by Genevieve Foster
Considered the innovator of "horizontal history," Genevieve Foster became frustrated when her two school-aged children complained about the boring presentation of history in their school texts. This frustration led to Foster's first book, George Washington's World (1941). In her unique approach, Foster weaves a story of the world around her central character; rather than focusing exclusively on geo-political events, as most textbooks do; she includes stories of scientific discovery and invention, music, literature, art, and religion. She has a keen intuition for stories that will especially delight and amuse her youthful audience. In Augustus Caesar's World, Foster traces the seven major civilizations—Rome, Greece, Israel, Egypt, China, India, and Persia—from 4500 B.C. to the time of Augustus Caesar in 44 B.C. and culminating in 14 A.D. Within this timeframe readers will learn not only the stories of Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, and Marc Antony, but also the historian Livy and how Virgil came to write the Aeneid. Foster will then take her readers all over the world to learn what was happening at this same time in China, Persia, India and so on. Foster's detailed pen and ink drawings are fresh and appealing, and her illustrated timelines give a clear sense of chronology, enriching the engaging text.