe III: From the Rise of Arabia to the Renaissance (Cartoon History of the Universe book III; vol. 14-19)

4.27 of 5 stars 4.27  ·  rating details  ·  893 ratings  ·  56 reviews
An irreverent survey in comics spanning world history from the birth of Islam to the Byzantine Empire to the Italian Renaissance.

Larry Gonick's celebrated series The Cartoon History of the Universe is a unique fusion of world history and the comics medium, a work of serious scholarship and a masterpiece of popular literature. Praised by historians as a narrative and inter

Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 17th 2002 by W. W. Norton & Company
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The Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanThe Complete Persepolis by Marjane SatrapiHark! A Vagrant by Kate BeatonPride of Baghdad by Brian K. VaughanMaus, I by Art Spiegelman
History through graphic novels
62nd out of 271 books — 185 voters
The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody by Will Cuppy1066 and All That by W.C. Sellar1000 Years of Annoying the French by Stephen ClarkeThe Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah VowellCartoon History of the Universe I, Vol. 1-7 by Larry Gonick
Historical Humor
13th out of 55 books — 29 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,381)
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Pandu K. Utomo
Nov 02, 2007 Pandu K. Utomo rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: histories
Dengan empat bintang ini maka lengkap sudah aku memberi rating pada 3 jilid Kartun Riwayat Peradaban. Ketiga jilid buku ini memang termasuk koleksi favoritku. Buku-buku yang berharga dan patut dibaca berulang-ulang.

Jilid ketiga ini, kelanjutan dari dua jilid sebelumnya, menurutku yang paling menarik. Dari lahirnya Islam & bangkitnya Arab, peradaban Afrika dan Asia Tengah, kemunduran Eropa, perang salib, dan bangkitnya Eropa melalui Renaisans, kurang lebih memakan waktu 1000 tahun. Masa yang
Sep 15, 2007 Joe rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Historians
Recommended by Goodreader and closet Freemason Megan K., this third installment of Larry Gonick's brilliant series chiefly concerns the Middle Ages, albeit a Middle Ages seldom visited. While giving the Crusades its proper due, Gonick sheds fascinating light on the rise of Islam, (Sunnis, Shia, and Beyond!), and the rarely taught sub-Saharan African civilizations. Only the most hard-hearted cultural Philistine would not be gripped by this hilarious, illuminating, and at times shocking survey of ...more
Anson Bridges
The Cartoon History of the Universe III by Larry Gonick is a book doing pretty much what it says in the title; explaining history in the form of comics.
Since it is a nonfiction book, the characters are all real, except for the narrator guy with crazy hair, who adds a little more interesting elements to the story. The there is no one plot and conflict, as it covers many parts of history from the rise of Arabia to the holy wars.
As for the characters, the main character had no conflicts, he was
What I said about the past two volumes also holds true for this one.

This volume covers a period of history (from the rise of Islam to the European renaissance) which I wasn't familiar with.

I was tempted to dock one star for Gonick's refusal to draw Mohammed. I relented. Given that there exist sufficiently many people in the world who desire to kill him if he did so, and some of whom are capable of and willing to act on this desire, thus posing a risk to his continued existence if he did so, I ca
Hard to fit all that history into one or a few sittings, but the author is great about offering references within the text so you can go back to page (insert number here) so you can refresh. Although some of the material is now outdated (no pun intended), it's still fairly accurate, and the bits that are no longer so might go unnoticed by the casual reader who hasn't been following PBS or academic journal articles. After stumbling across this volume, I am now actively seeking the preceding two a ...more
Once again, Larry Gonick combines a pretty awesome amalgam of historical scholarship - both the big picture and some hilarious little details - with great pictographical storytelling. This feels fairly comprehensive, although it's more of a Cook's Tour of things going on in the Old World between around 400 and around 1500, by the necessities of space. Gonick finds space to talk about the kingdoms of Nothern and Western africa, which is more than most of the world history courses I had ever got r ...more
Euisry Noor
Jul 23, 2008 Euisry Noor rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Larry Gonick emang layak diacungi jempol. Di tangan kartunis nyentrik yang satu ini, sejarah disulap menjadi komik lucu yang tidak membosankan. Kita bisa membaca sejarah dengan enjoy lewat Kartun Riwayat Peradabannya ini. Di jilid 3 ini diceritakan mulai dari bangkitnya bangsa Arab hingga masa renaissance di Eropa. Lumayan, mencoba mereview kembali apa yang didapat saat sekolah dalam pelajaran SKI (Sejarah Kebudayaan Islam). Tapi... cara tutur Gonick tentu saja sangat lain. Salah satu yang menar ...more
Paul Schulzetenberg
Gonick has achieved something special with this book. He's managed to make history accessible without trivializing it. Gonick has to walk a fine line with comics, as of course it will be that much easier to dismiss the book as so much fluff. Remarkably, he succeeds. The book admirably takes advantage of comics' ability to succinctly communicate, but still avoiding flat characterizations or stale style.

