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The Infographic History of the World

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  275 ratings  ·  42 reviews
The History of the World, but not as you know it.

A new type of history is here – all 13.8 billion years of it, exploded into a visually jaw-dropping feast of facts, trends and timelines that tell you everything you’d ever want to know about the history of the world.

From the primordial soup to the technological revolution of the 21st century, interesting stuff has been goin
Hardcover, 217 pages
Published June 20th 2013 by Harper Collins
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very cool book. It is the history of the world as told in infographics. Using the power of graphs and charts all stylized to represent forms is an expression of history that I have not often run across.
Full of funny and interesting information-it is a joy to read and see. Everything from the development of the earth, the cosmos, humanity itself, the rise of civilization, etc.

All of it is here and broken into very interesting sections and the author has funny non-technical descriptions
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, 2014

The objectives of D'Efilippo and Ball in writing The Infographic History of the World were to use advanced techniques of graphical data to succinctly summarise and present the entire history of the world. Just a tad ambitious.

The book is certainly a graphical feast, but I think in the end it becomes self-defeating. Towards the end I just wanted to scan the text to pick up the cogent facts and move on; not at all what the authors had in mind, I'm sure. The complexity of some of the diagrams is be
Feb 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Some reviewers are criticising this book for not being enlightening.
I believe the authors wanted to present the data in interesting ways and crunch the numbers in order to leave readers to draw their own conclusions. Yes, the commentary is not strictly academic, but that makes this coffee table read enjoyable and fun. Boo, hiss to the haters.
Nov 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
A very big disappointment. I'd bought the book on the strength of good reviews, but honestly the best thing about it is that it feels nice, like a coffee table ornament.

... and one of the best clues to a coffee table book is when the publishers / authors tell you that you don't need to start at the beginning, but can dip in anywhere - fine perhaps for an album of landscape photos, but the authors are referring to a book they call a "History" - which, if not linear, certainly has progression. I s
Daniel Walker
Jan 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. Do you know how long a Light Year is?

Imagine flying all the way around the world, approximately 40,000 km. Now imagine repeating this 80 times over. That's a pretty long way, right? Now imagine repeating this feat every single day for 8,079 years. At the end of that time you'll have travelled one light year!
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
If you love data and if you love graphs, then this is the book for you! I do love these things so I found this so enjoyable! It's very England centric as a heads up, and if you're looking for a lot of Canadian data, it isn't there.

Very fun to read!
Helena Pilih
May 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this a lot up until the last section (modern world).
Oct 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
There was a definite emphasis on the UK in this book. It sounds like a book about the world, but there were several pages that just covered statistics of the UK like what drugs people have tried, which books are bestsellers, and the changing ethnicity of the region. I just felt like the title was a bit misleading and those pages should have reflected global numbers instead.

The writing voice was also a little weird and I wish the authors hadn't tried to be funny because it didn't really work.
Sarah -  All The Book Blog Names Are Taken
Really interesting way to visually represent the history of our world. Easy read, as naturally the graphics are the focal point. I especially found the representations of the wars and soldiers killed interesting, as we in the western world have been trained for years to think of WWI and WWII as the deadliest in human history.

This would be a great way to help students, perhaps middle school age and up, understand some of these huge concepts - such as how big the universe really is.
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a great Christmas gift this would make! Often when books are very visual I scan the photos or art and skip the text, but this text is so well-written and funny, I am reading front cover to back.
Shallowreader VaVeros
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed dipping in and out of this history book. Infographics demonstrating different periods of world history and often, through the use of graphics, comparing modern times with ancient times through graphical representation of statistics. Highly rec!
B. Zucker
Oct 30, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book changed my opinion on infographics. I used to like infographics. Now I realize I only like *good* infographics. So many of the graphics in this book obscure, rather than clarify, their subject. In many cases, a simple pie chart, bar graph, scaled timeline, or even a table of numbers would be much easier to understand than what this book presents.

