Although this has been out for months, I just picked it up. Larry Gonick's Cartoon History of the Universe books have been staples on the shelves of many cartoon fans AND history buffs (I fall under both categories), but the last one to come up was Volume III, the Rise of Arabia to the Renaissance. I kept my eyes peeled for volume IV, but never saw one - here's why.
The new volume, picking up where III left off, is called The Cartoon History of the Modern World, Vol. I: Columbus to the Constitution. It's as good as its predecessors, and you SHOULD READ IT, along with the aforementioned predecessors. Honestly, there are few (possibly no) better pop historians than Gonick. You get a wonderfully pragmatic world view from the beginning up through the Constitution.
If you don't have a good grasp of history, then you don't have a good grasp on how the world works. These books can, at the very least, help you to fake that grasp, and convincingly.
Anyway, saw it a few months ago but finally got the gumption/money to pick it up.
Recommend books, comics, graphic novels, etc.
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