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Download The Story of Mankind Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Story of Mankind Audiobook, by Hendrik Willem van Loon Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.9 out of 52.9 out of 52.9 out of 52.9 out of 52.9 out of 5 2.90 (20 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Hendrik Willem van Loon Narrator: Sneha Mathan Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2011 ISBN: 9781455178346
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The Story of Mankind revolutionized former methods of telling history. While it received the first Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children, critics and public alike hailed it as a book for all ages. Van Loon recounts history as living news, relating everything in the past to the present. From Western civilization’s earliest times through to the beginning of the twentieth century, he emphasizes the people and events that changed the course of history, writing informally to make world history wonderfully alive and exciting.

Of this book the author writes, “The entrance of America upon the scene of international politics as the most important actor…convinced me that a proper and reasonable understanding of historical cause and effect was the most important factor in the lives of the rising generation. And so my book…treats the entire history of the human race as a single unit…It begins with the dim and hardly understood realm of the earliest past; it can be continued forever.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This genuinely enjoyable charmer, for history buffs and the historically challenged alike, covers human history.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • Winner of the 1922Newbery Medal

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Agraj | 1/19/2014

    " The story of mankind is nice. What I loved about this book was mostly the history of the Greeks. Egyptians, Barbarians, Romans, etc. But the writer made the last few chapters too boring. The world wars were not explained in as much details as I had wished to find. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maria | 1/18/2014

    " The author himself admits that some parts work better than others. What an odd choice for a Newbery award! A textbook with voice, reminded me of Professor Callahan (my favorite history professor) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kimberlee | 1/15/2014

    " Can't really say I "read" this book, more like skimmed it thoroughly. Learned a lot, though it was a little overwhelming at times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joseph Reyes | 1/14/2014

    " Presenting history with brevity and simplicity, this book is an interesting read, and had me constantly researching each new detail of the book to get more info on that events' history. I can see why this won the Newbery award, and there were tons more kids enthusiastic about reading such material in 1922. Though its accuracy is in question, I think it's a decent enough book to at least get children exposed to the interesting stories of the past. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Housholder | 1/10/2014

    " The most delightful history book ever written. Come with me to the top of the Laurents-Kerk in Rotterdam and let's get started... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Melissa Hunt | 12/13/2013

    " #1 Newberry Award. Not my cup of tea. Super, Super boring. Skimmed it. But I can check it off my list so I guess that is good, right? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Berenice | 12/4/2013

    " This is by far the best history book I have ever read!!! If you are a teacher, it is a MUST! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cwalsen | 11/10/2013

    " This is the 1921 book that won the first John Newbery Medal. It tells the history of the whole world in a series of story-like chapters that are totally charming, if a little skewed in their world view. A fantastic family read aloud. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 4/15/2013

    " Wow! A huge undertaking but I think it was well-worth it. It's the start of my quest to read all of the Newbery Medal winning books in order. It seems the major progressions and problems of mankind are religion, money, and the machine. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 LaDawn | 6/5/2012

    " Well, I never actually finished this one. I can't believe it was supposed to be for kids. I was reading it as an adult and couldn't get past the first little bit of it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky | 5/8/2012

    " Well written, and I think that for the time it was written it deserved the Newberry. However, it was hard to get through at times and difficult to finish. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dianna | 2/15/2012

    " If you appreciate the era in which this book was written, and enjoy the traditional idea of families telling stories around hearth, there's plenty to enjoy here. If you analyze it, or seek to judge it outside the mythos, you will miss out on a great deal of pleasure. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michelle | 10/8/2011

    " incredibly long but occasionally interesting history of the word "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 9/16/2011

    " I love reading the older Newbery winners as a historical exercise. To my modern eyes the book was a little dull, but I remain impressed that this was the kind of book children were reading in the 1920s. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kelli | 5/12/2011

    " So boring. I tried, I really did. But it was terribly boring, so since I figure no one is actually holding a gun to my head to make me complete my "Read All the Newbery Medal Awardees" goal, I can abandon this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becky | 4/26/2011

    " Well written, and I think that for the time it was written it deserved the Newberry. However, it was hard to get through at times and difficult to finish. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 3/19/2011

    " The most delightful history book ever written. Come with me to the top of the Laurents-Kerk in Rotterdam and let's get started... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kelli | 1/26/2011

    " So boring. I tried, I really did. But it was terribly boring, so since I figure no one is actually holding a gun to my head to make me complete my "Read All the Newbery Medal Awardees" goal, I can abandon this one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katy | 8/12/2010

    " So, I didn't exactly read every word, but I read the vast majority. While I found it surprisingly readable, I can't say I particularly enjoyed reading it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara Elisa | 8/5/2010

    " To put in Van Loon's own words, "certain chapters gallop,... others wade slowly through the dreary sands of long forgotten ages-...a few parts do not make any progress at all, while still others indulge in a veritable jazz of action and romance." "

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About the Author
Author Hendrik Willem van Loon

Hendrik Willem van Loon (1882–1944) was a Dutch-born American popular historian, born in Rotterdam, who migrated to the United States in 1903. A journalist and history teacher, in 1922 he published the bestselling The Story of Mankind, and from then onwards produced a number of popular histories.

About the Narrator

Sneha Mathan spent a peripatetic childhood in India, punctuated by a short spell in the Seychelles. Now fixedly based in Seattle, she works as a voice actor and audiobook narrator. Her audiobook work has received several Earphones Awards, and she is a two-time finalist for the Audie Award.