1001 Historic Sites You Must See Before You Die is a giant compilation of photographs and short descriptions of great historic sites around the world. As the title alludes to, the book is close to a thousand pages long, weighs as much as – and sort of looks like – a brick, and was put out in collaboration with UNESCO. I was sent this book to review by its publisher, and I must say that I am happy to have received it. I have no qualms with receiving free books, and 1001 Historic Sites is a great conversational piece and can be easily be browsed through in comfort at brief intervals. It is one fine coffee table book (too bad I do not carry a coffee table with me).
1001 Historic Sites You Must See Before You Die is a comprehensive and sumptuous visual guide, and a one-stop compendium of the historically important must-see sites around the world,” states the opening sentence of the book’s truthful introduction. From here it goes on to include a preface by Koichiro Matsuura, the Director-General of UNESCO, and then gets right into the meat of the book: the historical sites. The books editor, Richard Cavendish writes in the introduction that, “In this book we have picked out 1001 sites that can still be rewardingly visited today where important and fascinating things happened in the past.” That is basically a good summation of the book in total.
[adsense]This book covers historical sites from the prehistoric ruins of Stonehenge and Ankor Wat to the great churches and temples of Medieval Europe; from the Aksum Stelae of Ethiopia to 20th century slave labor camps and world war battle fields; from places of great fame to places that I have never heard of. 1001 Historic Sites is a book that takes as its theme the documentation and portrayal of man’s connection with his landscape, creations, and history: it is a celebration of the human experience of planet earth.
1001 Historic Sites is not a book to be read; rather, it is a book to be browsed and shared. It is structured to make for easy reading that can be done at intervals and commenced from any point between its covers. The descriptions of the historic places are very concise and the photos good and typical. Last night I picked it up to look through with my family, and it served as a good medium by which I could talk about the places in it that I have traveled to. The only problem with the book is that its photographs tend to show the places in a very romantic light, as, if one were to go to almost any of these places, they would find them over run with tourists in cotton spaceship hats, sandals, and khakis. But, in lieu of this, the book’s photographs can be dreamed into as one vicariously travels not only across the world, but also through human history.
1001 Historic Sites You Must See Before You Die a rating of 5/10. I feel that it serves its purpose well and accomplished what it sets out to do. Which is to be an expansive, yet very general and quickly browsable, photographic journey into human history across the world.
I am pleased that this book was sent to me.
For more information on this book please go to www.barronseduc.com
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