I was directed to this Slate article by a friend of mine, and he was right to geek-out over this via facebook. Some beautiful wonderful person has distilled the entire history of the world into one fabulous chart:
The Histomap above was created by John Sparks in 1931 and it sold for the high high price of…$1.00! How fantastic is that! The Slate article reports that:
The 5-foot-long Histomap was sold for $1 and folded into a green cover, which featured endorsements from historians and reviewers. The chart was advertised as “clear, vivid, and shorn of elaboration,” while at the same time capable of “holding you enthralled” by presenting:
the actual picture of the march of civilization, from the mud huts of the ancients thru the monarchistic glamour of the middle ages to the living panorama of life in present day America.
The chart emphasizes domination, using color to show how the power of various “peoples” (a quasi-racial understanding of the nature of human groups, quite popular at the time) evolved throughout history.