One hundred watershed discoveries and developments in science and technology.
Conceptual and design flaws render much of this panoramic survey only marginally usable. Within each of 10 general areas ranging in scope from “Space” and “Numbers” to “Wheels,” Gillespie highlights 10 significant prehistoric and historical advances. Her explanations are concise but clear, and she consistently gives credit where credit is due to women scientists and inventors. But along with some factual flubs—no, we don’t have seasons because “the sun spins on a tilted axis”—and overlapping entries, none of the topics or names are easy to look up, as the volume is unpaged and unindexed. Worse, the decision to use small, hair-fine type over dark green or blue backgrounds leaves large portions of the narrative only semilegible even in bright lighting. Du occasionally tints the skin of some human figures in the stippled cartoon illustrations a very light brown, but a lab-coated redhead who elbows her way into many scenes and sometimes actively participates in them inserts a white, Eurocentric presence into the overall narrative.
A broad if somewhat arbitrary survey, more suitable for casual browsing than systematic study. (glossary) (Nonfiction. 9-11)