Guess I was wrong about it dragging out -- Kerry has conceded to Bush. And everywhere you go, it's whine, gloat, whine, gloat, right? I feel bad. So many people in the publishing industry are going to have to keep that vow to move to Canada. Could be good for Canadian publishing . . .
Anyway. Enough politics. Let's talk some real history here.
The first chapter of Wanderings, Chaim Potok's History of the Jews, ISBN 0-449-21582-2, starts with this line: "When I turn to the Bible, I discover that my ancestor's name was Abraham." I bought the book for that lovely, simple line, and will probably throw aside everything else I'm reading so I can enjoy what follows. $7.99 from Ballantine.
Norman F. Cantor goes back about two and a half million years more than Potok as he opens Antiquity, ISBN 0-06-093098-5, and covers civilization from the time it was born in Sumer until it fell with Rome. Less personal, more scholarly, but worth the $13.95 you have to shell out to HarperCollins for the trade pb.
Barbara Tuchman, whose A Distant Mirror got me hooked on historical narratives way back in '79, offers views of England and Palestine from the Bronze Age to Balfour with Bible and Sword, ISBN 0-345-31427-1. Ballantine's 2003 edition is $16.00.