All Ye Lands

World Cultures and Geography
Book cover: 'All Ye Lands: World Cultures and Geography'
Rollin Lasseter et al.
Ignatius Press/Ave Maria College
Sewn Hardcover
Number of pages: 
352 pages
Grade / Age level: 
Resource Type: 

I've had a chance to skim the book briefly and read the chapters on the Greeks and on the Aztecs and found them helpful and enlightening. There is a distinct effort to be fair to our Catholic legacy without whitewashing faults. (e.g. I noticed that Charlemagne is treated very favorably with the exception of one paragraph that honestly and without sensationalism explains a terrible thing he did in killing a large group of people who refused to be baptized. It also clears up the false rumors regarding the "evils" of Spain while still criticizing where there is fault).

It is quite specifically Catholic in mentioning many great saints and Catholic figures and the role of Christianity in shaping Western Culture (without ignoring the contributions of the Hebrews, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans) and being written from a Catholic point of view even where Catholics aren't specifically mentioned. There is a significant focus on World Cultures including chapters on many non-Christian cultures - eg. Japan, China, India and the Middle East - as well as a great deal about the largely Christian west. I think it is important for our children to understand these cultures and it is so helpful to have a book that honestly highlights the good and beautiful things from these cultures without acting like it doesn't matter that they weren't Christian (In other words, it's NOT in any way new-age or modernist in presenting these other cultures). I think this is an excellent antidote to modern multiculturalISM.

The book is very visually appealing without being overly-busy. It has beautiful full-color pictures throughout with informative captions. There are some fun features as well, such as a "Let's Eat" segment for each culture with information on what people ate and some simple recipes. The book is intended for 6th grade, but would be profitable and enjoyable to anyone wishing to get a better sense of history and culture. This is the first book being published in a series of Catholic history textbooks. (6-21-03)

The book describes the "Legend" of Samson which some have taken as unnecessarily calling into question the historicity of the Bible. Since there is no other indication of a flawed theology in this regard, I would encourage people to simply interpret this as one of the other meanings of "Legend" which is simply "Story".

There's a confusing typographical error on pg. 133 referencing the life of St. John Chrysostom as "(A.D. 550-407)" I believe it should read "(A.D. 350-407)".

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