Another enjoyable aspect is the global perspective the author's attempted to capture. This book isn't America-, England or Christian-centric, but takes in a wide variety of people, places, religions and races and none is given any more weight than another. It stands to reason that fleeting encounters - say, Newton and Leibnitz - are given fewer words, as are those comings together about which history has recorded little, as in the case of Marco Polo and Kublai Khan. I can understand how frustrating it may be to print undeniable, recorded fact at the expense of mountains of hearsay, but it is this restraint which makes this book so educational.
Though it runs to 500-plus pages, Encounters is a surprisingly easy read, broken up into bite-size chunks of the past and larger, meal-size portions which one is easily able to read in one sitting. It provides just enough detail to satisfy the curiosity without overloading one with weighty background. Recommended - tennis balls.
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