This book does have some pretty colors, after the first 40 pages, which are in black and white. It also has some semi-witty commentary and a f
Jan 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: history, world
I wanted something outside my normal scope of reading material, and this definitely qualified. It was rather entertaining and creative. Definitely some of the infographics worked better than others, but some of them were quite good. It felt like it took a long time to get through the speculative "ancient earth and early man" sections: that covers like half of the book and since so much of it is guesswork I was not very interested in that. Guesstimates plucked out of thin air don't lend themselve ...more
Charity U
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Calling all my non-fiction loving friends! Do you occasionally get side-tracked on Pinterest or in articles by infographics? Do you love their clean clear presentation of information? If you answered "yes" to either of those questions, you need to get your hands on this book. Once you pick it up, it's impossible to put down - and each page is so packed with information that one can spend immense amounts of time on them with ease. You'll learn something new with every perusal. My only gripe would ...more
Aug 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: library
Very biased book! This infographic history book has an extremely obvious left-wing political slant. I don't get involved in political issues - but it's pretty obvious there's an agenda in this book. There's also a snarkyness toward religious belief. This isn't particularly surprising as James Ball works at the Guardian so you know he's not objective (which is further confirmed when you browse his articles!). It's hard to say this book presents data objectively. A few infographics were kind of in ...more
Nico Janow
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
It was surprisingly hard to stop reading once I got started. However, the authors went a bit too far in trying to be cute or artistic with the display of information, getting in the way of getting the information across. Several infographics, such as the one for art in the form of Mona Lisa, I didn't even bother making the effort to figure out. I think some of those would be good examples of bad infographics. I would have preferred more interesting facts, less 'showing off their artistic skills' ...more
spike marlin
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting and its approach to history and human geography is both fascinating and unique. If you are a person who likes graphs and maps and information presented other then the written word this book is for you. It is definitely a book that you need to take in small chunks, for despite trying to render teams of data into simple graphics there is still a lot of information to look at.
Anton Iokov
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
An outstanding book on how not to do data visualization.

Pretty pictures that either make no sense or are almost impossible to decode. Color encoding with shades of red, arbitrary axis, size represented as a bunch of icons and much more. Almost every chart in this book have a legend and is useless without it.

Somebody should make a dataviz course redesigning this 100+ charts.

P.S. You won't learn much history from the book too.
Jim Jawitz
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
A good idea but they seemed to have just quickly made graphics to populate their idea, rather than presenting a collection of impressive graphics. Thus many are pedestrian illustrations of basic information. Basic data does not need sophisticated graphics and there are few graphics here that succeed in showing something complex in a simple way.
Kristina Moses
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: educational, history
I really loved the entertaining writing style of the book. The infographics were beautiful too and I loved how the style of each was related to what the graphic was about (like bicycle wheels for Olympic medals). My one complaint was that the info on some of the graphics is too tiny to see in detail. You can only get an overview of the data.
Allan Aksiim
Feb 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Pretty OK light reading. It is one of those books that can be skimmed by topic of interest. The visuals were mostly good, companion text less so (some cringy jokes). I liked the fact that the graphics evolved throughout the book (from black and white to color) with the quality of the pages also changing.
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
100+ clever ways to present sometimes highly complex data. Edward Tufte would highly approve. Of course, not all data presented is of equal importance or relevance. Nevertheless, a beautifully presented book, edited with a keen eye for detail and a love for statistics.
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
inspiring. history until 1900 brilliant. "modern times" did not keep up the brilliance, but still was inspiring ...more
Lucy  Green
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Not as interesting as I was hoping, but still beautiful graphics.
May 05, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don’t think good infographics require so much accompanying text to help you figure out what is going on in the graphic.
Alina Utrata
Aug 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reccomendations
An unparalleled and fascinating experiment in data visualization, "The Infographic History of the World" displays some fascinating trends in history in beautiful graphs. A perfect coffee table book — I mean, if you want your guests to ignore you for twenty minutes as they flip through this book, fascinated by the pretty pictures explaining history. ...more
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I mostly flipped through this book, and read some of the histories and viewed the graphics. It's a great book to learn about our world through images. If there is a student who learns more by vision, I would highly suggest this. And the author does a great job by keeping it light, entertaining, and interesting! ...more
Basil Omasil
Apr 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely book to page through. The history lessons remind me the way my Dad taught me about the world. The infographics make understanding scale, of time, of size, of peoples, of movements, graspable.

This will be my go-to gift for 8-13 year olds.
Margaret Sankey
Apr 16, 2014 rated it liked it
These might be fun to use for analysis in classes--creative and beautiful visual representations of major changes in the history of the world, from trees of language families to increased production in the industrial revolution.
Steve Jones
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
An excellent book for teachers to get their students to present their work in a unique way. I used this for statistics lessons and students' projects. Great for people who think visually. Has lots of interesting information and statistics presented in various and innovative ways. ...more
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