The Story of Mankind

The Story of Mankind

The Story of Mankind (1921) was the first book to win the Newbery Medal for its contribution to children's literature in 1922. It is a summary of western civilization especially for children (though adults will also appreciate the history refresher; a few paragraphs summarize each major event). It is dedicated to his children, Hansje and Willem. We feature it in our collection of Books for Young Readers.

"HIGH Up in the North in the land called Svithjod, there stands a rock. It is a hundred miles high and a hundred miles wide. Once every thousand years a little bird comes to this rock to sharpen its beak. When the rock has thus been worn away, then a single day of eternity will have gone by.'

Table of Contents


The Setting of the Stage

Our Earliest Ancestors

Prehistoric Man Begins to Make Things for Himself

Hieroglyphics - The Egyptians Invent the Art of Write and the Record of History Begins

The Beginning of Civilisation in the Valley of the Nile

The Rise and Fall of Egypt

Mesopotamia - The Second Centre of Eastern Civilisation

The Sumerians

The Story of Moses, the Leader of the Jewish People

The Phoenicians Who Gave Us Our Alphabet

The Indo-European Persians Conquer the Semitic and the Egyptian World

The Aegean Sea

The Greeks

The Greek Cities That Were Really States

Greek Self-Government

How the Greeks Lived

The Greek Theatre, The First Form of Public Amusement

The Persian Wars

Athens vs. Sparta

Alexander the Great

Rome and Carthage

The Rise of Rome: How Rome Happened

The Roman Empire

The Story of Joshua of Nazarath, Whom the Greeks Called Jesus

The Fall of Rome

Rise of the Church



The Norsemen



Pope vs. Emperor

The Crusades

The Mediaeval City

Mediaeval Self-Government

The Mediaeval World

Mediaeval Trade

The Renaissance

The Age of Expression

The Great Discoveries

Buddha and Confucius

The Reformation

Religious Warfare

The English Revolution

The Balance of Power

The Rise of Russia

Russia vs. Sweden

The Rise of Prussia

The Mercantile System

The American Revolution

The French Revolution


The Holy Alliance

The Great Reaction

National Independence

The Age of the Engine

The Social Revolution


The Age of Science

A Chapter of Art

Colonial Expansion and War

A New World: The Great War

As It Ever Shall Be

An Historical Reading List for Children

Return to the Henrik Willem van Loon library.

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