The Cartoon History of the Universe III by Larry Gonick

The Cartoon History of the Universe III

An irreverent survey in comics spanning world history from the birth of Islam to the Byzantine Empire to the Italian Renaissance. Larry Gonick's celebrated series The Cartoon History of the Universe is a unique fusion of world history and the comics medium, a work of serious scholarship and a masterpiece of popular literature. Praised by historians as a narrative and interpretive tour de force, Gonick's clever illustrations deliver important info...

Details The Cartoon History of the Universe III

TitleThe Cartoon History of the Universe III
Release DateOct 17th, 2002
PublisherW. W. Norton Company
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, Sequential Art, Comics, Graphic Novels, Humor

Reviews The Cartoon History of the Universe III

  • Choonghwan
    One of the most comprehensive and balanced history book I have ever read. History is, more often than not, full of eventualities and incidents in loose and dizzying array. It is driven by fear and lust, envy and pride, ignorance and prejudice; yet often recorded with reason and purpose in mind. Thus it is written and rewritten, remains nostalgic as ever, is open to arguments forever. We live history and our memory survive history.
  • 711Wyatt
    really funny, and educational, but can get boring if you are not a fan of graphic novels.
  • Joe
    Recommended by Goodreader and closet Freemason Megan K., this third installment of Larry Gonick's brilliant series chiefly concerns the Middle Ages, albeit a Middle Ages seldom visited. While giving the Crusades its proper due, Gonick sheds fascinating light on the rise of Islam, (Sunnis, Shia, and Beyond!), and the rarely taught sub-Saharan African civilizations. Only the most hard-hearted cultural Philistine would not be gripped by this hilario...
  • Caden
    Good for anyone who wants a nicer, lighter read than a history book while still getting all the information.
  • Frank Trajan
    Full Review - Cartoon History Gonick’s avatar – a frizzy haired Einstein-esque professor explain the historical narrative while the cartoon panels provide visual representation and humour. The often raunchy and irreverent humour ranges from absurdism to parody, anachronisms and dramatic irony. Running gags, like Byzantines’ penchant for eye gouging and Central Asian nomad’s adversity to vegetable...
  • Abigail Rhee
    The Cartoon History of the Universe III was an interesting way to tell the history of the world.Having read some other graphic novels by Larry Gonick I was quite used to his way of writing and describing the events of the past.The history itself was interesting and “cool” and I can see why people would think that younger kids would like to learn more about history if it was in a graphic novel rather than reading a textbook but I rather think ...
  • H
    Read bits and pieces. It reads a bit like a poorly written history textbook with cartoons that try to be cute, but there's so much on each page and so much shifting, its hard to keep track of things. Also, for a history work, there's so many details missed out on. I think this idea of book is good but the style and format dont honestly mesh and work well enough.
  • Anthony Faber
    This series is the predecessor to "The Cartoon History of the Modern World". I finally noticed that the footnotes are comic strips at the bottom of the page, but there was a foot next to the asterisk, so I didn't recognize it. This one covers roughly from the end of the Romans to 1492.
  • TheHenry Blank
    A very well done book for it genre. A good deal of the book covers a not-too-flattering rendition of the rise of Islam, which nonetheless appears to be factual. The other subjects covered are lesser known, so were also of great interest to me. Kind of like reading an illustrated point paper.
  • Jay
    A very readable and funny history of the Middle East, Europe and Asia from about 300 AD-1492 AD. It's a comic book, so has funny pictures, but it also goes into how religious and economic factors affected the historical timeline, and provides copious footnotes and references.
  • MystaryPi
  • Charlotte
    This is such a good book! Gonick brought out a lot of themes and stories that are often neglected in modern history books, and presented it in a really entertaining way.
  • Phillias
    Dated in the age of manga
  • Mia Philippino
    I love this book series! Its so funny, yet you learn about history at the same time! This is a deffinet read for anybody.
  • Elizabeth Teig Von Hoffman
    Read this in middle school and was a great primer for the topics and periods it covers. Only wish I'd found the other volumes at the time.
  • Peter
    Bloody summary of man's folly's. How did we survive? A simplified and approachable history.
  • Lisa Feld
    This is the volume where Gonick really earns his stripes as a cartoonist and historian. The volume starts off with a great chapter on the rise of Islam: engaging, easy to follow, and carefully avoiding pictures of Mohammed--no easy feat! The rest of the volume shows the development of societies all around the globe, from China and Japan to England to the Ottoman Empire, but unlike the previous volume, where each society had to be siloed, here Gon...
  • Jess
    This cartoon history combines lighthearted cartoon images with an engaging character focused journey through history. I've only seen this volume, but I bet the whole series would be a fun read. It's quick and covers a broad range of topics.
  • Paul Schulzetenberg
