If you have children in your home, you need Genevieve Foster’s books on your shelves. These are some of my favourite history books. I just finished re-reading Augustus Caesar’s World and was reminded why I love them so much.
Foster has taken a unique approach to presenting history in reaction to her own children’s boredom with the subject in school. She chooses a central character…there are books on George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, John Smith, and Christopher Columbus…and weaves a story around them.
She doesn’t just tell the story about what is happening in their lives, but also what is happening in the world of music, art, science, inventions, religion and literature. She gives glimpses of historically significant events that are happening all around the world in that time frame. You truly get a picture of what the WORLD looked like during the lives of these extraordinary men.
In the book on Augustus she traces the seven major civilizations that existed at that time, Rome, Greece, Israel, Egypt, China, India, and Persia. You meet the poet, Virgil and find out why he wrote the Aeneid, you meet the historian Livy, the writer, Cicero, the mad King of the Jews, Herod. Piece by piece, each story builds a picture of the Ancient World and the people that inhabited it. It is impossible not to walk away from these books with a greater understanding of how the times these men lived in shaped them and how these men shaped the times they lived in. Fascinating…I can’t recommend them enough.