Lloyd, Christopher. Absolutely Everything! A History of Earth, Dinosaurs, Rulers, Robots, and Other Things Too Numerous to Mention. What on Earth Books, 10/2018, 352p. $21.99. 978-1-99980028-3-7.
In this charming look at history, science, and discoveries since the Big Bang to the iPhone, Lloyd offers an engaging narrative that will have wide appeal. The first half covers how Earth and its inhabitants evolved, and ancient history, while the last half discusses life from Medieval times to the present.
Overall, the focus is more on Europe, although the other continents and cultures are talked about, but often in how Europe interacted with that culture – the passages on Africa are a good example. But compared with most history textbooks, this does include more contributions from Asia and pre-European Americas, which is refreshing.
Nothing is very detailed, and often key historical figures are not included. For example, Queen Victoria is not mentioned but there is two pages on William Wilberforce (the same amount as for Abe Lincoln). The focus is more on concepts, and how science and invention and historic events interacted and impacted each other.
The book features illustrations on every page – often replications of artwork from the time, or photos of artifacts, which gives this a nice “visit to a museum” feeling; there are also maps which are quite helpful. A glossary, index, and quotation sources are featured at the end of the book. A great book to recommend for home use as well as for libraries.