    Gonick has achieved something special with this book. He's managed to make history accessible without trivializing it. Gonick has to walk a fine line with comics, as of course it will be that much easier to dismiss the book as so much fluff. Remarkably, he succeeds. The book admirably takes advantage of comics' ability to succinctly communicate, but still avoiding flat characterizations or stale style. What's even more admirable is how Gonick man...
  • Reenie
    Once again, Larry Gonick combines a pretty awesome amalgam of historical scholarship - both the big picture and some hilarious little details - with great pictographical storytelling. This feels fairly comprehensive, although it's more of a Cook's Tour of things going on in the Old World between around 400 and around 1500, by the necessities of space. Gonick finds space to talk about the kingdoms of Nothern and Western africa, which is more than ...
  • Christopher
    I love the Cartoon History from when I got the first volume for Christmas as a kid and ignored all my family until I finished it that night.Volume 3 is centered around the Dark and Middle Ages for those of us who got a classical Euro-centric education. All the gaps that perplexed me as a kid are here (where did the Mongols come from - they just sprouted from the steppes of Asia like grass?, If China had all these cool inventions first how come th...
  • Gphatty
    When this book came out, I was so surprised to see it. Gonick continued his review of history, picking up with the Byzantines, but more importantly, covering the rise of Islam, and early Arabic and African histories. Like Vol. II, this book gave me a good basic understanding at the events that shaped Islamic consciousness, and as the blurbs on the outside remind you, how those events reverberate today. More importantly, Gonick contrasts these his...
  • Aneesh
    What I said about the past two volumes also holds true for this one.This volume covers a period of history (from the rise of Islam to the European renaissance) which I wasn't familiar with.I was tempted to dock one star for Gonick's refusal to draw Mohammed. I relented. Given that there exist sufficiently many people in the world who desire to kill him if he did so, and some of whom are capable of and willing to act on this desire, thus posing a ...
  • Jaco
    Larry just continues to improve on himself. Over the course of the Cartoon History of the Universe series, his humor has become a little more sophisticated and continues to draw laughs from me. Again, this is a very well researched piece (I'm not entirely sure on Leonardo's homosexuality, but I would have to research that on my own). On the art, I have noticed a big difference between this volume and the previous two: It remains consistent throug...
  • Daniel Deller
    The author does a great job of picking out good anecdotal details, and illustrating them in a funny way. Also, he has a view of history which is about gradual development and the actions of individuals having consequence, and is able to demonstrate this with many examples. Excellent. Does not get 5 stars, because I am not entirely sure it is all factual. He makes a statement about the Korean origins of the Japanese imperial line which I found sus...
  • Aishe
    Hard to fit all that history into one or a few sittings, but the author is great about offering references within the text so you can go back to page (insert number here) so you can refresh. Although some of the material is now outdated (no pun intended), it's still fairly accurate, and the bits that are no longer so might go unnoticed by the casual reader who hasn't been following PBS or academic journal articles. After stumbling across this vol...
  • Afref Fetter Fetter
    Larry Gonick does history like only he can. This book focuses on the middle ages, covering the rise of Islam and the Arabs, taking you on a journey with Turks, Mongols and others while the French knights suffer defeat after defeat. Covers India briefly. Focuses primarily on the Byzantine empire, Constantinople and the power struggle thus created. Ends with Columbus getting funds to start his journey westward for Spain.Recommended for anyone with ...
  • Peter
    See my review of Part 1. This one's a bit more fragmented, but so was history at that point.The only real beef I have is that, after poking fun at every conceivable part of Greco-Roman paganism, Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Confucianism, etc. Gonick refuses to draw Muhammad. I understand the need for cultural sensitivity, but we should be on a level playing field here. I doubt Christians or Jews would have been fond of his ...
  • Judith
    The Cartoon History of the Universe, III: From the Rise of Arabia to the Renaissance by Larry Gonick continues with our cute little professor and his time machine, which runs on old library books, and takes us back to Mecca in the “year of the elephant.” The year that the Christian general's elephant fell to its knees rather than lead the charge into Mecca, and fled with its masters, was the year that the prophet Muhammad was born. Following ...
  • Isaac
    This volume in the series is particularly good in that it gives me, the lazy Western comic book reader, a feel for the significance of Islamic culture in history. Kurt Vonnegut pointed out that we have them to thank for our modern digits 1 through 9 ("try doing algebra with roman numerals"), and Gonick points out that we owe them a lot more than that. Namely, the preservation of Philosophy, Mathematics and Architecture (all CAPS) that our ignoran...