“Attempting to present the history of the world, prehistoric times through the 20th century, in only five volumes is exceptionally ambitious.” That’s how the Choice [the major U.S. academic library magazine] begins its review of the Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History. “Exceptionally ambitious” is one way to describe Berkshire Publishing, and we find ourselves trying on the one hand to be always ambitious, never satisfied, and on the other to maintain a sense of humility and realism.
We also have a sense of humor, and we try to maintain a sense of perspective about what we do, recognizing that neither we nor even our exceptionally talented and knowledgeable editors know everything! We strive for freshness, intriguing detail, and even entertainment in our publications. This is because we genuinely believe that it’s fun to know things, that humans are innately curious about their past, their present, and our common future.
We try to be unexpected, but that doesn’t always suit the sombre and serious world of academia. The Choice review, in fact, after glowing comment, quibbles with our inclusion of “extraneous quotations and whimsical graphics.” But we can’t quibble with their conclusion: “this work provides a fascinating, engaging analysis of how history has been shaped by key issues, events, and discoveries. Summing Up: Highly recommended. General and academic collections.”