Title: The Home of Mankind: The Story of the World We Live In
Author: Hendrick Willem Van Loon
Publisher: George Harrap & Co, 1937. Very scarce full-leather edition.
Condition: Hardcover, full blue leather with ornate spine. In truly excellent condition for its age. Almost flawless except for bumped corners. A stunning book.
Hendrik Willem van Loon (January 14, 1882 – March 11, 1944) was a Dutch-American historian, journalist, and award-winning children’s book author.
From the 1910s until his death, Van Loon wrote many books, illustrating them himself. Most widely known among these is The Story of Mankind, a history of the world especially for children, which won the first Newbery Medal in 1922.
However, he also wrote many other very popular books aimed at young adults. As a writer he was known for emphasizing crucial historical events and giving a complete picture of individual characters, as well as the role of the arts in history. He also had an informal and thought-provoking style which, particularly in The Story of Mankind, included personal anecdotes.
Review from Nature Magazine, 1 July 1933:
“THIS is an amazingly clever and stimulating book. The author, who won fame by a short “Story of Mankind”, is a much-travelled journalist who, born in Holland, has made America his home and English his most familiar tongue. In this brilliant volume he has much improved on his first performance, for his knowledge of the world is made vivid by his travels, while the actuality of his history is a little dogmatic and tendentious from the same cause. Nationalism, for example, finds no more mercy at his hands than it does at those of Mr. H. G. Wells. But on the objective, geographical side of his subject he is well informed, well balanced and most instructive. His account of the evolution of the map and the calendar, and of the effects of climate and natural resources on the evolution of nations, could scarcely be bettered within its limits.”