Featuring 60 beautiful and detailed maps, Atlas of Empires tells the story of how and why the great empires of history came into being, operated, and ultimately declined, and discusses the future of the empire in today's globalized world.
I have recently tucked into my travel-slash-history book library the 240-page "Atlas of Empires: The World's Civilizations from Ancient Times to Today" and have already referred to it regarding upcoming trips. Author Peter Davidson has credentials that include directing documentaries for the History Channel and teaching history at the University of London. He also is a restorer of antiquities from around the world. "Atlas of Empires" (Fox Chapel Publishing, Mount Joy, Lancaster County) addresses the rise and fall of empires from the Pharaohs and Sumerians to the USSR and the European Union. The text is compelling, but the more than 60 colorful and detailed maps clearly depict the geographic, political, economic and religious impacts on civilizations and communities. —Reading Eagle Newspaper - Charles J. Adams, III
Davidson does a good job of defining and describing key cultural characteristics of each empire and the inherent challenges their leaders faced. He also astutely defines the strengths and weaknesses of each and how these either helped it to achieve greatness or resulted in its ultimate decline and destruction.—Roman Times
My degree is in history – European History – but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a deep and abiding love of that which came before. Researching the rise, and fall of the Great Empires through time has a lot to teach us if we would only bother to learn. This book is not the type of book you just sit down and read as you would a novel or biography. At least I didn’t. I just kept it on my reading table and I’d pick it up, choose an era and get myself lost in the history. It is richly illustrated and just deep enough to stir the interest for deeper reading if an empire should intrigue. As it is a book that covers so much you can’t expect a deep dive on each period in history but the book offers the most import aspects of the Empire’s timeline. It provides what you need to know so that if you want to learn more you now have a grounding and an excellent starting point for moving forward. I truly found it to be very well written and I’m glad to have it. RATING: 5—Broken Teepee History Blog
Essentially covering 4,000 years of world history, this new work by History Channel writer Davidson takes a textbook-like approach, using gorgeous and detailed maps and clearly written text to tell the story of the great empires of world history. Thematically, rather than chronologically, organized, each chapter focuses on the rise and fall of a particular empire by examining the motives for expansion (economic, martial, or evangelical), the resistance or collaboration of the colonized, and the overall international situation at the time. Also discussed are the ways in which the legacy of collapsed empires affects the establishment and governance of subsequent empires, resonating up to the present day. Recommended for all types of libraries.—Michael Tosko
Peter Davidson is a freelance writer and has been, among other things, a restorer of antiquities from around the world, a writer and director of documentaries on World War II and related subjects for the History Channel, and a tutor on the Politics, Philosophy and History degree at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the co-author of Milestones of Civilization.