What's even more admirable is how Gonick manages to combine an out-of-vogue genre (Westernized
I love the Cartoon History from when I got the first volume for Christmas as a kid and ignored all my family until I finished it that night.

Volume 3 is centered around the Dark and Middle Ages for those of us who got a classical Euro-centric education. All the gaps that perplexed me as a kid are here (where did the Mongols come from - they just sprouted from the steppes of Asia like grass?, If China had all these cool inventions first how come they're not in charge by now? Why did the Spanish fi
When this book came out, I was so surprised to see it. Gonick continued his review of history, picking up with the Byzantines, but more importantly, covering the rise of Islam, and early Arabic and African histories. Like Vol. II, this book gave me a good basic understanding at the events that shaped Islamic consciousness, and as the blurbs on the outside remind you, how those events reverberate today. More importantly, Gonick contrasts these histories with how my own, Western Civ background, in ...more
Daniel Deller
The author does a great job of picking out good anecdotal details, and illustrating them in a funny way. Also, he has a view of history which is about gradual development and the actions of individuals having consequence, and is able to demonstrate this with many examples. Excellent. Does not get 5 stars, because I am not entirely sure it is all factual. He makes a statement about the Korean origins of the Japanese imperial line which I found suspect, reading like something that a chauvinist Kor ...more
Indah Threez Lestari
Setali tiga uang dengan Jilid I dan II-nya. I love it!

Memang dalam sejarah peradaban Islam, ada beberapa penuturan Larry Gonnick yang membuat teman2 yang fanatik jadi marah. But again, open your mind-lah. Ini cuma sejarah dari sudut pandang Larry Gonnick.

Lagipula, overall Gonnick menghormati Islam, misalnya dengan tidak menggambarkan sosok Rasulullah SAW, meskipun dia ngedumel juga sih, karena dilarang gambar orang di komik. Gonnick juga cukup hati-hati dan netral dalam meriwayatkan kehidupan Ra
The Cartoon History of the Universe, III: From the Rise of Arabia to the Renaissance by Larry Gonick continues with our cute little professor and his time machine, which runs on old library books, and takes us back to Mecca in the “year of the elephant.” The year that the Christian general's elephant fell to its knees rather than lead the charge into Mecca, and fled with its masters, was the year that the prophet Muhammad was born. Following the Mongols, Chinese, Turks, Muslim, Christian and oth ...more
See my review of Part 1. This one's a bit more fragmented, but so was history at that point.

The only real beef I have is that, after poking fun at every conceivable part of Greco-Roman paganism, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Confucianism, etc. Gonick refuses to draw Muhammad. I understand the need for cultural sensitivity, but we should be on a level playing field here. I doubt Christians or Jews would have been fond of his portrayals of their prophets and adherents, and at
This volume in the series is particularly good in that it gives me, the lazy Western comic book reader, a feel for the significance of Islamic culture in history. Kurt Vonnegut pointed out that we have them to thank for our modern digits 1 through 9 ("try doing algebra with roman numerals"), and Gonick points out that we owe them a lot more than that. Namely, the preservation of Philosophy, Mathematics and Architecture (all CAPS) that our ignorant white asses were on the verge of forgetting for ...more
Adih Respati
The comic almost-version of Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. MIT's Mathematican Gonick tells all: From Big Bang, evolution, religion, modern civilization. For newbies, this is introduction. Those familiar with the subjects will find Gonick's sense of humor is deeply symbollic and accurate.

