Spanning millennia, from the Bronze Age into the twenty-first century, Treasures of World History
presents history lovers with a paper-and-ink "museum" to wander from the comfort of home, a spectacular "story of civilization told through its 50 most important documents."
Some included relics laid the groundwork for the laws we live by today: Hammurabi's Code, carved into stone around 1750 B.C., includes precursors to "innocent until proven guilty" and a minimum wage; England's thirteenth-century Magna Carta helped to establish the concept of individual rights. Other documents changed the course of history: The Tennis Court Oath was a spark for the French Revolution; Albert Einstein's 1939 letter to President Roosevelt urged FDR to consider development of an atomic bomb. Still others are important cultural artifacts: Beethoven's handwritten score for his Fifth Symphony; the itinerary for the Beatles' first North American tour, scribbled on the back of an envelope. What a fascinating "tour" through history! (KG)