Oldschool kids' history.
October 8, 2009 7:34 AM Subscribe
Long-lost childhood books: a history book printed after one of the World Wars. I don't know the title or author, but I'll tell you everything I remember. Hivemind, please help me find it!
posted by cmyk to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The book was six or eight inches tall, about two inches thick. It was a red canvas hardcover. It probably had a dustjacket originally, but mine had long since lost that. I think the page edges were also dyed red, but I'm not sure. No bookmark-ribbon, that I recall.
It was a Eurocentric and kid-friendly view of world history, starting with cavemen and going all the way up to one, if not both, of the World Wars. It spent time in the Fertile Crescent, went through Greece and Rome, Dark Ages, Renaissance, discovery of the Americas, the Hundred Years' War, all of that. It wasn't a textbook, it was just a sort of historical... reader, or primer. It was made to be read for fun.
Each chapter covered a specific event, or period in time. They started and/or ended with little rhyming couplets and bits of doggerel that were about the events in the chapter. There were also little black-and-white line drawings (not plates, just printed into the body text) of a man in each chapter. He had a name, I think, and as you read through history, you'd see the little cartoon guy in different clothes, or in important places, things like that.
The last chapter focused on what sorts of things might be found in the future. It was well before the 1950s space obsession, so it wasn't going on about hovercars and jet backpacks.
One distinct thing I do remember: towards the end of the book, when it got into "recent" history, it made mention of some kind of vaccination scar - polio, I think, or maybe smallpox - that, "if you look on your arm, you'll see it." I remember this because I didn't have one, but my grandmother did, just like the book described it.
I realize this is a longshot, but any clues would help. I've been wondering about this for years.