If you notice, no english edition of this book available at any local bookstore. That said something about Gramedia's distribution policy.
Dion Yulianto
Belajar sejarah dengan cara yang sama sekali baru, melalui komik dan anekdot-anekdot lucu. Sayangnya, bias penulis sebagai bangsa Barat masih terasa kental sekali dalam buku ini walaupun unsur objektivitas tetap coba dipertahankan. Sebagaimana kata pepatah, "Sejarah dituliskan oleh pihak yang menang" ... tapi, bukunya benar2 lucu dan menyenangkan. balajar riwayat sejarah belum pernah seasyik membaca buku ini!
Nov 11, 2007 Laksmi rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: history lover, secular
larry gonick is kinda genious i think!

not because he graduated from Harvard with summa cum laude or got special prize from phi beta kappa or Gain his Phd in mathematics but then work as a comic writer ehmm...not just because of that, but because he can made comic that compile all history around the world with cynical and sceptical style but funny and fun to read.

Jim Berkin
Gonick's world history via comics remains the definitive textbook on the subject. This third volume covers the influence of the Byzantines on Medieval Europe & the development of the Islamic world better than any history text I've seen, and it (and its companion volumes) are indispensable for any middle/high school history class.
Nathan Carter
as with the cartoon history of the universe I & II, this is an amazing history book, straight forward, thoughtful, and (thank god) unlike the history books used to "educate" me in school. doesn't seem like propaganda like all the rest of the history books! actually informative! not christian centric/biased!
This book was very entertaining and engaging. I learned quite a bit of history from this book. Though it does not go into too much detail it is otherwise very thorough for a history comic book. It provides lots of sources for those who would like to go more into depth with the history covered in this book.
I think this is the best book from the trilogy of Cartoon History of the Universe.
Not only that Gonick has told cool stories about the begining of Islam, but also it has built a different opinion on Black people from Africa.
It also says about lots of shocking facts about world religions.
Sep 25, 2007 Agus rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ringan
di buku ini adalah puncak kelucuan dari si larry, pertanyaan-pertanyaan mendasar yang lucu dan berisi. tapi tentunya jangan terlalu diambil serius, cuman lihat aja sebagai sesuatu yg layak ditertawakan.
di buku ini masih banyak terjadi pembantain tapi lebih sedikit dibandingkan yang kedua.
dari semua bacaan tentang islam, dari paling konservatif, liberal sampai yg materialis-dialektik, cuma larry gonick yang bisa menceritakan dengan langsung menukik ke jantung persoalan: bahwa dakwah muhammad adalah penuh dengan taktik-taktik politik. menceritakannya jujur apa adanya.
This guy really does seem very knowledgable and thorough. But there's so much crammed into so few pages, it's hard to keep track. Certainly oversimplifies everything, but does leave a reasonable flavor without too much editorializing (at least as far as I can tell).
Masterpiece! Brilliant, funny, informative. If it were up to me, every high school student in the country would read all of these. A must read for everyone! I'm moving on to his 'Cartoon History of the Modern World' and 'Cartoon History of the United States' next.
Harpreet Dhariwal
Must Read for all ages.. Amazing Combo of knowledge and humor.
Bangkitnya bangsa arab! mungkin lebih tepatnya bangkitnya kaum muslimin. Walaupun sudah berkali-kali diceritakan oleh mereka, tetap saja cerita versi buku ini yang paling seru sekaligus kocak. Thank Larry Gonick
I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! It makes history fun. Well, history was fun anyways, but this one covers a huge amount in surprising depth (somewhat random depth, but it does a really superb job) and is funny too.
Stacy Crandall
Nov 12, 2011 Stacy Crandall rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Young Adults, Historians
Recommended to Stacy by: Steven M. Crandall
I absolutely loved this comical version of our world history. The author's ability to mix sarcasm and knowledge from a different perspective made this an easy to read and informative selection.
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Larry Gonick (born 1946) is a cartoonist best known for The Cartoon History of the Universe, a history of the world in comic book form, which he has been publishing in installments since 1977. He has also written The Cartoon History of the United States, and he has adapted the format for a series of co-written guidebooks on other subjects, beginning with The Cartoon Guide to Genetics in 1983. The ...more
More about Larry Gonick...
Cartoon History of the Universe I, Vol. 1-7: From the Big Bang to Alexander the Great Cartoon History of the Universe II, Vol. 8-13: From the Springtime of China to the Fall of Rome The Cartoon History of the Modern World Part 1: From Columbus to the U.S. Constitution The Cartoon Guide to Statistics Cartoon History of the United States

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“(First Barbarian): whats the difference between a lord and a barbarian?
(second Barbarian): As little as a week!”
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