Here- in one volume- is a veritable historical library, in a digest of eleven great classics of history. Of the eleven, one ventures to guess that practically any cross section of readers, familiar with names of great historians and great histories, would have chosen to include eight of the eleven. From Heredetus, ""father of history"" writing 24 centuries ago, to the Beards today, each contributor stands for something vital in his field, each represents a great act in the human drama, each contributes a chapter in 24 centuries of Western civilization:- two phases of Greek history, two phases of Roman history; the decline to the Middle Ages; the Middle Ages themselves; the post-Renaissance, with much of the contribution of the Renaissance implicit in it; two revolutions which advanced Europe to constitutional government; two conflicts providing focus of early history of the United States. Introducing each section, there is a brief biographical and historical note, while the excellent foreword assesses the values sought in determining inclusions, the scope and limitations (specifically, the limitation to works written in English or part of the English literary tradition), abridgement and so on. The list of contributors includes:- Herodotus, Thucydides, Julius Caesar, Tacitus, Bede, Gibbon, Symonds, Carlyle, Macaulay, Bancroft, and the Beards.