A summary of humankind’s existence so far, it unveils a passing pageant of raging wars, civilisations rising and falling, and religions becoming ever more divisive. Co-authors Yvan Pommaux and Christophe Ylla-Somers draw attention to the human race’s great achievements alongside its failings, with Pommaux’s excellent illustrations finding moments of beauty to offset the frequent instances of carnage. Throughout the book, the narrative viewpoint is that of “we”; it is our collective achievements that are being celebrated or, as the case may be, lamented. Exceptional individuals — Alexander, Genghis Khan, Columbus, etc — are referred to but not named (although there is a glossary of “Luminaries”). The result is perfect educational reading for anyone too young yet to tackle Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens.